Shortly after the turn of the century, people who grew up with LucasArts and Sierra point-and-click adventures were lamenting the fact that their favorite genre was dying.
For a while now, though, it's been clear that the adventure game genre wasn't dead at all -- it was just sleeping rather heavily. For the last few years, the genre has been undergoing something of a resurgence, in fact, with Europe in particular playing host to a number of developers and publishers that specialize in this style of puzzle-and-narrative-centric gameplay.
One such outfit is German company Daedalic Entertainment, who have put out a hefty number of adventures recently, ranging from the delightfully surreal (and faintly disturbing) Edna and Harvey series to the sci-fi silliness of Deponia, along with an official adventure game adaptation of the popular German role-playing game system and setting The Dark Eye.
Daedalic's next release is Journey of a Roach, the work of Swiss developer Koboldgames.
Journey of a Roach casts players in the role of a cockroach named Jim and his sidekick Bud. The pair are trapped in a vault, and must make their way through a series of challenges in order to make their way to the Earth's surface. There's a couple of twists on the normal adventure game formula, however: firstly, because they're roaches, Jim and Bud don't speak English, instead communicating using their own "signal language," depicted pictorially; secondly, because they're roaches, they're not limited to just walking on the floor -- they can also crawl up walls and on ceilings, as well as over items.
If this sounds quite similar to Amanita Design's beautifully-presented robotic adventure Machinarium, in which the robots also has interesting movement capabilities and spoke in pictures, that doesn't appear to be too far from the truth -- though Journey of a Roach makes use of a fully 3D environment and characters rather than Machinarium's sprites on hand-drawn backdrops.
Journey of a Roach has been funded in part by the Swiss Arts Council in order to help it promote Swiss art and culture. The game is also up for an award for best original sound composition from the Swiss Music Foundation. The team intends for the game to be released in November of this year, and it'll be available for PC and Mac.
Find out more on the official site.