Publisher: Sierra Developer: Sierra Year: 1991 Platform: DOS, Macintosh, Amiga
The remake of Land of the Lounge Lizards (which was a remake of a the text game Softporn Adventure) could have turned a funny game with subpar game design into a masterpiece. Instead we are left with pieces. And none of them are masterful.
One can sum everything up by stating Larry 4 was by far the superior game.
Leisure Suit Larry 5 is the most abominable commercialized computer game ever, though I admit I have not played Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude. Al Lowe hated the latter and went out of his way to make sure people knew he had no role in its design. For some reason he hasn’t apologized for this game yet.
The “new and improved” graphics are so wretched that after five minutes you’ll find yourself wishing you were staring directly into the sun. The music will make you want to go listen to a middle-school band performance. The point-and-click interface is only there to give you tendinitis. The puzzles are insultingly easy, the worst of them having you get into a wrestling ring where you must grab as many female private parts as you can; it’s like whack-a-mole, only less arousing. The great news is you can skip several of the puzzles if you feel like three hours is too long for an adventure game. The plot is more thread-bare than the women Larry meets. Nearly every joke falls flat. There is not one redeeming quality in this entire game.
Play it only to see how low Sierra sunk in the early 90’s.
Publisher: Sierra Developer: Sierra Year: 1988 Platform: DOS, Amiga, Atari ST
Review: Released only two years after the first installment, Looking For Loveis an exceptional game, much better than the original. Also, while the game is still rated for adults, the sex has been toned down considerably, delegated to jokes and conversation rather than the act. In fact, the easier you are to the various women you meet, the more likely you are to die! This game is appropriate for most teenagers. This was the only game in the series my parents allowed me to play before high school and I understand why.
Poor Larry has been dumped by Eve (his primary conquest from the first game) and with no money, job, or place to live, he must wander the streets of Los Angeles once more. If Larry gets lucky he’ll also wander a cruise ship, a tropical island, and an airplane! The plot, rather than focusing on sex, involves a KGB conspiracy that Larry accidentally gets himself in the middle of without knowing it!
Using their new SCI engine, the graphics have been vamped up considerably. The parser has also been upgraded as well, able to understand some complex sentences. Unfortunately, the sound effects and music are mostly unimaginative and flat.
What really makes or breaks this game for most people are the puzzles. While most are creative, this game probably holds the record for most ways to put yourself in an unwinnable state and not know it. The main difference between this and most games is that here they are all intentional. There are at least four different points in the game where Larry dies, only then realizing that he forgot an important item near the beginning of the game! In fact, I think I encountered every single one the first time I played. The game is already quite long as is, and the playing time was quadrupled for me due to these gaffes. I’d like to think I was able to forgive these torture puzzles as they are humorous, but more likely the reason is I played the game when I was ten and had no other games to boot up. I had an e-mail exchange once with the game’s creator, Al Lowe, and asked him about the design. He pretty much admitted designing a game in this manner is unforgivable and was glad I liked it anyway.
If you can put up with the puzzles, you should have a good time. The humor is ubiquitous and quite refined. Along with the gags are more subtle jokes, pleasing fans of both with some laugh-out-loud moments. And the end game is a satisfying conclusion to a satisfying adventure.
Contemporary Rating: Medium. The parser is actually pretty good, and the jokes hold up well.