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Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don’t Dry review

He is back, the curse of every woman. Larry Laffer, the self-proclaimed sex god, is an icon for many who grew up in the 80s and 90s and manages to successfully transmit the same vulgar, inappropriate humor almost ten years after the last game in the series. Larry is back in business and now on Nintendo Switch, although probably not everyone was waiting for that.

Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don’t Dry (well, you understand where the developer goes here) is a point-n-click adventure in which no sex joke is safe, everything goes and everything can be said. You play as Larry Laffer, a shameless 40 year old man who wants to get rid of his virginity at any cost, but an (initially) mysterious event suddenly throws him into the future for years, from 1987 to 2018. Larry’s so-known naivety becomes thus complemented by ignorance about modern dating life and that produces some funny confrontations.

The gameplay is structured in such a way that from a certain moment you can drive around with great freedom via the Ünter ride service, the first of many incorrect references to real life. You talk with colorful caricatures, one by one enlargements of contemporary clichés such as hipsters and fitboys, and you pick up random objects that prove to be useful somewhere while playing. The entire game is played by moving your “cursor” (with the joystick) and Larry around and interacting with objects and people.

We cannot expect much more from Leisure Suit Larry. You have to think carefully about most puzzles, even though you are going to solve most by hitting random objects against something in the hope that one works, and the voice actors are so entertaining that you listen to every dialogue option. Still, it disappointed me not to find any innovations in terms of gameplay, possibilities to move yourself in a more interactive way into the stubbornness of Larry. In the end you are walking back and forth mainly because you have missed a punch line or have to look for objects that are just a little too hidden in the cartoon style. This is the same old gameplay of the original games and this will either make you love the game, or hate it.

However, what works particularly well is the clash of Larry’s time ghost with that of today’s society. His awkwardness with the new technology such as the PiPhone or the Timber dating app works hilariously wel because of the uncomfortable truth behind it. Larry points with painful precision to what can be absurd about love life; a simpler person who longs back to a simpler time. At those moments it is best to identify with Larry and to scold all that is wrong with him (well, almost everything).

The fact that spiritual father Al Lowe is not involved in a Larry game for the first time does not detract from the experience. Not every joke is equally successful, admittedly, but others are extremely successful. The fact that you have to prove that you are old enough to play the game by answering questions that are specifically aimed at people in their thirties and forties immediately shows the charm of this game. Leisure Suit Larry is not there to be taken seriously, but to have a good laugh about jokes that are actually too faint for any age.

In that sense, there is little else to this eighth part in the Leisure Suit Larry series. That is also the biggest disadvantage. Old-timers will quickly feel at home in the pristine humor of our lovely conditioner Larry, but after about ten hours there is little to look back on. Newcomers to the series have little motivation to pick this up for the 30 euro or dollars asking price, given that the outdated gameplay leaves much to be desired and there is more to do for teenagers or early twenties (because let’s face it with sex jokes of this caliber) is.

Incidentally, the game does not stir dust on topics such as sexual consent. Better yet: the developers are extremely respectful with it. Leisure Suit Larry is erotic, but it never goes too far and does not show anywhere naked. Larry is so clumsy that he automatically ends up in the submissive role and any inappropriate comment is correctly parried. If there is something that Larry does well, it is to prove that Larry’s behavior really does not work.

Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don’t Dry takes 80s and 90s children back to simpler times, precisely by moving self-proclaimed sex god Larry Laffer to a modern environment. The vulgar humor and point-n-click gameplay regularly makes you laugh out loud, with some real highlights, but in the end it does not turn out well. The power of the comic-like game is in the clash of Larry’s spirit of the times with that of today’s society, often with hilarious consequences that contain a core of truth. Unfortunately, this eighth part of Leisure Suit Larry does not make many innovations and is primarily intended as a nostalgia trip, but that is not a problem. It knows where it stands and knows how to fit in perfectly. Just like Larry, you could say.

Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don’t Dry is a nostalgic trip with vulgar humorand a great style. But some might newcomers might not find the worth for its money.

7/10

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