21: Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love For Sail!

Publisher: Sierra
Developer: Sierra
Year: 1996
Platform: DOS; Windows; Macintosh

Review: Al Lowe redeemed himself with his final installment in the series, taking everything good about previous two games in the series (see: not much), and extrapolated it into a massive game that manages to score in several areas.

The premise behind the game is familiar. Larry is left by the girl he wooed in the previous game (count that five times out of six) but manages to get tickets to a cruise, where there are quite a few luscious babes to be had. Of course, Larry can get every girl he desires just like any normal person would do–bring them an obscure item. All of this practice will allow him to bring the super item to the ship’s captain who will ensure Larry has the ride of his life.

Victorian Principles

I jest a bit.  There are quite a few puzzles in this game and they are not all of the lock-and-key variety. Some are fun and logical, some are fun and stupid, and some are just stupid. But since the last couple of games did not list “brain” under the requirements section, all puzzles are welcome.

The cartoon graphics actually work well, in that they don’t completely clash with the game environment. Gameplay is fairly intuitive and there were few times I felt myself annoyed at the production values.

On a positive note (must be some reason the game is ranked this high), there are a few features that were unique to the adventure game world. Before starting the game, the player can read lines for a character that will show up during play, save them in the directory, and hear your horrible acting in one scene. Also, as you score with each girl, your desktop wallpaper changes to the image of your latest conquest. Not groundbreaking, just unique.

One of the best features is the reintroduction of the keyboard into a Sierra game. Several puzzles require you type in the verb you want to use after you point-and-click the screen to death. Some of them are a little unfair, but it’s refreshing all the same.

The main reason, though, the game nearly makes the top twenty is that I found Love For Sail genuinely funny.  “Where’s Dildo!” is a giant help, as you search the ship for 32 red and white dildos. The easter eggs are some of the best in PC history, and they are numerous. The narrator is hilarious. And the game goes a long way for stupid, elaborate puns. Despite the plot and a few nagging faults, I thoroughly enjoy playing this adventure every time.

Contemporary RatingHigh. Only a couple of pixel-hunting issues, and this is the type of game one feels okay going to a walkthrough if necessary.

Cruelty RatingNasty.  Oh, Al.  There is one way to make the game unwinnable. Most people will probably figure they screwed up, though it’s unclear how badly at the time, as you can still complete most of the game if you ignore the gaffe.

2 thoughts on “21: Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love For Sail!”

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