See the swamp and join the cult!
I knew I was going to in for an interesting ride when I started Norco, but I had no idea just how insane it would get. I do honestly mean insane, but in the best of ways. I’ve never had a game make me ask “what the hell is going on?” quite as much as Norco.
In conclusion, NORCO is a bit of a mixed bag. Whilst it looks and sounds stunning it is let down by a story that pushes itself so far out there that it has no way of coming back. Although already critically acclaimed this could be one of those games that is far more beloved of reviewers than the people who actually play it. Only time will tell. At least its availability on Game Pass means that it can be picked up and easily dropped if it turns out not to be your cup of tea.
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
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.
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.
Overall, NORCO is a game I could not stop thinking about. Even long after completing my first playthrough, I find myself thinking about Kay, Catherine, the AI security robot Millions, Private Investigator Leblanc, and the multitude of ordinary citizens I encountered that profoundly impacted me throughout my time in NORCO. It’s been a while since a game has managed to cause so much emotional damage in such a short period of time, and I cannot recommend NORCO highly enough.
Norco is built through suggestive images that convey the idea that behind all the ugly and dirty, inside the low quality constructions and plastic jewelry, there can be a flow that gives them power.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
NORCO is a confronting video game; a confident, biographical and bewildering point-and-click narrative experience that feels more like something you inhale rather than play, with an effective cocktail of magical realism, societal heartbreak, and bummer coolness.