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Game Review #355: Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Steven Green

Developer: Alasdair Beckett-King

Publisher: ASHGAMES

Category: Point-and-Click Adventure

Release Date: 07.11.2019

Price (at time of review): $19.99

Buy Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Pirate Puzzles

Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet is the sequel to the British point-and-click adventure Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy! In this title you will travel through islands of adventure and try to defeat the villainous Baron Widebeard and his nefarious plot. The game takes on classics of the genre, with clear inspirations from Monkey Island, to move you through a genre that has been critical to gaming for decades.

Nelly’s World

You play as Nelly Cootalot, a pirate and explorer of renown who has travelled the seven seas on her own terms and now takes on this newest adventure in the series feet first. You are playing to defeat the plans of archrival Baron Widebeard and whatever his evilness brings to the table in this sequel to the early aughts adventure. Travel through mysterious islands as you try to discover the reason behind the missing birds and why these fowl have joined up with our nemesis. Meet interesting characters throughout, with well written characters and puzzles, while trying to solve this mystery to pirate life. Even though Nelly might not be the most well-known pirate, she will make her own path and discover what it takes to defeat Baron Widebeard’s plots, while helping tons of people along the way.

Nelly’s soft spot for animals and other creatures motivates her to move forward to try to do everything she can to aid those that have misfortunes or are too weak to defend themselves in this story that will interest and delight those fans of the genre. The only knock to this title is that there are several callbacks in the story to the first title in the series, and those who have played it will get an extra delight in playing through this title. And even though it isn’t required reading, it definitely is noticed when playing through this title that there isn’t as much depth when you don’t notice the callbacks and characters that have delighted this series in past games.

Ports of a New Type

This title comes from the PC and brings a great new addition to the genre on Nintendo Switch. As is common in these titles there are some barriers you have to consider when playing games of this style on a console, such as the Switch, versus its original home on PC. The game is a point-and-click adventure, meaning that from its development it is meant for PC in that you literally point the mouse and click where you need to go. I will say though, that most ports from this genre don’t transfer well to console, however, this port is done very well if you can figure out how to properly manage the control system. My best advice in this title is to avoid trying to manually move your character around as much as possible and utilize the actual point and click mechanics to allow your character to traverse the field on her own. The game is finicky with it’s controls, but if you just focus on clicking where you want to go or doing what you want to do, then you will find that allowing the character to maneuver herself allows for a better experience overall.

This + This = What?!

Common to the genre is some mind-boggling combinations to puzzle-solving that sometimes make for an interesting thought process. However, this title breaks the norm of light bulb combined with pencil makes a steering wheel by actually making common sense combinations that allow for a much easier traversal of the title as a whole. I never found myself being totally confused with what the game wanted from me, and with thorough investigation and an eye for paying attention I found myself having a good time trying to solve the puzzles, rather than just clicking items together hoping to find some random solution that makes no sense. This game does very well with making sense throughout.

Animation Acceptability

Nelly Cootalot is developed by a writer and animator in Alasdair Beckett-King who has a career emphasis on comedy. You find this being a major inspiration for this title, and the game is crafted very well when it comes to how it is built throughout. The animations of movement of the game go beyond basic movements with make-sense motions that allow for a touch of realism to the characters. You also have characters who are more unique and funnier than what you would find from most adventure titles, and this overall makes for a great experience. Hand-drawn graphics are well done, and remind me of a children’s novel, but the comedy breaks the 4th wall regularly while allowing for a touch of realism that generally escapes the genre at large.

In closing…

Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet is an addition to the point-and-click genre that will be admired for its unique character development and dialogue, and for its make-sense puzzle dimensions. However, a short game overall, combined with some finicky controls due to it’s PC made systems make for a console experience that is good, but not something everyone will find as charming as lovers of the genre might. If you are a big fan of adventure games, then this is a game I can recommend as a commendable addition to the genre, but for anyone who is looking for more than story, or more difficult puzzle solving then this is a game that I would look further into before making the dive.

Score: 7.5/10

Buy Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

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*Review Code Provided by Application Systems

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