Journey of a Roach is a 3D point and click adventure from Swiss developers Kobold Games and German publisher Daedalic Entertainment. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world and follows the adventure of mutated cockroaches Jim and Bud.
Making a game about cockroaches seems a strange choice due to their unpopularity. However the cartoon graphics and crazy humour of the game make the pair instantly likeable. Their aim is to escape from an underground bomb shelter and make their way back to the surface of the planet.
Throughout the adventure you take control of Jim. Along the way you get to meet a whole host of unusual insects including baby flies, a spider that likes knitting, a cigar smoking war veteran wasp, a hippy firefly and a moth that likes tattoos. There’s also a menacing nuclear ant cult that seem to be controlling things.
Unlike the majority of point and click adventures you actually get direct control over Jim. You can move him around the environments using the keyboard or a gamepad. A neat twist is that being a cockroach he can also climb walls and run across ceilings. This adds a new dimension to the gameplay and makes you think about how to traverse obstacles and access certain items. At times though this can be a little clumsy as you can only climb on things the developers let you. There are inconsistencies such as some walls and boxes that you just can’t get on which can be a little frustrating.
Making progress involves interacting with the various characters and collecting items. Characters normally have some kind of dilemma that you need to solve before they will help you. Items that you can use are helpfully highlighted on screen and those you collect are stored in your inventory.
Many of the puzzles first appear quite bonkers but a little thought or trial and error is all it takes. There’s no dialogue in the game so characters just make strange noises instead. Hovering over items often gives you a small cartoon visual hinting at what you need to do. Without these hints the game would have been incredibly tough.
Players new to the genre may struggle and take a while to get to the end but the length of the game will disappoint some. An experienced adventure gamer will likely complete the game in less than three hours on a first playthrough. There is also little in the way of replay value other than a few achievements and some hidden grubs to find and collect.
Journey of a Roach is a short but quite enjoyable adventure on the whole. It’s not for everyone but adventure game fans looking for something a little different should check it out.