As much as I'd honestly love to say Al Lowe's ravenous bundle of explicit Leisure Suit Larry games are reminiscent of the more traditional point-and-click video games out there, I just can't. The fact is, neither Leisure Suit Larry nor its leading hero Larry Laffer are the types to resort to old school techniques. If anything, it's more of an in-your-face franchise, with adult humor being the driving force behind its thirty-five year tenure.
Truth be told, old Leisure Suit Larry probably should have kicked the bucket quite some time ago. So filled with controversial episodes is it, that it's a genuine surprise to see it still knocking about, drawing up new episodes as if no words could ever tarnish it, let alone bring it down. And yet, despite its risqué humor and hit-and-miss content, it is still regarded as one of the most successful franchises on the market. The question is, which games proved to be not only the most successful, but also the most memorable?
5. Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards
To think, Leisure Suit Larry was once a product laced with second-hand embarrassment. From the moment it launched to the world in 1987, thousands refused to handle it, let alone showcase it in stores and distribute it to the masses. Turned out, the game became a roaring success on the sly, and eventually went on to sell just shy of 300,000 copies worldwide. Lo and behold, Larry Laffer was born, and along came a whole pipeline of published chapters.
Land of the Lounge Lizards is the first game to introduce Laffer, a 38-year old “loser” who spends his days rotting away in his mother's basement. After coming to terms with his dead end lifestyle, he shifts to Lost Wages, a city based entirely around Las Vegas, where he looks to finally win over the woman of his dreams. Well, several women, thanks to Larry being driven by greed.
4. Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude
Tearing away from Al Lowe's guidance, Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude was the first link in the chain to ditch the point-and-click style and opt for the 3D open-world setting. Also dropping the long-term hero Larry Laffer from the roster, the spin-off moved forward with a new, younger, and far more cringe-worthy protagonist to carry the torch. Did it work out? Well, it was different, we'll say that much.
Magna Cum Laude centers its world around Walnut Log Community College. After a new dating show plants roots on campus, one particular student looks to secure a place on its roster. However, being a bit of an oddball with a knack for steering the opposite sex in the wrong direction, the hopeless romantic is made to prove his worth by collecting various tokens of affection. The problem is, you're that hopeless romantic. Enter Larry Lovage.
3. Leisure Suit Larry 3: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals
A short while before Laffer packed his bags and phased out for a well-deserved hiatus, the hyperactive hero clocked numerous hours with various love interests, all of which failed miserably, as per the Leisure Suit Larry running gag. One of the most memorable, other than the breakthrough debut in 1987, was Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals, the direct follow-up to the second entry.
After watching his marriage collapse on the tropical resort of Nontoonyt, Larry looks to swap out his worn attire for the classic swinger get-up. Once again moving to scour the market of potential partners, the eager hero pulls up his bracers and picks up where he left off, sourcing new material to win over the holidaymakers aboard the Hawaiian-themed resort. Failure, of course, is imminent.
2. Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dream Don't Dry
It was more the lengthy hiatus that made people flock to Wet Dreams Don't Dry, to be honest. After completely bombing with Lovage's god-awful Box Office Bust in 2009, fans longed for the return of the original king, unsure of whether or not the franchise would ever financially recover from its failure. Fortunately, it did. 2018 saw the resurrection of the series, complete with an ideal mixture of new visuals and old school formulas.
Wet Dreams Don't Dry hardly severs its bond with the worn out concept, that's for sure. Like all games that came before, it revolves around Larry's love life, as well as a new generation of characters that pique the hero's interest in this most unusual ways. This time, however, it's set in modern times, meaning apps like Tinder are usually the brunt of most jokes throughout the story. That being said, it's a fresh take on an old concept. Turns out, old dogs can learn new tricks.
1. Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love for Sail!
It seems like a lifetime ago since dear old Larry Laffer took to the open seas as a passenger on a cruise ship. 26 years, to be exact. Following on from that, nobody would see the hero for a further 20 years, when Wet Dreams Don't Dry finally resurrected his career in 2018. 1996, however, was the perfect year to round out his wired and wonderful story arc.
Love for Sail puts Larry back into another unorthodox scenario, where parody and raunchy humor once again go hand-in-hand on the open seas. With Captain Thygh being the next major love interest, Larry looks to win a bunch of competitions in order to win the ultimate prize: a second week aboard the ship, only in the company of the captain herself, cabin and all. Getting to that point, however, means cheating in any way possible. Whatever it takes, no excuses.
So, what's your take? How would you rank the Leisure Suit Larry games? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.