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Norco Release Date, Trailer, And Story - What We Know So Far

Southern Gothic point-and-click adventure "Norco" invites players to visit an alternate sci-fi take on the real-world, titular town located about 25 miles away from New Orleans. Named after the nearby New Orleans Refining Company, a marine petroleum supply terminal and later chemical plant that opened its doors in 1920, the settlement provides a backdrop rooted in both progress and decay. This duality permeates the narrative and setting, creating a distorted and at times disorienting window into a world marked by rapid advances in technology and the remnants of the natural wonders (and dangers) of the Deep South.


Developer Geography of Robots cited several influences for its unique take on a familiar genre, including occult philosophy, conspiracy message boards, and psychogeography. These elements come together to evoke the ambiguous sense of being lost in transition, caught between one state of existence and another. "The lines between salvation, memory, technology, and nature bleed together into a uniquely compelling, contemplative narrative rooted in Southern literature, pulp fiction, and point & click adventure games both classic and contemporary," explains the official description.

If a surreal jaunt through the suburbs and swamplands of South Louisiana sounds like your idea of a good time, here's what you need to know about "Norco."


What is the Norco release date?

As shared in a January press release, "Norco" will launch for PC via Steam and GOG on March 24, 2022. Pre-orders have yet to open for either platform; however, you can wishlist the game or download a free demo that includes the first act of the story to get a better feel for what the indie point-and-click has to offer. If you complete the demo and decide to go all in, your progress will carry over to the full version when it comes out. It's unclear if Geography of Robots and publisher Raw Fury plan to provide any pre-order incentives or bonuses for completing the demo.


Though still in development, "Norco" has already received notable positive press. It won the Game Award at Tribeca 2021, beating out titles such as "Kena: Bridge of Spirits," "Sable," and "12 Minutes" for the honor. PC Invasion and Destructoid both shared positive (if occasionally bewildered) impressions after playing through the demo, with the latter highlighting "Norco" as a potentially innovative experience that could elevate the indie industry. It remains to be seen whether Geography of Robots can stick the landing and live up to the hype.

What do the trailers reveal about Norco?

Prospective buyers can check out two "Norco" trailers: the Announcement Teaser and Act One Demo Trailer.

The Announcement Teaser shows off the mix of industry and nature you encounter in "Norco." The pixel art brings real-world locations to life, viewed through the gritty and distorted lens of the near future and bolstered by a moody electronic soundtrack. As the clip shifts from place to place, it provides a look at how players interact with the environment, examining objects and conversing with an eclectic cast. Though brief, it delivers a strong sense of the dingy, surrealist atmosphere present in the game.


The Act One Demo Trailer intersperses some of the key shots from the teaser with fresh looks at characters, locales, and mechanics. The Southern Gothic vibes really shine through, in no small part thanks to an aesthetic remix of a track performed by Thou, an American sludge metal band from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. From a skull to faces in the sky and a talking bird, several of the images skirt the line between bizarre and disturbing, further emphasizing the dark and mind-bending themes of "Norco."

What is Norco's story about?

The events of "Norco" kick off following the death of player character Kay's mother. When her brother, Blake, then goes missing, she sets out to find him — a perilous journey that hinges on a security cyborg on the run from the law. While picking up the breadcrumbs Blake left behind, Kay encounters a number of obstacles and dangers ranging from puzzles and bullies to death cults. This search unearths a far more insidious mystery than a simple missing person case, bolstered by increasingly higher stakes.


"Norco" features a complex collection of personalities, each with their own lives, motives, and backstories. Kay examines what she learns about these individuals and determines how she feels about these revelations using a mindmap. This system adds depth to her identity and the overall narrative, allowing her to piece together her past as she examines people and objects from her hometown. When Kay's quest takes her from Norco to the streets of New Orleans, it becomes even clearer that all is not as it seems.