Leisure Suit Larry goes Looking for Love (In Several Wrong Places)

1999 Sierra On-Line
Designed by Al Lowe
Reviewed 2003 February 16

Rating -4 Linearity wide, segmented
Reasonability sporadic Connectivity moderate
Difficulty pedestrian Relevance strong
Interface 3rd paned parser Real-time occasional

This is the second game in the Leisure Suit Larry series. After being dumped by his true love (from the first Larry), Larry wins both a cruise with a lovely, albeit evacuated, babe, and a million dollars. He promptly runs afoul of a Bondian megalomaniac and the KGB, both of whom seem to have a psychopathic hatred of polyester. Can Larry escape certain death and find true love?

A definite no to the first. Fortunately, however, this is a game, so death operates according to Buddhist principles. Not only is death likely in this game, it is unavoidable to non-psychics. Dying is how you find out what you have to do. So save early and save often.

The game is broken into sections, and once you move from one section to the next, you can't go back. Since you can move forward without necessarily grabbing all the goodies you will need in subsequent sections, it is very easy to wander into a dead end, in an unwinnable state. So save even more often.

There are a few real-time control challenges, where you have to carefully move Larry through some mine-field, and several timed sequences. For the latter, you only have to hurry to type the first letter, so it's not much of a problem once you realise that you are actually in a timed sequence.

The rest of the challenges are usually fairly easy once you know what they are. However, it'll cost you an arm and a leg, and the rest of your body, to find out. Don't forget to save often.

There are very few interesting challenges. Gameplay consists almost entirely of exploring until you die, thereby discovering what needs to be done, then restoring and doing it. The burden of entertainment, therefore, rests entirely on the story.

That story doesn't quite rise to the challenge. Larry lacks an overall direction in this game; there is no motivating quest. Larry moves on through the game driven mostly by boredom and annoyance. This is not very engaging, and reduces potentially fun situations to humdrum.

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