Playing DrawManEater's point-and-click adventure Nekra Psaria is weird, mostly because Nekra Psaria is really weird. And surreal. And sort of disturbing. It calls itself an escape game, though that might be only in the loosest sense. See, you're watching television when your generator quits on you, and you need to find fuel for it. You know this because your generator is an enormous talking head. It is at this point you might find yourself channeling Mabel Pines as you nervously chuckle to yourself, "What is haaaaappening here?", but you'll have to press on and explore one seriously strange city in order to win. To play, all you need to do is click on zones that highlight to show you can interact with them. If you need to use an item from your inventory, just click it at the top of the screen, and it'll automatically be used if you're in the correct location. In some cases you can find notes scattered around to help you figure out what to do, or a character might tell you what they want, but largely you're left to explore on your own. Search every scene and every angle, pay attention to your environment, and tell me I'm not the only one who suddenly feels like it's the nineties and we're watching MTV Animation again.
When I tell you Nekra Psaria is weird, I need you to imagine me grabbing you by the shoulders and saying it in the tone of voice generally reserved for the call is coming from inside the house. It sort of feels like Mateusz Skutnik by way of Eric Fogel and the sort of dreams you only get when your fever's spiked. The environments are all dirty and carry a vague sense of unease, and the characters are just as unsettling. It's rare that the game wants you to do something as straight-forward as, say, collecting water in a jar and giving it to someone who's thirsty, but somehow the game actually manages to be surprisingly intuitive despite its setting. It helps that you don't have to go on a pixel hunt thanks to the interactive highlights, and the automatic item use if you're looking at the correct screen means it's easy to find out if you're on the right track rather than hoping you're clicking on the precise spot other games might require. It's not a particularly long game, and it ends on an unexpected cliff-hanger, but weird and creepy as it may be, Nekra Psaria feels like it has a lot of potential, and it's something we'll look forward to seeing where it takes us in the long run... even if that means we'll be looking askance at it the whole time.