Norco Test – Mesaver in Bayou

Welcome to the South

There are many years that Kay left the small town of Norco **, in the suburbs of New Orleans. No future for her there, just the omnipresent noise of the oil farms in the region. It is the death of his mother who brings back the young woman to town. He only had a task left before regaining the road: find Blake, his younger brother. But what was to be a simple mission turns out much more complicated than expected. The help of an android fugitive safety and an alcoholic private detective will not be too much to break the secrets that surround the death of his mother.

Two stories in one

Norco Range Review - The Beta Tests

Norco describes itself described as a narrative adventure in point & click and you have to emphasize the narrative part of this description. Indeed, the game offers us to follow two stories in parallel. On the one hand, we follow Kay in his attempt to find his brother Blake while piercing the mysteries surrounding his mother. This part follows quietly and is effective enough to push the player to continue moving forward. In the other story, we go back a little time and accompany Kay’s mother, Catherine, while trying to earn some money by performing the strange missions than a telephone application entrusts him.

This second part is less convincing, as it rocks in a fantastic genre that is in total offset with Kay’s story. Of course, these two parties are linked and end up joining in a final act that has torn me some shrugs of dubious eyebrows. The bridges between the two stories seem indeed a little artificial, as if it lacked something in the narration to make a clean junction between the two. Thus, some elements that seemed important in the arc dedicated to Kay seem to become totally anecdotal at the end. It’s quite strange.

in swamps, cobblestones

That said, I need to clarify a little bit of this test. The game has been tested on an English version. Since the experience is essentially narrative, the game regularly imposes players with long text walls to read. I am not usually embarrassed by reading text pavers in English, but they seemed particularly rebaric. A French version is planned, but it will not be available from the exit. I therefore recommend that you wait for it to be available if the reading in English bothers you.

The developers have made an effort to keep track of the essential elements of history through a “mental card”. This represents the different playing protagonists and allows you, click on one of the portraits, to obtain information on the role and actions of the character. In the same way, Kay and Catherine are practically all the time accompanied by a character who can remind you where you are in the story and what you need to do next. In short, a well-integrated help system and that will assist you without taking your hand.

A limited gameplay

The game unfortunately difficult to make a gameplay coexist with this very pronounced narrative part. The Point & Click dimension is thus reduced to its simplest expression: few interactions with the environment, few classics objects to pick up and finally few puzzles. The game has here and there some friendly gameplay ideas. The ability to record fragments of conversations to reuse later was good, but a little underutiluted. On the other hand, Norco regularly offers mini-games, especially to solve the few fights waiting for Kay and his friends. Mini storage games in which it is necessary to reproduce a sequence of shape in the correct order rub shoulders with the mini-games based on the reflexes of the player. These have nothing transcendent, especially as the game abuses a little in its last straight line.

A small technical success

There is little to blame Norco on the technical level. Its visual paw in pixel-art is often fly and its music is excellent invoice. Only his ergonomics sometimes leaves a bit to be desired. Thus, the paintings of the game are represented in a first-person view which, if it is marvel for immersion, is less effective for travel. Indeed, the player is often forced to use the minimum at the bottom of the screen to travel from one table to another. On the other hand, the large selection of accessibility options for the game must be emphasized, with several possible fonts or the ability to adjust the color or spacing of the text.


Norco is finally a fairly strange game that puts a lot on the player’s ability to enter his universe and in what is told. Which I admit it, was not my case. The offset between the two stories was perhaps too pronounced and I can not say, after finishing the game, that the trip was worth it _Test realized by GRIM from a version provided by the publisher.

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