A surreal first person adventure based on a cult animated series just dropped its first gameplay trailer

On Friday, Peruvian artist Joel Guerra revealed a new trailer for ENA: Dream BBQ, a first-person adventure and adaptation of his staggeringly popular series of YouTube shorts starring the character of the same name.

The ENA shorts follow the titular shapeshifting, usually cubist-styled woman and her friends living in a dreamlike realm. The videos draw from a myriad of inspirations, but weirdly remind me of classic, Cartoon Cartoon-era Cartoon Network animation like Courage the Cowardly Dog. 

Guerra incorporates a host of clashing styles in the same, often retro 4:3 oriented, frame. Pixelated, almost MS Paint-style characters will talk to '90s 3D renders against colorful, bizarre landscapes. The dialogue has a Twin Peaks Black Lodge quality to me: it scans as nonsensical on a first pass, but always seems to carry hidden meaning and demand you listen to it again for clues.

Guerra first teased Dream BBQ in March 2021, but Friday's trailer is our first look at its gameplay, as well as some new ENA animation and delightful '90s anime-style intertitles. The worlds on display are killer with these impossible dreamscapes that look like the PS2 sequel to LSD: Dream Emulator we never got, and its description seems to hint at an exploration and puzzle-focused experience:

"Play as ENA as she searches for the Boss that everyone wants to be. Explore strange worlds, take on side gigs, and meet both sweet and sour characters along the journey.

There is a lot to encounter on your adventures:

  • Explore new environments filled with hidden secrets and oddities.
  • Meet different characters who only want you to do things for them.
  • Use strange Tools to solve unusual problems.
  • Live the experience of being the least popular person at any party."

Dream BBQ also now has a live Steam page with a general 2023 release date. You can wishlist ENA there, and also follow Guerra on Twitter and YouTube to keep up to date with Dream BBQ and his other projects.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.