Leisure Suit Larry

Title           Leisure Suit Larry
Game Type	Adventure
Players		1
Compatibility	All Amigas
HD Installable  Yes (Patch on Aminet)
Company		Sierra (designed by Al Lowe and Mark Crowe)
Submission      Seppo Typpö (groucho@pp.inet.fi) Profiled Reviewer

Video and computer game history has given birth to many legendary game
figures. Everybody knows Pacman, Super Mario and Lemmings. Then there's
Larry. First seen on the PC back in 1985, this natural born loser made his
way to other 16 bit computers like the Amiga and won much popularity
amongst male computer players. Yet, unlike some other famous game figures,
Larry never made it to the lids of lunch boxes and never achieved
multi-million dollar business value. Why? Read on and you'll find out...

Coming in one DD floppy disk, Leisure Suit Larry arrived to Amiga screens
back in 1987. The game plot is quite simple. Player guides a balding
middle-aged swinging single male called Larry Laffer in search of
true love. During one evening in town Larry meets strange characters,
drinks alcohol, gambles, dances and has sex with women while desperately
trying to find the Right One; the woman of his dreams.

Larry was one of the first games aimed for the more adult male audience.
The game goal is pretty straightforward - wandering around town trying to
chat up just about every woman encountered. Game puzzles follow similar
fashion - how to get on with women, where to buy booze, where to get -erm-
'protection' and other important stuff a man needs to know.

The game is controlled from keyboard, which is used to move the character
and also to type in the commands for Larry. The parser is pretty good and
also understands some of the 'four-letter favourite words' - further
supporting the game's adult theme.

In the beginning, the game is pretty limited in locations to visit but
after Larry makes some progress in his quest more places open up for
investigation. Every location is full of detail and amusing characters,
some of which help the player on the quest while others try to sabotage it
one way or other.

Travelling from one place to another is done by taxi. The taxi fares vary
between different locations so it is pretty important to find suitable
routes to save some money for other things Larry needs to acquire during
his travels.

Did I say money? Yes, just about everything in this game costs something.
Larry has some money to begin with but at the end he needs a way to make
some more. There are couple of entertaining sub games (slot machines and
blackjack on the casino) which offer player a chance to fill Larry's
wallet from time to time.

Getting critical
This game has the same faults as all early Sierra games. While the game's
parser is pretty intelligent it seems to understand only certain word
combinations which means some frustation when player tries to make Larry
do some simple things but needs to type exact words to achieve this action.

The game is also pretty picky about character positioning. Simple
functions like picking up objects are only succesful if you place your
character to absolutely right place on screen which is sometimes both
difficult and irritating.

The signs of a classic
Larry Laffer is a lovable character. Being a sort of eternal loser, he
always manages to get into all sorts of trouble wherever he goes. Male
players find it very easy to identify with this character while women
players probably have more maternal feelings towards this sympathy
inducing "dirty ol' man". Despite all the dubious methods Larry's
intentions are pure - he is only trying to find his soul mate and just
manages to have some fun when trying to complete his mission.

The game is full of memorable sequences. When Larry tries to buy "lubber"
from the drugstore or when the game makers show what REALLY happens when
a player restarts the game are just couple of scenes which go down in
adventure game history as some of the funniest sequences ever.

While offering the player some harmless adult entertainment LSL manages to
be a pretty clever adventure game too. Most of the puzzles are logical and
challenging without being too difficult to solve providing you have some
(as game package elegantly puts it) "street smarts and suave
sophistication". Players need to keep Larry healthy and his wallet full of
money while trying to avoid some potentially dangerous situations if he
(or she) is to complete the game with a happy ending.

When Larry appeared it brought fresh air into the world of adventure
games. Even today when it looks badly outdated both in terms of graphics
and audio it has retained its funniness and original feeling. There's
really no other game like Leisure Suit Larry (except, of course, its
sequels) which makes it a true milestone in computer gaming history.

While it will never win a prize for the most intelligent adventure plot
ever, Leisure Suit Larry is a top candidate for the most humorous one. Its
adult and male oriented viewpoint surely limits its success within a wider
game playing audience. Those who get easily offended from rough language,
pixellated nudity or the dubious morals this game offers should look for
their adventures elsewhere. For the rest of us, Larry offers plenty of
laughs and some brain-teasing puzzles to solve. Not a bad show from the
"original blind date nightmare"...

Graphics : Simple 16 colour graphics with some slightly dodgy animation
Sound    : nothing spectacular, yet the title tune is simply brilliant!
Gameplay : challenging adult adventure game controlled with old-fashioned
           text input. Sometimes frustrating yet always funny (providing
           you like its somewhat tasteless humour).

Tested on  A500
           A1200, BlizzardPPC(68040)

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