It’s been a long time since we’ve seen anything of Routine, the retro-futurist survival horror game from Lunar Software. It’s been so long in fact that the last time anything significant was gleaned was way back in 2014 when the game was being compared directly with another retro-futurist survival horror game then on the horizon, Alien: Isolation. It was probably those comparisons that sent the game scurrying into a dark and quiet corner in which to gestate, at least until the apparent vogue for 1970s-infused sci-fi had died down a little.
Set in a Silent Running-inspired vision of the future, one in which computers are kept in air-cooled rooms, data on magnetic tape and personal devices have big chunky colourful buttons rather than touchscreens, Routine has you sent out to investigate a lunar research station, from which the entire population appears to have vanished. Your mission, if not painfully obvious, is to find out what has happened to the crew and to stay alive as long as possible to report your findings (presumably to an 8-bit Mother-like computer brain). The moonbase will be fairly open to explore and the UI kept minimal, with no levels to grind or health meter to monitor – just the ever-present threat of permadeath and a number of different endings to discover.
There was some hope from earlier dev updates that Routine might release at the end of 2016, but according to the newly acquired footage below the game’s launch has been been put back to next March. “We hope you enjoy the trailer and that it can make the final months until release a little easier” read the accompanying statement. “We can’t thank you all enough for being so patient and supportive over these years. It’s incredibly motivating to read your kind messages even when development has taken so much longer than expected.”