The Next Big Thing is an adventure game featuring the reporter duo Elizabeth 'Liz' Allaire and Daniel 'Dan' Murray stumbling into a plot of kidnapping, conspiracy and strange incidents in the movie business. Though real monsters running around and performing as actors in horror movies is a rather ordinary situation in the world of this game. Placed in an alternate reality LA of the fifties humans, monsters and robots live side by side. During an interview job at the local horror movie festival the protagonists keep quarreling with each other in love-hate relationship. That's when they accidentally observe movie star Big Albert breaking into the office of film industry mogul William A. Fitzrandolph. Liz chasing after a big kiss-and-tell story triggers the mentioned plot, which is pushed forward by a narrator.
In The Next Big Thing the player gets the control of one of the protagonists at a time in each of 8 chapters of puzzle solving. It is a traditional adventure in the manner of A Twist of Fate. It features hand drawn backgrounds and cell-shaded 3D characters and objects to provide cartoon like visuals. The puzzles concentrate mostly on object combination.
The game can be controlled entirely by mouse, but there are a few hot-keys for help systems, inventory and options. Each object or character offers the choice of being observed or interacted with. The specific interaction may be take, talk to, or manipulate. There is a hotspot function that shows all usable object and exits in the scene. The help system is realized by the mentioned narrator, who gives vague hints about what the players character did next or thought in the current stage of the plot. Additionally a task menu shows all of the problems already solved and those to be solved actually.
The game is actually some kind of homage to Hollywood Monsters, an early game of Péndulo Studios. Both adventure games feature a similar theme, some comparable twists in the plot, a protagonist tag team and lots of movie monsters. Though The Next Big Thing is neither a remake, nor a sequel of Hollywood Monsters. Still the popularity of the latter in Péndulo's home country led the Spain based publisher FX Interactive to take Hollywood Monsters 2 as title for the new game.