Norco is a beautiful, surprising, human, and utterly magnetic debut.
A must-play for anyone interested in narrative-driven games.
I’ve never played a game like Norco, which elegantly celebrates and admonishes its cultural roots while simultaneously chronicling a strange doomsday scenario. Kay and Catherine’s shattered America is not so dissimilar from our own – burgeoning industrial complexes threaten to displace low-income families, automated systems supersede human workers, and the filthy rich work around the clock to deter upward mobility. The game isn’t always gloomy. One cool night, I sat atop City Hall and gazed at the constellations with a stranger. Hours earlier, I flipped through treasured memories on a faulty flatscreen TV. Norco is an unforgettable reminder that there’s an inherent beauty behind the madness.
Norco ends on a visceral note that will speak to Louisiana’s staunch hangers-on, but also to anyone seeking a beautiful, oppressive, and ultimately hopeful story. The past and future compound, and my reaction was unbridled. As I heaved and sobbed over my computer screen, I thought once again about faith — the kind it takes to stay here. If you don’t understand that faith, Norco may very well convince you.
Norco weaves a compelling and utterly wonderful story that's dark, beautiful, evocative, and distinctly human.
A hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage.
What saves Norco is that the visions on offer belong as much to the imagined as the troublingly real.
This pairing of humans and the natural world up against a common antagonist, not necessarily as allies but as common victims, makes it clear how intimately Norco is tied to the swamps, valleys and fields that surround it. This interconnection between individuals with little in common on the surface but a shared place and history is where “Norco” locates the possibility for hope, a provocation that might offer those of us playing a model for our own local responses to corporate encroachment and environmental devastation. Through these mutually affecting connections between humans, nature and technology, “Norco” creates its own robotic story, disturbing, personal and fresh, an experience that should not be missed.
Don't let NORCO be lost to time: this is a must-play for those who don't mind a depressing tale.
Norco is the good kind of point-and-click game; its engaging story is paired with a great world and solidly enjoyable gameplay for an experience that shouldn't be missed by fans of the genre.
NORCO is a brilliant game with an incredibly high level of craft, particularly with its writing. It is one of the most entertaining and thought-provoking games in years, and everyone should play it.
If nothing else, NORCO will go down as the game this year that had the most unique world, but it also stands a huge chance of going down as the game with the best writing, story (or stories) and atmosphere. Who could have thought that Louisiana would be a perfect backdrop for a bizarre sci-fi mystery? Geography of Robots did, and it's thanks to them that we got this memorable journey that folks should check out, even if it may be hard to describe what happened.
With its original narrative blend of sci-fi and surreal while mixing up gameplay mechanics, Norco delivers a memorable narrative-driven experience.
Surprisingly attractive, powerful and in a good way strange game, which will remain in memory for a long time.
Review in Russian | Read full review
I’m not sure I’ve ever related more to a character in a video game than I do to Kay. Our experiences aren’t identical, but her pain is mine, or at least it’s close enough that I can feel it. Norco isn’t able to fully give her the healing she’ll always want but never fully achieve, but its understanding of pain, loss, and the need to keep moving are a remarkable achievement which helped me process some of my own feelings as well. Any fan of adventure games should absolutely check it out.
Despite the simplicity both in some technical visual aspects and in its level design and in its mechanics, NORCO knows how to use minimalism and point-and-click to its advantage with creativity and expressiveness, especially in audiovisual aspects, delivering one of the most immersive worlds , fascinating and memorable experiences I've ever experienced in video games. In particular, the text has a sophisticated narrative design, a context well motivated by important social and environmental problems of our time, and one of the best-written scripts of recent times. The debut game from the Geography of Robots studio is a strong candidate to be one of the best indies of the year, in addition to being a must-have title for adventure fans and a general recommendation for those who appreciate good stories in video games.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Even if you don’t normally enjoy point-and-click adventures, Norco is a must-play for anyone interested in story-driven games. It’s one of the best-narrated tales since Dysco Elysium, rich with the real-life history of the town of Norco with some imaginative fiction mixed in. It’s dark, funny, and scary in all the right places, and even if the ending doesn’t wrap up all the mysteries it opens, it’s still sure to leave its mark on you.
NORCO is one of the rarest games in existence. It’s a find to be remembered. Its imaginative and thoughtful writing will keep your mind occupied for days. It is unquestionably a must-play for every fan of this genre and anyone who’d love a story that cuts deep.
Even the perpetually overcast skies feel like a sign of what’s to come for its characters, as if a torrential rain is set to descend anytime soon. But look beyond the parted clouds and we may see a slither of hope yet. Likewise, this is the proverbial silver lining that Norco represents for the videogame industry: a modest title that demonstrates that a narrative-rich experience, made by a first-time indie developer, doesn’t always have to be overshadowed by ostentatious displays of bigger releases. Norco may refer to itself as a sort of pixel ephemera, but its adventure is a vast, cosmic tale that will be fondly remembered decades after.
This game is disappointing. It doesn’t commit to its story enough, and the gameplay mechanics it chooses to make vital parts of the game are lackluster or strange choices that the game would have been better without. To the game’s credit, however, it’s only disappointing because it managed to build up an expectation. If it could deliver on its own promises, it would truly be one to remember.