NELLY COOTALOT

 

Genre:  Comedic Adventure                

Developer & Publisher: Alasdair Beckett-King - Application Systems     

Released:  March 2016              

Requirements (minimum):

    • OS: Windows XP SP2+
    • Processor: 1.2 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 6 GB available space

 

 

By flotsam

 

Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet

Application Systems

Ahoy there maties! Its Nelly, the wannabe pirate and bird fancier, back bigger than ever thanks to a kickstarter campaign and ready to shiver your timbers, find some treasure and save some birds. With a little help from Dr Who.

If your penchant for adventuring is inventory based quests, itís hard not to see how you wouldnít enjoy Nelly. Add a plucky heroine, a jaunty nautical feel, a British air and a rather good bit of writing, and why wouldnít you play?

And thatís without further mentioning the bird that is Dr Who, known as Sebastian to his friends. No scarves or jelly babies though.

These types of games are not my first choice, but there is a lot to like about The Fowl Fleet. First and foremost is Nelly, who according to the credits plays herself, and what an excellent job she does. She sucked me in, and stayed appealing to the end.

We first find Nelly stuck in the ship's mail room doing not the least piratey things. However the ghost of William Bloodbeard appears, demanding that she find the fiendish Baron Widebeard. While she thwarted him last time and saved the spoonbeaks, she apparently missed a pirate code that would have led her to the treasure of the seventh sea, and Widebeard is now in pursuit. Lest birds be perishing, Nelly had better do something. The first something is making it to Port Rubicund to pick up the trail. But how to get there?

Needless to say she does, and very quickly embarks upon a multitude of questy, inventory based puzzling. With conversations thrown in. Find a new home for the seagull to get the hat, get the shirt off the sailor's back by solving the embarrassing lack of chest hair, nobble three runners in the underground races so another can win in order to get the Kings Shilling, and dress up as a boy, all just to leave the second location. After doing some other stuff. If this is your thing, you will be right at home.

The conundrums arenít generally hard, and there arenít too many whacky inventory combining or using solutions. Which ensures things keep rolling along at a good pace. There is a bit of back and forth, even if you havenít missed an item or two, but the environments arenít that large, and will eventually be aided by a map. 

Sebastian can help, by assisting with tasks, giving you his opinion on other characters, or by suggesting a line of enquiry.  Plus he keeps track of the many tasks Nelly has on hand at any one time. All in that debonair voice.

Itís a punny game, some laugh out loud, some corny.  All of it though is delivered in a rather authentic manner, not forced and not overly contrived. 

There are plenty of other characters, with silly names and sillier moustaches. Some are perhaps a little too stereotyped, and cringe-inducing as a result. But on the whole, they are as they should be in this type of fare. We have villainous villains, toffy toffs, scurvy knaves, and wholesome birds warranting rescuing. Plus an abominable snowbird.

The look fits the goings on, and the sound effects are what you would expect. Point and click your way around, right click to examine and left to use and reveal hotspots if you want. Steam achievements are available, and I only got about half, so they arenít just for progress through the game. It will save on exit, but you can also save at will, and it will pick up where you left off by choosing Continue from the load screen. The inventory pops up by moving the mouse to the bottom of the screen, which occasionally got in the way of some worldly interaction, but was quickly remedied. 

I did think the music got a little repetitive and the several mini games I could have done without. But all in all it was a jolly bit of uncomplicated fun.

I played on:

OS: Windows 7

Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz

RAM: 12GB Ripjaw DDR3 2133 Mhz

Video card: AMD Radeon HD 7800 2048MB

 

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