Journey of a Roach is the second Cockroach-themed game I've played in the last 3 weeks. What's happening to the games industry right now?
Journey of a Roach is a short adventure game (see it like a point n' click game, but with actual freedom of movement) set in a post apocalyptic world governed by radiation worshipping ants. Yeah, sounds believable!
The premise is very simple, but quite charming as well. Your one cockroach friend finds a flower in the middle of the barren wasteland the world has become. And he's quite enamored with it, and runs to tell you... But, unfortunately, he falls underground, and is later impriosed by the Ants.
And there your journey starts, finding your way into their base to rescue your friend, and finally see the beautiful flower.
The presentation of this game was very well done! It's certainly very light-hearted, and even... childish, but in a good way. The only voice-acting is gibberish (in a pretty frantic way, which was funny), and the characters' thoughts is told through pictures and some comic-book like cutscenes.
The cartoony art-style is nothing to write home about, but it fits the theme, and it looked good enough.
The music was also good in relation to the theme, and the overall vibe of the game, but it's nothing I'd listen to outside of it.
The sound design was pretty good, although I could see the voice acting being annoying for some people. I enjoyed it, even with gibberish, they managed to get the point across, and the tonality always fit the character's mood.
In this case, I'd say the whole is better than the sum of its parts! Nothing particularly spectacular, but it all works towards the same goal, and it ends up working out.
How's gameplay, then?
Well, you work your way down, solving a set of puzzles in each floor. You go around collecting items, and trying to combine them until something works. The solutions are usually pretty over the top, and they make sense only after the fact, which can be a bummer. On the other hand, each area is small enough that you won't be backtracking a lot to experiment with stuff, and everything can easily be solved without feeling too frustrating.
One aspect that I hate about point n' click games (which is pretty much the go-to genre for adventure games) is that movement is very limited, and lacks control, is sluggish, etc.
This game eliminates that, having you walking with WASD, which I found really good. It may seem a little thing, but it makes a significant difference to me.
The problem with the movement, is that, well... you're a cockroach, and so you can crawl on walls and the ceiling. Which results in the world constantly moving around, which gave me some serious motion sickness. And this was probably my main problem with the game, everytime I played it, I felt sick, and so I tried to get done with it as soon as possible (not bothering with completing it after finishing the main story).
So, if you have any problems with Motion Sickness in video games... probably pass this one up. Disregard if you think you're fine with it.
So. You go to the several rooms of each floor, and try to solve the characters' problems, in a step towards finding your friend.
The solutions are all pretty silly, usually leading to a chain of reactions that will be amusing, but certainly not very predictable (which is a minus in the puzzling, but again, it's not a major problem).
You'll try to dress up like a radiation-worshipping ant, you'll help a Spider with her baby flies, and you'll launch a nuclear rocket. What could go wrong in this game?!
It's a very simple game, and can easily be finished in 2-3 hours in your first playthrough. The story is amusing, it'll make you smile at times, and it's something good not to worry about. If you're interested, get this, enjoy it, and then be done with it.
There are also "secrets" to reward exploration, and some optional actions for achievement. I haven't bothered with it simply due to motion sickness, but it's good that's it's there!
I like Journey of a Roach for what it was. Nothing groundbreaking, but certainly a charming little adventure game.
P.S.: There was a sections in which they tried to give the game some sort of challenge (?), in which you had to walk through a vent, with blazing "fans" that would get you back to the beginning of the section. However, the perspective was a bit off, and it just felt pointless and out of place. You could easily just not see the fan correctly and get killed. But it was also very short, and once you passed a fan, you could deactivated, so it wasn't frustrating or anything, because of that decision, which was a good call.
But still, I have no idea why it was there, it wasn't very good, it was also very short, and overall out of place, with poor perspective.
It didn't affect my enjoyment of the game, but it was a design decision that I just didn't understand, so I'll leave it here.