Freeware Garden: Nekra Psaria

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on August 12th, 2014 at 11:00 am.

Welcome to the very first Freeware Garden comedy alt-text. No comedic bits whatsoever have been inserted here, but I'm slowly getting there.Nekra Psaria┬ámeans “dead fish” in Greek, which, frankly and regardless of language doesn’t conjure up the best of images. Not that fish or death can ever be avoided, mind you, but escape-the-room browser games used to come with way cuter names back when the internet was young.

Then again, they did also just feature a single room one had to escape from and, despite a decade or so of moderate success in the more casual online corners, had become something I usually avoid. Unless they are Nekra Psaria, that is, or anything that could look as intriguing as this particular game does.

Nope, still no comedy here. A team of expertly trained gnomes is working on it though.Nekra Psaria, you see, is essentially a browser-based point-and-clicker of this particular sub-genre, that comes with a decently sized world and, as mentioned, some unique artwork, but more on that later on. Better stick to the basics for a while and let you know that this game will most probably take you less than an hour to beat, isn’t particularly challenging, sports straightforward mechanics and offers puzzles that are simple but both odd and enjoyable. Also, it’s part one of what will hopefully become a longer series, though it happily stands perfectly well on its own.

So far, so not particularly exciting, eh? Well, let’s get back to the artwork thing. Nekra Psaria does, as you may have noticed, look utterly surreal and, if you ask me, gorgeous. It really manages to convey an atmosphere of dread and surrealism. And, for the people who wisely despise cockroaches, a sense of dread and disgust too. The thing feels like one of those gloomy European comics I used to adore back in the nineties, only animated and accompanied by an appropriately weird and eerie soundtrack.

Somehow, the artwork itself elevates Nekra Psaria way above a merely enjoyable distraction. It evokes feelings and notions of a strange world. It makes you imagine things behind every closed door and put words into each mute character. It stimulates you to add extra meaning to a setting that already makes enough sense. It’s just lovely really.

After playing it, I’d suggest you also take a short trip over to Drawmaneater’s deviantart page.

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8 Comments »

  1. Jac says:

    Where are Sharky and George when you need them?

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    Lexx87 says:

    :D at the picture text, love it.

    Seriously though, this column is bringing forward some great stuff i’d never find or try otherwise. You’re right about the gameplay in this, but the artwork is worth it alone.

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    cpt_freakout says:

    Wow, nice find. This game really looks amazing. Sure, it’s merely OK in the gameplay deparment, but man is it great to look at.

  4. xfrog says:

    Nice article!
    I wish you a good rocpaperoshotgun stadiumstreet!

  5. Talesdreamer says:

    Just finished it, it’s lovely.
    The gameplay is easy, but that wasn’t a problem for me: usually those kind of games are very frustrating, since it’s easy to miss an item or not understand a puzzle, but here it all flows kinda nicely.

  6. lordfrikk says:

    Really liked it, thanks for bringing it to my attention.