Apparently, it’s The Next Big Thing. While upcoming titles are resting on the laurels of legacy and countless years of hype (see Duke Nukem Forever), or new technology, publisher prestige and leaked trailers (see L.A. Noir), this game boldly tells you upfront, claiming to have transcended into greatness with little more than a few flashes of style. Offering gameplay in the vein of point-and-click adventures, Pendulo Studios promises “a story that will force you to use your brain power thanks to hundreds of puzzles. You will be titillated by its movie-like action sequences, and you will go into hysterics during the countless moments of sheer comedy.”
Read further and judge for yourself.
While their latest trailer doesn’t reveal much of the game play, it does give a sneak peek at the art direction, the story and the title’s apparent lightheartedness. With the knowledge that this is a foray into the point-and-click, it’s also apparent that the studio is putting this up as a contender to the slew of Sam and Max and more recent Back To The Future The Game series’ (all developed and published by Telltale Games). Refreshing, who wants this generation’s point-and-click adventures dominated by only one studio?
Now, if you haven’t heard about the developer, Pendulo Studios, it may be the fact that they hail from Spain. Don’t mistake that statement for some sort of country bias or ethnocentrism, as, according to the developers themselves, video games didn’t really start hitting it big over there until the 90′s. Despite coming relatively late to the gaming party, it would also be a mistake to take this group lightly.
With five titles under their belts, they bear a sharp focus that few studios have. Instead of trying to snag gamers with cheap explosions, blood and guts, or attempting to shove every known graphic and gameplay trick into a disc, the people at Pendulo Studios are steadfastly dedicated to five pillars: “a cartoon-like style, spectacular chromatics, an emphasis on details, charismatic characters and a balance between comedy and thrills”. Five titles, five pillars, five is the magic number it seems.
If the point-and-click adventure is not your thing, you may have already brushed The Next Big Thing off. Then again, if point-and-click adventures aren’t your thing, and you’re still reading this, there is something majestic about the title, or the studio, or both that is keeping you here. Keep in mind that point-and-click is a relatively small genre compared to FPS, RPG or others that have been examined and over examined to the point of acronyms. Perhaps you haven’t found the right title to delve into this small, but influential niche in the gaming culture.
Perhaps this will be the title to reveal the splendors that come with hours spent searching for clues and solving puzzles and clicking through wacky scenes and hilarious dialog. It’s the next big thing, after all, due to release on PC and Mac April 2011.