Noreya: The Gold Project review

by on June 24, 2024
Release Date

June 21, 2024


Noreya: The Gold Project has an odd title for what is, in fact, a 2D platformer with Metroidvania elements. It’s been in early access for almost a year, and has just been fully released into Steam with the end of the game now reachable.

It follows the titular heroine who, while on a pilgrimage, is attacked and left for dead while the rest of her party are slaughtered by creatures of darkness. Waking with newfound powers, she is entreated by two opposing gods, one of Purifying Light and one of Corrupting Gold, to worship them and tithe her collected gold to them with the promise of receiving more powers in return. The god you choose to worship most affects which late game skills become available, and is tracked by a moving meter on the screen.

Unlike traditional Metroidvanias, Noreya: The Gold Project doesn’t eek out gifts and abilities through story milestones, but via a branching skill tree that lets you unlock things like improved sword combos and shields. Movement feels pretty good as you traverse the world, but it’s let down by a combat system that feels undercooked and skewed against you.

Noreya: The Gold Project

For a start, there’s no dodge roll, block or parry, and no ranged attack. As enemies can attack through your strikes and have very little visible wind-up to their attacks, they can easily hit you and all you can do when even grunts can take four or five hits it attack and move back, attack and move back, which makes combat with even groundlings feel like a chore. Bosses are even worse; the first one alone is a bit of a nightmare as you have no way of damaging it without just getting within reach, and hoping it doesn’t hit you before you kill it.

This issue is compounded by the godly statues that act as revive points (and fast travel points later) being so far apart. Death sees you sent back a good way, which is very irritating considering how easy it is to die. You have three lives to begin with, and lose one for being hit or even touching an enemy or hazard, which is very easy to do because it’s tricky to judge distance from the enemies or if your tiny sword can even hit them. You can heal later, which costs precious gold to restore a heart.

For a game so long in easy access I’d just expect more from Noreya than we get. Perhaps that’s unfair, but the last few years have seen the release of some really innovative Metroidvanias and Noreya: The Gold Project is very basic in comparison. It looks pretty enough by the colour palette alone, but the pixel art and animation don’t do anything we haven’t seen before. Moonscars had a similar style (albeit in different colours) and presented a more compelling world to explore.

Noreya: The Gold Project

Besides a bounce move where you can bump yourself higher by attacking enemies from above, and a few environmental abilities such as a wall jump, movement is quite basic. There are also spikes everywhere, which can kill you just for overstepping the edge slightly before the jump.

All in all, Noreya: The Gold Project is an enjoyable enough Metroidvania, but feels a little limited when compared to other titles in the genre – even those from indie stables. It’s very short, too, offering less than five hours worth of gameplay even with the end of the game now available in the full release. It’s pretty, and certainly offer challenge, and that might be enough for some, but I came away feeling a little underwhelmed by the experience.


Looks great
Movement feels smooth


Doesn't feel new
Combat is lacking
Very short

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Noreya: The Gold Project is an enjoyable enough Metroidvania but feels a little limited when compared to other titles in the genre.