Larry Laffer is back! Surprising for many players, because the last remake from the popular Adventure series was little more than solid. Friends of faecal humor can take a deep breath at this point. Crazy Bunch actually managed to give the series a new shine, even if Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams don't Dry is anything but perfect. 


Anyone who blushes with shame with an inventory full of sex toys should better ignore this video game, all others find their climax in the kinky point-and-click adventure. In the detailed review of Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams don't Dry, you will find out why the loser Larry Laffer is exactly the hero the gaming world has been waiting for. 

The humorous parts of the Larry series have always been a matter of taste. That doesn't change - luckily - also in Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams don't Dry. The characters get used to being casual with slippery jokes, throwing loads of ambiguous phrases into the virtual space and sometimes asking questions to which one would rather not hear an answer.

Nevertheless: Crazy Bunch succeeds in mixing flat humor with content that is quite socially critical from Larry Laffer's 14th adventure. This is noticeable from the first minute, because a lot has happened between Larry's heyday in the eighties and the modern age. Laffer, who is serious, knows neither smartphones nor the Internet - let alone influencers, social media or popular electronics brands. The developers use all of these points of friction to question the modern media world. Nonetheless, Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams don't Dry also shows the strengths of the series: complete absurdity, political incorrectness and extremely infantile humor.

Just put it on the stand

Despite the vulgar show interludes, the adventure is thought-provoking - and that means something in games with Larry Laffer. The framework story results from the usual weird events around Loser Laffer: The anti-hero, now well over 40 years old, comes to the present through a journey through time. He doesn't know Instacrap, Farcebook, Timber and Parshit, but knows all the others. This setting arouses curiosity about the course of the game, because how and whether Larry Laffer will find access to the new technologies and how he will deal with social change will first have to be found out. What helps, of course, is a smartphone that players can rescue from a pile of slime at the starting location Lefty's Bar. And who could be a better villain on this topic than the brilliant Bill Jobs, founder of the mega-corporation Prune?   

Players quickly notice that they are not skimpy with allusions to modern pop culture - and that is exactly what makes the riding of Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams don't Dry.

Famous locations such as Lefty's Bar should not be missing from Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams don't Dry. Source: Assembly

Famous locations such as Lefty's Bar should not be missing from Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams don't Dry. Source: Assembly

In any case, having to bring the schizophrenic Piphone back to its builder BJ is the perfect starting point for a step-by-step introduction to the adventure. And as always, Larry Laffer doesn't have to save the world, of course, but rather conquer the hottest bride on the set: Faith. The first line-up fails. What counts is not about charm or intelligence: it's about getting a high score on the Timber dating app. The goal of the game is set. Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams don't Dry is a classic mouse-controlled point & click. So Larry Laffer chats and clicks his way through finely drawn, but relatively static-looking scenes. Always looking for successful interactions with the game world - and the women.

Larry McGregor

Because the dialogues are central to Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams don't Dry, at least in terms of entertainment value, professional dubbing would be desirable. And in fact Crazy Bunch manages to perfectly stage the tail-controlled main character as well as the important secondary characters. In the German version, Larry Laffer is spoken by Philipp Moog, the voice of Ewan McGregor. You can hear that from the first second and it's just fun. The other characters are also set to sound well to solid. Only a few characters can't keep up in terms of professional synchro. Some female characters, who are so crucial for the progress of the story, appear comparatively pale. Too bad.

In any case, the dialogues are only for entertainment, but they provide information on the solution to the puzzle. The different answers do not affect the course of the story, special game depth or even game-technical consequences never bring about the social contacts. Always: all conversations carry the background story. What to do next is conveyed quickly and clearly to players. The long search for the next panties to be conquered is no longer necessary. Larry Laffer always has his prey clearly in view.

Raunchy jokes and vulgar humor should be liked, or at least accepted. Source: Assembly

Raunchy jokes and vulgar humor should be liked, or at least accepted. Source: Assembly

It doesn't take luck to make Larry and his wives happy: Logic is enough. Without exception, the puzzle solutions follow logical, but not always realistic game actions. The adventure works excellently in terms of play, also because the "head nuts" are always staged in a funny way.

