Free horror game Routine is like a weird Groundhog Day

(Image credit: corpsepile)

Routine is an experimental horror game built around the minutiae of everyday life. You wake up to the sound of your bedside alarm, go through the process of making coffee, and open the blinds to let the morning light stream in.

In the evening you sit in front of the TV. You watch the news, maybe. Or read the paper, or a magazine. And then the whole process starts again. It's boring and repetitive, but stick with it and your patience will be rewarded.

(Image credit: corpsepile)

The second time around, something's different. A slight change to the routine. Something where it wasn't before, or a shape peering at you from the darkness. A glitch in the simulation. And then there's an ending.

There are eight in total, and they're all wildly different. Some of them are weird and unsettling. Some of them are violent. One of them is just really silly. And figuring out how to see them all is harder than it first appears.

There are ways to break the routine. I won't spoil them, because discovery is central to the game. But I will say that just because an alarm clock is bleeping, and there's a prompt to stop it, doesn't mean you have to.

(Image credit: corpsepile)

Routine is short. Seeing all the endings, including a strange epilogue of sorts, will take you around 25 minutes. But it's a thing worth experiencing. It messes with your expectations in a number of interesting ways, and there's something compelling about its blend of the mundane and the surreal.

You can download Routine now from Itch for free, or name a price if you want to support the dev. They've made other weird games too.

Andy Kelly

If it’s set in space, Andy will probably write about it. He loves sci-fi, adventure games, taking screenshots, Twin Peaks, weird sims, Alien: Isolation, and anything with a good story.