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Nelson and the Magic Cauldron : The Journey
Everybody has their game genre preferences, both the ones they like and dislike. For me, point & click adventures always came close to falling into the latter category. The ones I always came across always fell into the realm where some of their solutions required some extremely out of the box thinking. Now, I've always been able to bend my mind around weird ideas, but even these left me perplexed and wanting to find a strategy guide. And with that, I never bothered because if there's nothing more to the game other than pointing, clicking, and solving the occasional puzzle, if I'm going to need a strategy guide what's the point?
Nelson and the Magic Cauldron : The Journey is a short and sweet point and click game that very briefly captures a bit of this old feeling. It follows Nelson and his gang -- his Uncle Sid, a Witch, and an Undertaker -- as Nelson is invited to participate in a cooking competition. Unfortunately, he is running late to arrive at the competition so his Uncle comes up with a speedy solution : a trip in his airship.
The game is spread out over four quick chapters, and the length of them is really based on how well you can put together the puzzles. The most complex of these sections is the first area which is made up of a number of smaller areas to the point that you're given a map to travel between them. You'll generally be provided with a small number of items, but what you need to do with them and how to obtain others will be for you to figure out.
Nelson makes a few choices during it's gameplay that can be more head scratching than anything else. For instance, your item inventory can ultimately hold a few dozen different items. Yet, when you reach the end of the game, even if you'd been able to collect and keep every single thing that you picked up over the course of the entire game, you would still have empty slots in your inventory. On top of that, the games first main objective has you locating the ingredients to a secret recipe and the way I understood it was I needed to obtain the recipe itself first and then find the items. This did not end up being the case.
I've mentioned "short" and "quick" a few times already in the review, and it's because this game doesn't add much filler to running the course of it's story. A single playthrough took me only two hours, and that was because I had a few minor struggles that I wasn't thinking far enough outside of that box to solve.
Some of the character's voice acting can be a bit robotic while you're playing too. At one point I was interacting with the Witch to see if her conversation options had changed and her greeting of "Hello, Nelson" came off sounding exactly like a text-to-speech voice.
While the game has all the potential to end up in the "short and sweet" category, Nelson and the Magic Cauldron : The Journey misses a few key points that simply don't hold on to "sweet" well enough. One thing is for sure, there are certainly references to the original game that fell completely flat for me since I've never played it before, but I'm not sure these would be enough to completely save this game. One thing's for sure, the game's price tag isn't the most inviting for the short adventure contained inside. It's fun enough for a quick playthrough, but don't expect it to be memorable and wait for a sale or winning a code in a giveaway before anything else.
Pick the game up HERE on Steam
A code for this game was graciously
provided to the site for the purpose
of a review