by Ingvi Snædal
reviewed on PC
Sequel or Remake?
Have you ever had one of those “Damn, that’s so simple, why didn’t I see it” moments? If not, I highly doubt that you have played many point-and-click adventure games. It is a genre that has regrettably been slowly dying for the past decade ever since the widespread jump to 3D-land. However, it is heart warming to see many independent and smaller studios keeping it alive with games like Machinarium, Sam and Max and The Next BIG Thing.
Pendulo Studio’s first game, Igor: Target Uikokahonia, was the first point-and-click adventure game ever shipped from a Spanish studio. Its second game, Hollywood Monsters, has an eerily similar premise to The Next BIG Thing: Two hot-shot reporters from a newspaper called “The Quill” set out to cover an annual award ceremony celebrating the work of movie monsters, during which a Frankenstein-ish character goes missing. The similarities have caused some people to dub the game “Hollywood Monsters 2,” but seeing as how the game has the same premise, but is not a continuation of the plot of the previous one, I would say it is more of a remake.
You play as Dan Murray and Liz Allaire, the aforementioned hotshot reporters, and it is up to you to solve the disappearance of “Big Albert” and uncover a devious plot to enslave mankind...or something to that effect.
Recipe for a Clickie
The story and characters are to point-and-click adventures what guns and graphics are to first-person shooters. In this respect, Pendulo Studios has carved a name for itself as the studio of choice for whacky, out-of-this-world humor and cartoony comedy. The Next BIG Thing honors this tradition and gives the player an exciting story full of colorful characters and exotic locations, such as the subconscious of a comatose character who has to regain control of their own consciousness by ridding themselves of the duality that keeps them prisoner. Sadly, the playable characters are not as consistent in their entertainment value as the rest of the game.
While Liz Allaire is a crazy, fun loving individual with a hilarious way of looking at things, Dan Murray is a self-centered, egomaniacal bastard who gets annoying very quickly. If I were to describe him in one word, it would be “Prick.” Despite Dan’s character being a downside to the game, I found Liz so loveable that I played through the chapters where Dan was in the spotlight with eager anticipation of being reunited with my beloved psychopath.
Colorful, whacky characters and beautiful art style.
Repetitive dialogue and disappointing puzzles.