Journey of a Roach is set after the nuclear apocalypse - and as it is commonly believed, only smaller species like roaches and spiders survived. The player takes the role of the roaches Bud and Jim, who must find a way to the top after accidentally blocking the main entrance of their home. This is the beginning point of their journey towards an unbelievable discovery Bud made, a small beautiful flower that manages to thrive in the harsh wastelands above.
The game world is presented similarly to Alone in the Dark: the environments are three-dimensional rooms with fixed camera perspectives and Jim can freely move around while being directly controlled. Of course Jim can also walk on walls and ceilings. However, interaction with items and people use a traditional point & click system. All animals Jim meets have human traits but don't speak: like in Machinarium, all conversations are pictures in speech bubbles. Puzzles are strictly inventory based, i.e. Jim collects items and uses them with other items in the game world, and when stuck all interactive items can be highlighted by pressing a button.