By mrbrooks 1 Comments
With the exception of episodic releases of games like Sam & Max and Back to the Future by developer, Telltale Games, the point-and-click adventure genre has become pretty barren. However, the semi-obscure, Madrid-based developer, Pendulo Studios is attempting to fill the gap with their release of The Next BIG Thing for the PC.
As beautiful as it is charming, The Next BIG Thing is a classic adventure game in every sense of the word, with puzzles ranging from clever to downright head-scratching, often requiring the player to randomly experiment with different items in order to succeed. This is more an indication of the hand holding approach developers take in modern games, rather than a fault of TNBT’s replication of a long-revered genre, as any gamer who played the Monkey Island series in the early 90’s will attest to. However, the presence of a hint system that coyly drops clues about the current situation helps at times.
The Next BIG Thing is chock-full of personality, with quirky characters like Liz Allaire, a disturbingly energetic field reporter, with a propensity for blurting out random statements, and Tobby, a pet Venus Flytrap with a taste for caviar. The genuinely funny script is further enhanced by rapid-fire dialogue that fits the game’s absurd brand of humor to a tee.
To put it bluntly, TNBT is gorgeous. The cell-shaded 3D characters look sharp and are animated well, with the exception of spotty lip-syncing. The dubbing is especially disappointing because it detracts somewhat from the stellar dialogue. The hand-painted backdrops will leave your jaw on the floor, especially when played at higher resolutions.
The big drawback of The Next BIG Thing is its price. At $30, it's a little expensive, especially considering that when you've played through the game once, you have pretty much seen everything it has to offer. When compared to Telltale charging around $10 for similar games, Pendulo might be pricing themselves out of the market.
Despite its cost, The Next BIG Thing is an exceptional adventure game that harkens back to the early years of gaming. For those who can afford the price of admission, TNBT doesn't disappoint. With its classy style, sexy looks and excellent dialogue, The Next BIG Thing is a short ride, but one that you'll enjoy every minute of.