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Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet review for Nintendo Switch, PC


Platform: Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: ASH Games
Developer: Alasdair Beckett-King
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: T

It’s not very hard to see that Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet is very much influenced by the old Monkey Island series. I mean, it’s a funny adventure game about pirates. If that’s not a succinct description of Monkey Island, I don’t know what is.

That’s not a complaint, mind you. After all, the Monkey Island games were generally a notch above their competitors, so if you’re going to steal, you may as well steal from the best. Even more importantly, though, we’re a decade past the last new Monkey Island game, and about two and a half decades since anyone gave the series much thought. If they’re no longer using the ideas, there’s no reason why this game can’t pick up that torch.

Especially when the results are as pleasant as The Fowl Fleet. While it’s clearly not going to win any awards for originality, it makes up for that with a good sense of humour, breezy dialogue, and fun characters given life by very solid voice actors. Couple that with an engaging story about the titular heroine searching for treasure, and you can see why it’s easy to get sucked in.

On top of that, the puzzles here mostly make sense. Given that you couldn’t say the same about many point and click adventures from the genre’s golden age, that’s actually a pretty impressive accomplishment. Sure, it’s still all picking up random objects and using them in inventive ways, but there are no insane leaps of logic that typified some of the genre’s worst excesses.

Just about the only real drawback to the Fowl Fleet is the controls are a little finicky. It’s clear that the game was designed to be played with a keyboard and mouse, and somehow touch controls don’t quite do the trick. It means you’ll have to tap around occasionally until you find just the right angle for certain things, which slows down the proceedings ever so slightly.

But really, that’s just a minor concern in the big scheme of things. Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet may borrow heavily from Monkey Island, but it does so with the best of intentions — and, more importantly, it leads to some pretty enjoyable results.

ASH Games provided us with a Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: A-