Routine is an action-adventure game from the survival-horror genre, which in some aspects resembles such productions as Dead Space or installments of the Amnesia series. The title is the debut project of the English indie studio – Lunar Software, which consists of three members. Mick Gordon, the co-creator of the sound effects and music for games such as Crysis 3, Dead Space 3 and Need for Speed, has also been involved in the development of Routine.
The storyline revolves around the mysterious disappearance of the crew members of the Lunar Research Station. To solve the puzzle we travel through the claustrophobic, dark corridors and rooms of the moon base, uncovering its secrets. The developers have focused mainly on the survival and horror aspects, and have limited the UI and equipment elements to the absolute minimum; in other words, we will not see any first-aid kits in Routine and the death of our character is permanent. The main tool we can use is the CAT – Cosmonaut Assistance Tool, which is a repair device with the appearance of a pistol. The title allows us to upgrade it by using the floppy disks found in the base, and in some cases lets us use it as a weapon.
Interestingly, during our trek of the base some of its elements will be randomly generated; amongst them are, e.g. the dangers which await our hero and the locations of the AI controlled characters. Thanks to the mentioned features the production gains a lot of replayabillity.
When it comes to the soundtrack, Routine draws inspiration from science-fiction films from the 1980’s; a number of the elements of the moon base are extremely similar to sceneries from the Alien or Space Odyssey movies. The graphics have been designed using the Unreal Engine 3 engine; the sound effects and music are on a very high level and enhance the atmosphere of terror and fear, which distinguishes the Lunar Software title.