There’s a piece of paper by my desk that reads, “My work does not bring joy and is not so important for me and the people around me, but I cannot quit it. Otherwise, what will I eat?”
Alright, Routine Feat, I know it’s Monday but take it easy. This is the latest first-person prod-about by Alexandre “Sad3D” Ignatov, who earlier this year made Alice O’s beloved Russian apartment ’em up It’s Winter. The best thing about it is that it’s set in the same set of apartment blocks, only now… it’s summer. But there are other nice things about it, too.
It’s Winter gained a lot of atmosphere from its snowfall, its fog, and its perma-night setting. Routine Feat feels more ordinary by comparison, as its pixellated trees can’t help but evoke Minecraft more than any particular mood. That’s mostly made up for by the chance to explore a familiar environment in a radically different way, though. There are walls and buildings to find that were previously hidden by fog, and our old friend the snow-clearing tractor can be seen hiding from the sunlight in a garage nearby. Plus a lot more I won’t spoil.
There’s also more direction for what to do, if you’re into that. But first, here’s a tiny trailer that captures the feel of the thing:
All the simulation-y bits from It’s Winter are still present – I won’t spoil them, because finding the limits of what objects you can interact with is part of the fun – but Routine Feat also introduces a story structure. You’re controlling a character who longs to write a novel and so spends their early mornings and late evenings bashing away at a typewriter, and in between catches the bus to work so they can bash away at a computer for a few hours instead. Doing something “not so important,” as per the quote above. These actions are as tactile as everything else: