Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet Review

Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet is a new point and click adventure game released for Nintendo Switch. It’s funny, the story’s engaging and offers up a mixture of puzzles and adventures as you hunt down the evil Baron Von Widebeard and rescue the poor birds of the Fowl Fleet.

This was the first time I’d come across Nelly Cootalot, however, I’m a fan of point and click adventure games and that classic gameplay combined with the humour worked really well and entertained me throughout this adventure. Nelly Cootalot: A Fowl Fleet is a 2D point and click adventure game funded through Kickstarter for animator Alasdair Beckett-King.

We start our adventure with Nelly, she’s a wannabe Pirate cleaning out the rooms on a ship. She’s visited by William Bloodbeard from beyond (and the mop bucket) informing you that his brother Baron Von Widebeard plans to enslave an army of birds for his evil-doing to steal his treasure. Always one for an adventure Nelly hops into a crate and posts herself off to a Port Rubicund to hunt down clues to help find the Baron.

Key to point and click adventure games is the writing and Nelly Cootalot doesn’t disappoint. The writing is warm, friendly and full of jokes – all written by creator Beckett-King. Like many of the greats animations, there are jokes in here for the children but also plenty for the adults too without being rude or sweary. An example of this is when Nelly meets a bartender in Port Rubicond and a joke about losing three times, once including Lehmann Brothers.

The voice acting in the game is entertaining too. Tom Baker (of Doctor Who fame) plays Nelly’s sidekick bird along the way, Sebastian. Nelly is voiced by the creator’s partner. She’s great – funny, great timing and brings a warmth and friendliness to the main character bringing her to life with inquisitive charm.

The story is silly (in the best kind of way) and entertaining and the cast of characters brings a constant smile to the face throughout your playthrough. My favourite was the Toff’s who raced for the entertainment and wealth of the customers in Lucky’s Bar. These are a ragtag bunch, down on their luck looking to regain some pride by racing against one another to fulfil the gambling pleasures of Lucky’s customers. The chocolate-eating French Aristocrat on the run was hilarious. At times the game reminded me of Blackadder, a British cult-comedy. The jokes, wit and tone of the game felt very homegrown.

The puzzles in the game will keep you busy and the game took me about 6ish hours to complete on a full playthrough. The puzzles themselves aren’t too challenging and incorporates the standards finding items, combining items in the inventory to solve the puzzles that are in front of you. For example, to get onboard your ship to leave the first island you have to gather a few items; a stripey shirt, a sailors hat and something to tie up your hair. You’re encouraged here by the shipmate to simply “dress up like a sailor, that’s standard on the seven seas” adding to the humour in the game.

The game would be suitable to play through with all ages and there’s something here for everyone. The art style is cute, bright and colourful with excellent animation and character design. The character design is varied, with Baron Von Widebeard looking hilarious from the outset. As the game isn’t too tricky you could probably leave this for your kids or younger relatives to play through on their own or would act as a nice bedtime game to play through a few puzzles together as a family. Friendly, funny and charming this would be fitting entertainment for a wide range of players.

As well as the story that is peppered throughout the game, there’s a number of cut scenes which move the story along nicely between the main acts. The animation once again is beautiful and looks good on the Nintendo Switch in handheld or docked mode. The game has been out since 2016 on PC, but this is a good fit for the Nintendo Switch and would be a good accompaniment to a commute, bus or plane journey.

In summary Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet is an entertaining adventure with a warm and fuzzy core. It’s genuinely funny, showing off the talents of Alasdair Beckett-King’s writing and comedy talents and would make a fun playthrough for all the family.

Developer: Alasdair Beckett-King / Application Systems
Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam
Release Date: 11th July 2019 (PC release March 2016)

Final Score80

Thanks to Application Systems for providing a review copy of the game.