The quirky indie title Journey of a Roach by Swiss developer Kobold Games is a cute point and click adventure game that you’ll find on Steam.  At $13.49 (USD) it’s not particularly cheap for a little indie game, and I mean really little. It took me just under four hours to complete the game for this review, so for those who are looking for a long adventure, you best look elsewhere.

The story of the game follows the adventures of the main characters, Jim and Bud. Jim is a cockroach sporting green converse and a small, square head. Bud is his goofball friend with a broken arm and a more rectangular head. After setting him free from a pipe that was crushing him, they scurry to the surface in search of an elusive flower. A bird knocks them back down the tunnel they were climbing into the radioactive underbelly of the barren wasteland that used to be Earth. 


The main gimmick of the game is the ability to climb any flat surface and crawl on the ceilings and walls of an environment. This expands the area in which objects are hidden, which can be added to your inventory and combined in order to solve a puzzle. The places where you cannot climb are usually shown by pipes on the wall or other obstacles. For the most part it’s clear where you can and can’t go, but it’s often you’ll come to a part and all you can say is “Why the hell can’t I go there? Ah, to make the puzzle artificially harder, okay.”


Like I said, the game is short. There’s a very quick tutorial which consisted of showing me how to use a key, and the fact that I can climb walls, but not jump. This would have been fine had it not thrown me into a ridiculously long and complicated puzzle straight after. There’s very little learning curve because there isn’t much game here. There are a total of three main areas that sprawl across multiple rooms and tunnels. They are nicely put together, sure, but it seems like they put all their ideas into these three rooms, which makes them feel very cluttered. There’s no incremental progression, it’s a game that could have benefitted from better pacing.


The puzzles are long and arduous. There’s very little drive to progress when all it means is that you’ll move on to the next major pain-in-the-ass puzzle. The first room for example is a Grandmother spider’s nursery, for flies. You crash the party, sending the five flies ‘flying’ so to speak, out of their makeshift sleeping quarters. You need to catch the flies using a number of roundabout solutions that made me question whether I was just bad at puzzle games, or these were actually stupid solutions.


There are red herrings too! Some things you pick up, you’ll never use. They just disappear out of your inventory once you are able to progress to the next room. They are listed in the overhanging inventory as vague shapes which makes it hard to recognise what they are. The hints are obnoxious speech bubbles that appear over everything, dictating what you can and can’t touch . All in all, it was a frustrating experience.


The game offers the choice of using traditional mouse and WASD controls, which worked just fine, or of using a gamepad. The gamepad was not great to use; item management was fiddly and didn’t have any advantages over using a mouse and keyboard. The analogue sensitive walking was nice, but proved to be purposeless. It seems they’ve lumped in using a gamepad as a selling point. It’s nice to have the choice, but it really could have been better implemented.


The frustrating part is that there is some good stuff to be seen here! The game is rendered in a comic book style strikingly similar to Telltale’s The Walking Dead. The lighting effects and most of the character animations are pretty damn good. Environments are full of detail with lots to look at. The sound design is excellent, with an original score that fades from one area to another seamlessly, and sets the mood of the scene. Some parts of the game are genuinely creepy and it would’ve been nice to see more of that. It gave a real sense of atmosphere and danger.


Cutscenes are noticeably less impressive, reminiscent of the crude Super Meat Boy cutscenes, but less animated. I can see that they are going for a cutesy comic vibe, but it’s just not done very well outside of gameplay.


There’s very little re-playability unless you feel like getting the achievement to speed run the game in 18 minutes or less, which seems like an extreme exercise in tedium. There’re also collectable bugs scattered around the levels, but they aren’t particularly difficult to find because they tend to be in areas that you would explore anyway. I got nine out of the ten in the game – the only one I missed was in the final room of the game but I couldn’t be bothered to stack up the boxes to get it.  That about sums up my experience with this game: I just couldn’t be bothered because it wasn’t very fun.


Last Updated: November 12, 2013

Journey of a Roach
I would only recommend this game to die-hard fans of the point-and-click genre. For the company’s first published game on Steam, I feel this was too much of a moonshot. I praise them for being ambitious and it definitely has potential, but sadly, the only element lacking is the most important thing: fun.
Journey of a Roach was reviewed on PC
65 / 100


  1. Looks like my kinda game, quirky and weird… but at that price for 4 hours of game play… no can do, that’s just too short, and just too pricey either way.

    Nice review though Stephen… thanks… now go back to twitter, oh wait, you hardly EVER tweet!!


  2. ToshZA

    November 12, 2013 at 12:41

    I got this with last week’s humble weekly sale. So, worth the cost then, because I got Deponia and others with it too. 🙂

    Pity it’s not a great game though, because I love Point & Click adventures.


    • SargonTheGreatPandaOfAkkad

      November 12, 2013 at 12:42

      I find I get bored of indie titles too quickly. They’re fun, and great to support. But never really much staying power.


      • ToshZA

        November 12, 2013 at 12:48

        I love indies. For their price they provide some great value entertainment (usually, just make sure to read reviews and the like). Reus was one example, it’s such a unique, simple, but complex and fun and difficult game. Its great, and endlessly replayable. It cost me $5, worth every cent. Bastion was such a powerful and unique game, and while not exactly replayable, the memory of it is still striking – $5. Game Dev Tycoon was interesting, and a few playthrough’s worth. I am planning on getting Valdis Story: Abyssal City – played the demo and by reviews sounds right up my alley. 4 Different characters (2 atm, 2 to be released later) each with their own unique way of playing the game. I don’t know, they have staying power for me.


        • SargonTheGreatPandaOfAkkad

          November 12, 2013 at 12:59

          Fair enough. Different strokes and all that. I prefer things with a competitive edge and.. well.. LOOTSPLOSIONS. 😀

          How many more games did you end up jamming last night? 😀


          • ToshZA

            November 12, 2013 at 13:02

            Yeah man fair does. I like a range of stuff though, from long-ass 4X games to the super fast-paced competitive stuff. So, I’m an allsorts type of liquorice.

            Haha, we pretty much just all went to bed after that. Got an invite to the guild though, so yeah. Didn’t even know guilds existed. Meh. How often do the guys play?

          • SargonTheGreatPandaOfAkkad

            November 12, 2013 at 13:41

            I play with them all the time. I have at least a game every evening once I’m home and settled in. They’re all great peeps and super fun to play with. Plus when we lose we never bitch about it. Just enjoy the games and what not. Eventually there will be enough people in the guild that we can just all play each other without the need for pubs. Pub play isn’t as fun because one or two people can ruin it pretty easily. You should try a few though and see how well you do.

            But yeah. Super helpful. Didn’t mind playing with a “noob” when I asked them to invite. Glad you liked it. Told you DotA isn’t that awful if you find the right people and take some time to tackle the curve. 😉

          • ToshZA

            November 12, 2013 at 13:44

            Isn’t all that much of a curve tbh. Mechanics and basics are simple, its just practice that’s necessary really. I should try some pub games solo yeah. Get a feel for what shit is actually out there. xD

            But yeah they all seem fantastic. And it’s way more fun with people than bots.

            Also, you said “I play with them all the time.” LOL!!!! Do they know about it?

  3. LAblak22

    November 12, 2013 at 13:05

    “Heeeeeeere we are. Born to be kings, we’re the princes of the universe.” Queen

    Roaches shall inherit the world, so might as well start showing them love. I think I shall try this; reminds me of Monkey Island… So many memories. So many feels. So many tears.


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