Point a Lot, Click a Lot, Cootalot
Thank goodness for crowdfunding. Without crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and Gofundme, we might never have had the chance to experience games in genres long forgotten by the movers and shakers in the industry. One such title is Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet, a point-and-click adventure to stand among the many great point-and-click adventures currently on the Switch.
Nelly herself is a gem, a wonderfully able pirate who is after the Treasure of the Seventh Sea. Through trying to thwart the pirate Baron Widebeard, she finds herself in different settings and interacting with a variety of characters, all of whom were distinct and interesting.
As is the norm for games of this ilk, you’ll have to spend some time talking to the different characters, which is never dull thanks to a delightful script by comedian Alasdair Beckett-King, and solving puzzles. Games like this tend to garner a reputation for being obtuse in their puzzle design, but thankfully Nelly escapes this fate, and the puzzles never stumped me for too long.
The Switch is tailor-made for games like this, both because of its portable nature and the touch screen. Pointing and clicking is just as easy as touching the screen, and being able to work on a puzzle while on the go (or in the john) is invaluable. The docked setup wasn’t as intuitive, and in fact there were a couple of disappointing times that I wasn’t able to proceed through a puzzle until I undocked the Switch and used my finger, which was mildly inconvenient. I’m not sure if this will be fixed or patched at any point, but the game itself is engrossing enough that I found myself still willing to jump through hoops (read: force myself out of bed) to keep playing.
The art style is at once engaging and endearing, and Nelly finds herself in a hand-drawn world that would make the most hardened gamer smile. The character models appear to be three-dimensional, which never contrasted with the 2-D backgrounds, and in fact they blended together masterfully. The rest of the presentation creates a tight package, with full voice acting letting the excellent script really take flight. Or set sail? Something to do with pirates.
We had the chance to review the HD re-release of Nelly Cootalot’s first adventure earlier this year, and while we weren’t especially impressed with the update itself, the charm of Nelly Cootalot is undeniable. Her red hair, the way she helps animals, even her eyepatch adds to the quirky fun. It’s safe to say that her second adventure, aided by its gorgeous new art design, shows that the creators are invested in Nelly, and we hope that we can see her in future adventures. Hey, if Kickstarter worked once?
Overall, there is a lot to like about Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet. A Cootalot to like (that’s the last pun, I swear). If you have an affinity for point-and-click adventure titles that have a lot of humor and a lot of heart, all wrapped up in a beautifully presented, hand drawn shell, do yourself a favor and pick up Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet, available now on Nintendo Switch or Steam for $19.99.