Norco studio announces android investigation adventure Silenus with “experimental” demo



Geography of Robots – the developer behind 2022’s acclaimed narrative adventure Norco – has revealed its new project, Silenus, and there’s an “experimental” Steam demo to try right now.


Silenus is described as a “micro-adventure” – lasting 2-2.5 hours – set on a Gulf Flow oil refinery recently acquired by Rubens Link, an “enigmatic company with an unclear agenda”. Cast as an android called Titian, players must investigate the company’s true motives – which seems to go beyond installing automation tech as it claims – by solving puzzles, deciphering clues, conversing with characters, and poking around the remains of vanished workers.


The newly released demo version of Silenus is officially known as the Umbilical Pre-Release demo, and it’s been created in collaboration with Baton Rouge doom metal band Thou to help promote its new album. “Thou composed material for our 2022 release Norco,” Geography of Robots explains in an FAQ accompanying the demo, “and we decided to extend this collaboration to help draw attention to their upcoming album release Umbilical.”


In the portion of Silenus available in the demo, players can unlock and listen to all the tracks from Umbilical, but the studio notes the game itself is “likely to change [a lot]” between now and release. “Many elements of the demo were designed with the Umbilical listening feature in mind,” it explains. “These will likely be removed or reworked. Some narrative details will remain the same while others will change. However, the overall themes, aesthetics, and gameplay will be largely the same.”


Silenus’ demo is compatible with Mac, Steam Deck, and controllers but is only available for a limited time. Thou’s album launches on 31st May, and Geography of Robots plans to keep the demo available “for 2 – 3 weeks following this release.”


The developer say it hopes to complete the full version of Silenus “by the end of 2024”. And if you’ve yet to experience the studio’s previous project, Norco – which Eurogamer’s Chris Tapsell called a “beautiful, surprising, human, and utterly magnetic debut” in his Recommended review – it’s currently discounted by 60 percent on Steam.





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