The Next BIG Thing Verdict:
All in all a technically very solid adventure, which, due to flaws with regards to the content, unfortunately did not become the (next) big thing. Recommended for lovers of other games made by Péndulo Studios. Not recommended for all others. You might take a look at the numerous other adventures which have been relased since then. There is a demo version as well, so if you are interested, check that out first.Review:
Péndulo Studios' “The Next BIG Thing” presents itself as a classic point-and-click adventure. Connoisseurs of the “Runaway”-games will feel right at home. As before, the graphics are well done and nicely drawn. Some animations feel a bit chopped and not very smooth. Hints and hotspots are optional and can be turned off.
The developers kept their sense of special humour. The frame narrative takes place in a world in which monsters, robots with personality, and humans are living side by side. The introductory sequence shows the two playable characters (Liz and Dan), who are reporters for a newspaper called “The Quill”. Their boss sends them to the monster-movie producer FitzRandolph, who is a monster himself.
After getting there, Dan is hardly thrilled by this assignment, as he prefers sports over movies. Liz on the other hand wants to prove herself as a professional reporter and takes the assignment very seriously. The first dialogues between the two are overly clear about the two not liking each other at all. Even their personality could not be farther apart. Here Dan, the eloquent man about town, who could care less about authority. There Liz, being particular about everything and suffering from various psychological traumata as well as personality disorders.
This marks the probably weakest point of the game, which continues until its end. Some of the characters are bizarre to the extend that an identification with them seems almost impossible. The thoughts and dialogues are rather causing raised eyebrows and disagreement than a smirk. Whereas Daedalic's “Edna Breaks Out” integrated and established the (at least alleged) psychiatric disorder well as an element of the game, it feels overdone and out of place here. Péndulo should have taken a more careful and cautious approach.
During the course of the game, the player takes turns controlling Liz and Dan. The sections are pre-set and completely closed; there is no team-approach. The two meet the same characters. Those react, depending on whom they are talking to, differently; though comments or thoughts about the other main character remain sparse. It feels as if there were two parallel storylines. At least the voice actors are professionals and did a good job on sounding convincingly. At least in the English version of the game, characters often start or end sentences with "ayo", which becomes annoying rather quickly.
The story itself can be summed up rather quickly: FitzRandolph is preparing the mysterious “Next BIG Thing”. Soon it becomes obvious that this is more than a mere motion picture. Liz senses the potential for a front page story and gets drawn in too deep for her own good. Grudgingly, Dan starts out to rescue her. Needless to say, the true “Next BIG Thing” is being discovered in the end – and then the game is already over.
At least the ending holds a heart-warming surprise.