Insecticide (DS & PC) Catch All
Insecticide is an interesting game, one that was going to come out for the DS and PC in almost identical versions, with great characters and lots of comedy, but that ultimately fell a bit short and had a troubled development process.
I started playing the DS version of the game today and it has the charm of a set of well realized characters and a well realized world similar to many older adventure games. The game takes place in a futuristic world where insects the size of humans rule the earth. Humans still exist, but only as a group of mutants that live in the back allies of the future cities. The game follows the investigation of a group of detectives as they uncover the mysteries of both a set of crimes and of the protagonists past.
The games themselves are interesting in that the developer attempted to make two almost identical versions for two very different systems. The DS version contains the entire story, with some video cut scenes and some stills accompanied by dialog as well a reworking of the action segments. The PC version contains longer cut scenes and several more which were replaced by stills or text in the DS version. By 2008 standards, the PC game wasn't very graphically impressive, but the character and world design are all very cohesive and charming. Delays caused the PC game to be split into two parts, the first released late and the second never released at all. It seems that an acquisition caused the cancellation of the second part.
Because the game's story doesn't really fit into two episodes, after the developers knew the second part wouldn't come out, they decided to post decent quality videos of the PC cut scenes from the first part on Youtube with the intention of posting the cut scenes from the second at a later date. (http://www.youtube.com/user/InsecticideCrackpot). These videos only have a handful of views and the second half of the cut scenes were never released. As someone playing the DS version, the interesting thing about these videos is that they add significantly to the characters of the game. The DS videos lack many of the jokes that are quite funny as well as character interactions some of which are later discussed in dialog. The DS videos are also so small that it's often difficult to make out details in the videos that play out in these jokes or interactions.
My focus on the characters, cut scenes, and dialog has been because I agree with many of the reviews in that the action segments that make up one half of the game are unnecessary and not very well done. The adventure game aspects are fairly well done if not a little vague at times so far. Like many older adventure games and even games like Psychonauts and Armed and Dangerous, mediocre gameplay sections can often be pulled forward by great characters and good comedy.
I could not find any mention of this game on the site other than a mention in the games coming out the week the DS version was released and was wondering if anyone had played this game on the PC or DS. The PC version is $10 on Steam or Newegg for the first half, but it seems a little silly to purchase one of these versions with the knowledge that it is only half a game. The DS version seems to go for about $15 on Amazon. I would encourage anyone who enjoys the Telltale Games characters or the Lucas Arts games (many of the developers are ex-Lucas Arts guys) to at least check out the Youtube videos.