When I asked a friend of mine what I should review, she immediately said “Nick Bounty“, so here I am, reviewing Nick Bounty. This was actually on the list in the back of my mind, and now is as good a time as any.
Nick Bounty: the Goat in the Grey Fedora (that’s not a mouthful) is a point-and-click adventure game that you can find online. There’s a choice to download the game onto your computer so that you can play it ALL THE TIME, or you can be content with just playing it online. Also, did I mention that it is free? Well, now you know that this game costs nothing but your time…and whatever you pay for your Internet connection.
The game starts with Nick Bounty, public M detective, at a poker game with some friends. Since he doesn’t have enough money to put in, his buddy suggests putting in his watch. Nick then goes into a story about why he couldn’t give up his watch because it had been connected to his last case. Cue the snazzy detective music and the loading screen.
The flashback begins in Nick’s office. He’s throwing darts at a photo, I’m not sure of who exactly, when a dame walks in. Her name is Katherine “Kitty” Ledbetter, the niece of a local lawyer who recently passed away under mysterious circumstances. Since she’s not immediate family, she’s not allowed to enter his office to find the one thing she wants to remember her uncle by. Nick protests a little, saying that he’s more of a murder detective. After Kitty promises to be his “best friend”, Nick takes the case.
Someone please tell me who this is.
The thing about this game that makes it really enjoyable is the fact that it was just hysterical at first. Growing up in the 2000’s and being a sort of girly girl at times, I didn’t grow up playing games like Space Quest or Monkey Island, so this was my first real exposure to the wonderful world of adventure games that had nothing to do with Barbie. There are jokes that seem really cheesy, but it’s the kind of cheesy that you can laugh at. There is even a point where Nick actually apologizes for the jokes.
References to detective stereotypes are made in the game as well, such as the pretty dame with a skeleton in her closet, the fat cop that just kind of sits there and eats, and the crazy guy who just happens to be super mega rich. There are also two villains from The Maltese Falcon, but since the closest I’ve ever gotten to the book/movie was an episode of Animaniacs, I didn’t completely get it. It was supposed to be the scary villain with the trigger-happy crony, I guess.
The item combination and usage is pretty straightforward since, at some points, there are usually only a few real options. You’re tied to a chair at one point and the only option you have is to look at the bomb that’s ticking away like the seconds on the clock of your life, or to kick a corn dog into a cannon. The corn dog just saved your life, although it has the same “you seriously cannot die in this game” rule that Monkey Island and other LucasArts games (that I have yet to play) have. Side note: there is a puzzle at the beginning of the game where you have to use Latin and Nick makes a comment about why he ever asked when this would be useful when he took it in high school… This is the first and only time I have used Latin outside of school.
The game also is fully voice acted, which I did not expect at first. The game is a free online adventure game, I’m sorry I stereotyped it. One prominent voice, which I’m sure some of you may appreciate, is Lani Minella’s, or Nancy Drew’s for those who don’t know her actual name. When I first heard her voice, I was more or less sold on the game right then and there.
I also feel the need to point out that there are a few awesome mustaches in the game, but no really awesome beards. That may be the one downfall of this game, but I’ll leave that up to you to decide.
That’s a great description, honestly.
All in all, the game is great. It has fun dialogue when you decide to examine things and or see if you can eat something. The characters are also fun, which is why the detective genre seems like a great setting for an adventure game. It’s funny and it has you curious to try all of the options with people and items just to see what Nick will say. It was a great taste of what I was missing when it came to adventure games.