It’s like film noir meets buddy-cop movies, only everyone’s a bug.
Set in a future where insects have taken over the planet, Crackpot Entertainment fuses action and adventure with a cast of unique characters in a film noir world. Humans have devolved into Hominids and now cower in the sewers under the seedy city of Troi. We are first shown a commercial about the new cherry flavored Nectorola and then introduced to Roachy Caruthers and his partner detective Chrys Liszt as they track down other creepy crawlers on the rooftops of the festering city.
Insecticide’s story follows Chrys and Roachy as they try to investigate a mysterious crime that has taken place at the Nectorola Company. The characters that you encounter are intriguing even though you have your stereotypical girl with an unknown past, the gruff partner who lets you do all the work, and the police chief that’s always yelling at someone. The voice acting is done well and a lot of care has been put into the dialogue and descriptions of items. There are a lot of references to watch for and it’s an exciting world to explore. It’s clever, funny and there are many bug puns you can’t help but laugh at.
In the first mission you play as Chrys, a detective with a pollinator, a self-charging weapon. You are quickly introduced to the action portion as your goal is to chase down these bugs that spit this radioactive-looking green goo. Using your pollinator, you jump from rooftop to rooftop hunting down these spit bugs. This portion of the game is played like a third-person shooter; you control Chrys with the WASD keys and use the mouse to control the cross-hair. Space bar allows you to jump and double jump around the gritty city as you hunt down the remaining enemies while collecting cans of Nectorola to refill your health meter.
Back at the precinct, we are introduced to Chief Chigger and the rest of the detectives. Here is where the adventure portion kicks in. A radar is located in the top left corner of the screen that will indicate if something can be investigated. When the radar changes into a question mark or if a character shows up, pressing spacebar will take you into a fixed screen where you can talk to other bugs or do a search in that isolated environment. The controls work like many other adventure games. Items of interest will be labeled if you mouse over them and if you can’t pick it up then you should at least listen to what Chrys has to say about it. Your inventory automatically pops up at the bottom of your screen when you’ve zoomed in on an area but normally it can be pulled up with the spacebar. To use items you need to drag it from the inventory and drop it on the object or character.
The character designs are creative and the environments we’ve seen in game and during the cut scenes look good so far. The graphics are cartoonish and very fitting for this type of storyline. The music is reminiscent of Hollywood crime dramas where the detective sits at his desk late at night, contemplating the mysterious case he just got while he smokes a cigar. The soothing sound of the saxophone and the accompanying piano works well to set the mood and atmosphere of the game.
The first episode of Insecticide is planned for a June release with episode two following in the second half of this year. It’ll be interesting to see how this story will pan out and to have the opportunity to go further into the bowels of Troi.