Explore cyberpunk Louisiana in Norco: Faraway Lights

Do you want a homecoming tale but don’t want to put up with those deplorably cute animals of Night In The Woods? No worries, here’s Norco: Faraway Lights [itch.io page], a neon text adventure of conspiracy theorists in a cyberpunk New Orleans. Or more accurately, here’s a demo for the opening chapter. The story is: You’ve come back home because your mum has died and your brother has gone missing. Why are brothers so rubbish?

First off, I can’t believe they didn’t call the city “Neo Orleans”. Tut tut. But the developers do call it “a rich pixelated universe of bizarre conspiracies, difficult family histories, and insurrectionary androids hiding in the swamp.” Here’s a trailer that offers a look at the retro-futurustic tone. Basically, it’s like the 80s. You can tell because of all the colours and bad fonts.

But also because of the music, right? That’s done by synther Gewgawly I. There’s also a guest track by Andy Gibbs from the shouty metal band Thou, we’re told. Meanwhile the game itself is being done by Geography of Robots.

I haven’t had a pop at this demo, because I’m allergic to the 80s and virtually everything associated with it. But you can download it from the Itch.io page or simply play it in your browser here (Google Chrome is said to be the best for this).

The full game is still underway (no word on an ultimate release date) and will feature “dozens more unique environments; 2+ hours of non-linear, consequential dialogue; improved dialogue handling; side-quests; mini-games; an item inventory; a ‘journal’ feature, and more.”

13 Comments

  1. andregurov says:

    Norco is a community/city in St. Charles Parish, close to New Orleans … kind of like an extended suburb. The title of the game is a nice nod to its location, I think, and Norco’s history as a location where the German Coast Uprising (the largest slave insurrection in US history) occurred.

    • yutsi says:

      Thanks for providing this context! The final version of the game will explore a good bit of the slave revolt’s history, as well as the maroon colonies that existed along the coast of Lake Pontchartrain during that time.

      • andregurov says:

        I’ve got to ask as a native New Orleanian – with the references to Airline Hwy and Louisiana on your site – is your game borne out of a local experience here? I do love seeing NOLA in the gaming world, even if your gif of Airline has guard rails (those are new and FINALLY installed here!).

        • yutsi says:

          Yeah, born and raised in Norco! Living in New Orleans these days. MAD RESPECT re: your point about the guard rails. So the game doesn’t actually take place in the 80s. It’s set in a fictional year that’s a pastiche of the late 20th and early 21st century, so the game’ll feature a lot of contemporary locations alongside anachronistic ones. There’re guardrails on Airline and maybe even a Raising Cane’s, who knows!

          • andregurov says:

            If we assume the game’s development will share at least a little commentary about the Westbank being the best bank, yeah you right! Props from Marrero. I’ll be further checking the game – and the others on your site – out tonight.

  2. Crane says:

    I will get right on with playing a text adventure written by someone who can’t even be bothered to run a spell-check.

    “Levetates”.

    • yutsi says:

      Oof, yeah. I better get a copy editor for the final version cus I’m definitely an idiot.

    • poliovaccine says:

      Eh, one thing I learned in film school is that a person doesn’t have to be a great speller to tell a great story. And I’m a fucking grammar nazi (yes, I left it uncapitalized on purpose), so trust me, there’s a reason I didn’t learn that until college.

      • April March says:

        Why do you capitalize Nazi anyway? Are political movements capitalized in English? I ask because in my native language neither weekdays nor demonyms are capitalized, so I always looked to English as a capital-happy language.

  3. monsieurZb says:

    Wow, good catch. I love the writing and mood so far.
    Giving clues about a rich setting without being verbose is far from easy and that’s precisely what this demo achieves.
    I’ll keep an eye on it.

  4. Kelvin says:

    I only watched the trailer, and it seems pretty… pretty.

    I think that silly girl is in in love with a robot.

    Forbidden love or cargo shipping? (Heh, like any love is forbidden these days.)

  5. Barts says:

    I absolutely love fakte two-page advert, looks like something straight from the eighties. I have a soft spot for those, having seen a couple foreign computer magazines when growing up in socialist Poland in that decade. They were beautiful, if unatteinable to me back then and I still go to sites like RetroDust tumblr to stare at them and fine new old ones.

  6. DrWaffle says:

    Psyched about this game. Also from New Orleans, but have spent time in and around Norco. Mostly driving through it. Went to a rave there in the 90s that was busted by the cops, so that was fun. This aesthetic is kind of a perfect match for that area somehow. Never would’ve guessed. Well done. Looking forward to diving in to this and seeing more.