Don’t Sleep On The New Leisure Suit Larry Game
Yes, there’s a new Leisure Suit Larry game in 2020. Not just that, it’s the second game in a new Leisure Suit Larry series. The idea of playing as a wannabe lothario who does side quests to get laid might seem odd, or downright disgusting, given recent industry revelations. The fact that this new reboot series parodies cryptocurrency, influencers, and sci-fi conventions doesn’t help – it risks putting the game in the “ok boomer” pile. Yet the new game – Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Dry Twice – is charming me with its outrageous story and revamped puzzles.
The first game in this reboot series was Wet Dreams Don’t Dry, and it created a scenario where Larry was either frozen or cloned back in the ’80s. The “science” is vague on purpose, because the only thing that mattered was that Larry was in the 21st century and had a lot to learn. As Larry chafed against dating on Timber, the jokes hit a lot of familiar marks. Streamers, hipsters, tech nerds, and more stereotypes were the butt of many jokes. Meanwhile, the puzzles often involved combining two random items and using the new contraption in a specific place. It went past challenging and into frustrating and unintuitive.
Larry still has a lot to learn in the sequel, and is actually taking lessons from his smartphone on changing cultural norms. The best part is that he’s willing to embrace change – he’s confused, but accepting of new internet-based professions and ideas. The script also chooses more varied targets. The selfish influencer from the last game returns, but now she’s part of a Fyre Festival bit. The joke is no longer “isn’t it dumb that people make money on the internet?” The joke is now “look how desperate people get when chasing clout.” Which, given some Twitch news, is entirely too accurate.
But it’s not just millennials and zoomers getting dumped on, as seen by Lewis. Lewis used to be a famous comedian, but was disgraced after exposing himself to a female fan. Now he does his set in an empty hotel buffet. If you choose to have Larry sit in, you soon find that Lewis’ entire set consists of dumb blonde jokes and making fun of immigrants. This is not someone denied their free speech, this is a heinous relic getting his comeuppance. It’s great to see new Larry developer CrazyBunch draw the line between risquè humor and downright nastiness. But have no fear, there are still plenty of genital-shaped easter eggs in the background.
You can ignore all the cultural commentary and just play Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Dry Twice as a cheeky puzzle game. Thankfully it succeeds there too. The general formula is the same: Larry can grab all kinds of random items from the environments and combine them into bizarre contraptions. CrazyBunch updated the mechanics, though, with better uses of Larry’s smartphone. The phone in the first game was really only useful for inventory and Timber, a Tinder parody that Larry used to meet his new romances. Now it has several new apps that feel both like useful puzzle-solving tools and a proper smartphone interpretation.
Now Larry has a handy to-do list that keeps track of all the unresolved NPCs and plot threads. Larry can also talk to his AI for fun banter and lore reminders. This doesn’t make the puzzles directly easier, for those who want old-school challenge, it just helps you keep track of everything. The best addition, however, is the blueprint app. This allows Larry to build larger gadgets than in previous games, which opens the game up for some really ridiculous scenarios (ghost sex, anyone?). It also, like the other apps, strikes a nice balance between telling you what you need to collect while still leaving a certain vagueness to make you work for it.
There are some issues in Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Dry Twice. The PC version has some instances where the voice acting repeats or doesn’t match the written dialogue. And the later game puzzles still have some stupid solutions that seem like a crapshoot of combining items. But overall, Larry’s still got the stamina to go another round.
Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Dry Twice is now available on PC and Mac.
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Sergio is the Lead News Editor for TheGamer. But usually he asks people to call him “Serg” because he wants to sound cool like the guy from System of a Down. He began as a convention reporter for FLiP Magazine and Albany Radio’s The Shaw Report to get free badges to Comic-Con. Eventually he realized he liked talking to game developers and discovering weird new indie games. Now he brings that love of weird games to TheGamer, where he tries to talk about them in clickable ways so you grow to love them too. When he’s not stressing over how to do that, he’s a DM, Cleric of Bahamut, cosplay boyfriend, and occasional actor.
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