Insecticide, published by Gamecock Media Group and created by Crackpot Entertainment, is a game for the Nintendo DS that takes a bold risk, trying to straddle the gap between adventure and action games. It's a hard-boiled detective mystery containing both action and adventure elements, set in a futuristic city full of anthropomorphic bugs.The story follows Chrys Lizst, a new bug on the police force with two arms, four legs, and a past that's about to catch up with her.
Insecticide tries to mix action that's not too difficult with puzzle sequences that aren't too convoluted in order to satisfy the cerebral fans of adventure games and the twitch-hungry lovers of action games. While efforts to make both groups happy have resulted in some compromises, there have been no noticeable sacrifices in this game that should appeal to the more moderate elements of both camps.
The puzzles are logical for the most part, and—with one possible exception—they do not involve tapping the stylus all over the screen to find the one pixel in the environment that needs to be manipulated. Some of the screens rendered for the adventure sequences seem a little wasteful, containing only one or two things to interact with, but almost everything noteworthy in Chrys' world is clearly visible. Players usually have an idea of what needs to be accomplished, even when they don't know the specific steps required to accomplish it.
The action sequences contain a mix of running, jumping, and gunfights, with a few boss battles included. The controls are solid, with only a few minor irritations. Several action sequences require Chrys to traverse narrow wires, and while she corrects herself to stay on the wire once she is underway, getting the game to recognize that she is on the wire in the first place can prove to be a challenge.
There are only a small number of enemies, but lot of effort has been put into providing variety; the game's weapons are dressed up in futuristic trappings but function as pistols, shotguns, mines, rifles, and there are psychic abilities that can slow targets or make them attack each other. There's also a level where the player faces off against a new type of enemy while being prevented from using any weapons at all. The story-based availability of weapons can cause some regrets, as players are only given the chance to use some weapons for half a level or so, and it would have been nice to try weapons from later in the game on some of the earlier stages.