Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Norco 15 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 9 months ago.
Play involves exploring the painterly pixel art world of swamplands, oil refineries and suburbia. It's a world created by pixels but brought to life by real world audio and a haunting soundtrack. As you progress you meet characters and start to uncover the mysterious disappearance in a world haunted by the past and threatened by the future.
It's a simple adventure to begin with, but soon grows into an expansive labyrinth of characters, narrative and locations. Things spiral into a multigenerational mystery where the lines between salvation, memory, technology, and nature overlap and blend into each other.
It's a layered story with numerous time-periods, characters and settings. It has a novel way of helping you keep track of things with a built in mind map. It starts small but as you discover more about the world and characters, it grows to offers both reminders of what you know and also things to look further into.
The result is a fascinating adventure that combines a Southern Gothic setting with magical realism. It offers sharply drawn characters with deep roots, rich backstories, and complex motives. As Garrett Martin put it for Paste Magazine, "It’s an unflinching, occasionally surreal glimpse into an only slightly exaggerated version of Louisiana, with its mythical and allegorical flourishes only highlighting the aimless mundanity and real-life degradations of the modern South."
The developer states that "the game contains instances of violence, suicide, substance use and mature language".
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