by Ingvi Snædal
reviewed on PC
Features and Failures
The game features something I have not experienced before in a point-and-click adventure game: a difficulty setting. The ‘easy’ option allows the player to ask for hints from the narrator if he gets stuck. Often the hint consists of an ambiguous statement accompanied by a picture either showing you the location you should be focusing on or the item you should use, but sometimes the ambiguous statement has no accompanying image and, if ambiguous enough, will tell you nothing that you didn’t already know. The ‘medium’ setting allows the player to use the ‘highlights’ feature, which turns the scene black and white, hides the character models, and shows you all the interactive objects in the scene. The ‘highlights’ option is also available in the ‘easy’ difficulty and allows you to retrace your steps and make sure that you have each and every object you need to proceed. The ‘hard’ option removes both these options, which is why I would have liked to call it ‘classic’ instead.
I have gotten used to moving my mouse cursor away from the object I’m clicking on right after I click on it. This stems from the fact that, when I started playing point-and-click adventure games, the cursor didn’t necessarily disappear if an interaction was going on behind it, so in order to catch all the action, one would have to click on the item and move the cursor away. This habit became somewhat of a problem while playing The Next BIG Thing, as there appeared to be a slight delay between the click and the registration of the command in the software. This meant that when I clicked on a person and moved my cursor immediately to the floor next to it, my character would just walk to the place my cursor was located on and stand there idly until I realized that nothing was about to happen. One gets used to this quite quickly, but I can’t shake the feeling that one shouldn’t have to.
Bad, but in a Good Way
Despite an annoying lead character, repetitive dialogue, disappointing puzzles, and some technical issues, this is a good game. The secondary characters who populate the world and the loveably naïve Liz more than make up for the aggravation caused by Dan’s over inflated self-esteem. The imaginative and whacky plot twists make the repetitive dialogue fade in comparison, the disappointing puzzles are outweighed by the colorful and artistic surroundings they take place in, and the technical issues are, well, bugs.
I have fond memories of spending class time writing walkthroughs to pass to my friends about how to get past the goat in Broken Sword or how to get the boots of the rhyming imp in Discworld II, and am ecstatic to see the point-and-click genre making a comeback with the episodic adventures from Telltale Games and Pendulo’s own Runaway series. Pendulo Studios is doing a great job at keeping this favorite genre of mine alive and I must give a shout out to them for doing so. You’re doing a great job, you guys. Now fix everything I have just stated in your next game!
Colorful, whacky characters and beautiful art style.
Repetitive dialogue and disappointing puzzles.