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Tuesday | October 23, 2018
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Insecticide (Episode 1)

Insecticide (Episode 1)

Very little of worth has been released lately on the PC, however today we are taking a look at a new title from Crackpot Entertainment which is set to inject some interest in the adventure genre with a wacky game called Insecticide (Episode 1).

In Insecticide you take control of a female bug called Chrys Liszt, a detective who lives in the seedy and hostile world of Troi. Imagine a film noir world full of crime, mystery and murder without a single human in sight – your task is to solve a mysterious death at the local Necarola soda factory. Are you still here? I hope so because while the game is ludicrous in regards to the plot, it is actually an entertaining and fun affair. Even after completing the game I wasn’t really sure exactly what was going on. Rest assured a lot of the game enjoyment comes without being tied directly into the somewhat bizarre storyline.

For those of you looking for something slightly different to Sam and Max then this may very well appeal as it isn’t a pure traditional adventure game, there are elements of shooter and platformer genres. So what we end up with is a lot of adventure style clicking to appease the traditionalists as well as third person action parts somewhat like Ratchet and Clank (although admittedly nowhere near as polished). Controls are handled by the WASD keys for movement as well as using the spacebar to Jump. The mouse buttons handle the weapon firing. I really didn’t think the action elements were that exciting and the main strength of the game is definitely derived from the puzzle sections.

Thankfully these puzzle elements are very focused and Crackpot should be commended for creating such a vigorous and appealing world. The scripting is excellent and although I have already mentioned that the storyline is rather confusing it is clear that much time and effort has been lovingly placed into creating this environment.

Aurally the game is a pleasure with a very strong cast of actors handling the voices. There are no cringeworthy moments in which we would normally assume that some spotty programmer was responsible for the voiceovers. The music is supplied in the form of rather ambient styled jazz pieces which fit the theme very well and add to the games character. Overall the audio side of the game is top drawer and the cast members in the game are well represented.

The graphics, while not breathtaking are handled confidently from the solid 3d engine. The film noir direction works well and there are similarities to Psychonauts, once of my favourite pc games of recent years. Less enjoyable than the in game graphics are the computer generated cut scenes which seem unfinished, with high compression and a total lack of lip syncing.

As with most episodic style games the length is really short, so short in fact that I had it beaten in around two and a half hours. If you couple this with the fact that the game is very easy and that combat is better handled by quick melee attacks (rather than the feeble weaponry) then it is clear that the game has its fair share of problems. Unfortunately the AI is also rather poor and if you are in a tricky situation with a few enemies you can simply run away and they will return to their positions. Every specific enemy has apparently an invisible wall around the area they are allowed to move within.

If this wasn’t annoying enough, then we are unfortunately presented with quite a few annoying jumps which will undoubtedly sucker many people to their death. I found it frustrating and annoying, even with the inclusion of many checkpoints.

Insecticide has clearly been created with much love and attention. The graphics are very stylish and distinctive, and the presentation is generally very good. As Crackpot Entertainment is mainly comprised of former LucasArts team members this should be a given. I applaud the concept of trying to refresh the tired adventure genre with some action elements, however there is certainly room for improvement in this area as they don’t always work (or fit) very well in the overall package. All in all, I recommend the game if you are generally a fan of adventure games and like the look of this. Just be aware that it is will be easily completed in an afternoon.


Generally quite polished however the action sequences are sadly lacking in execution.


Great voiceover and some ambient jazz music which sets the mood.


Great voiceover and some ambient jazz music which sets the mood.

Most people will beat the game in less than 3 hours.
(not an average)

A nice distraction for an afternoon.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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