The rest is done by the grandiose look, reminiscent of Larry's best times (Love for Sail). Players will find many memories anyway: even the old pixel image in Lefty's bar hangs in its usual place. It's great how the developers mix the new and old together.

Both the background and the more than 30 hand-drawn characters give the adventure a world that Larry, the loser, likes to immerse himself in. Only the motionlessness of the background makes the scenes strangely sterile. It should have been a few more animated objects. After all: there are many details to discover at the locations, even more for series connoisseurs.

The first puzzles seem shallow, also because the story only gets going slowly. As soon as players have equipped their smartphone with the Timber app, the story really takes off. When Timber leaves the Prune store, he reports his first matches - and a new location: the strip. The further the adventure progresses, the more often Larry encounters clichés of the present: fitness freaks, annoying influencers, webcam girls, technology nerds. New Lost Wages beckons with countless erotic adventures that bring Larry Laffer lots of Timber points - and thus the goal of the game is within reach. 

One-dimensional but funny characters

The characters that Larry meets in the course of his journey through the present are comparatively simple. Nobody should expect profound character drawings, but funny moments often show up on the screen. 

The use of the inventory seems to be just as one-dimensional: he stows all the objects that Laffer collects in his suit - and each time he uses the items, players have to laboriously scroll through the items. A more generous inventory system would have made it more intuitive to use. This becomes clear when Larry carries objects around with him for a long time. Even clearer when several items have to be combined at the same time.

The same applies to visiting the various locations. There are a handful of puzzles that make it necessary to switch scenes every minute. And so it goes back and forth until the task is done at some point. Because there is usually no real challenge, some puzzles get on your nerves. That tears at motivation and artificially lengthens the playing time. 

Prune is the mega-corporation that gives Larry Laffer his PiPhone: that's when the story really takes off. Source: Assembly

Prune is the mega-corporation that gives Larry Laffer his PiPhone: that's when the story really takes off. Source: Assembly

Of the approximately ten to twelve hours of play, players spend a substantial part of them looking for previous locations, only to perform comparatively trivial puzzles there, such as hanging up posters. On the other hand, it is good if details in the locations also change in order to create completely new opportunities for interaction. Overall, however, the quality puzzles succeeded - and most of them are funny anyway.

If you can get used to the many small interruptions in the flow of the game, with Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams don't Dry you will finally get a point-and-click adventure that couldn't be more classic. 

Infobox

Number of players: 1 players
Age: from 16 years
Playing time: 10+ hours
Difficulty: medium
Long-term motivation: low

Publisher: Assembly Entertainment
Developer: Crazy Bunch
Year of publication: 2018 
Platforms: PC
Language: German 
Cost: 29,99 Euro

Summary

Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams don't Dry is not a profound masterpiece, but an entertaining adventure game that pokes fun at modern pop culture. So that all gags and sayings can ignite, you should know the video game series, originally from the house of Sierra - but even in complete ignorance of Larry Laffer's erotic escapades, the trip to New Lost Wages is definitely fun.  

The visual presentation is excellent: great backdrops, hand-drawn characters, plus many allusions to current and past clichés. It's fun to search the locations for details, to combine objects and thus solve mostly logical puzzles. 

The inventory system is awkward, Larry Laffer's irrepressible wanderlust annoying. Having to visit some locations less often would have made the game flow better. The Schürzenjäger, however, was a success: the eternal loser Larry Laffer shows himself from his best side. Even after all these years, the protagonist has not lost any of its charm. The old man's jokes still work extremely well today, which is not least due to the target group, which is aging parallel to Larry Laffer. Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams don't Dry becomes a kind of journey through video game history.

Of course, not every joke ignites, some word games don't even seem silly, but completely out of place. Most of the dialogues and comments, however, are refreshingly funny - sometimes socio-culturally significant. In purely playful terms, Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams don't Dry is already attractive to genre fans, but lovers of the likeable loser shouldn't miss this adventure. 

 

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