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Softporn Adventure
Leisure Suit Larry

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Leisure Suit Larry 2
Leisure Suit Larry 3

Page 3:
Leisure Suit Larry 5
Leisure Suit Larry 6

Page 4:
Leisure Suit Larry 7
Leisure Suit Larry Magna Cum Laude

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Page 5:
Leisure Suit Larry Box Office Bust
Leisure Suit Larry Spinoffs

Page 6:
Interview with Al Lowe


Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust - IBM PC / Xbox 360 / PlayStation 3 (2007)

Cover

Everyone thought that Magna Cum Laude killed the Larry series, but apparently Vivendi still had plans for it when they released a trailer for Box Office Bust in late 2007, developed by Team 17. The video parodied the Gary Jules' "Mad World" commercial for Gears of War, apparently showing off a new Larry that was going to be about riffing on pop culture and Hollywood films. After the merger with Activision about a year later, people assumed that Box Office Bust had been cancelled. And yet, in early 2009, it crept on to release lists, having apparently been rescued by Codemasters. To absolutely no one's surprise, they should've left it for dead.

Box Office Bust once again puts you in control of Larry Lovage, freshly out of college and now a tremendous loser living in a trailer. Uncle Larry Laffer, now voiced by Jeffrey Tambor, apparently has created his own movie studio, but fears that there's a mole amongst his ranks reporting business secrets to his competitor, Big Anus. Old Larry drafts Young Larry to infiltrate the ranks of his studio - first by posing as a mail boy, then later as an extra - to find the source of the leak and seal it.

Magna Cum Laude was a huge change in the formula, but with Box Office Bust, the apple has fallen even farther from the tree. This time around, it's an open world action-platformer, as Larry explores the studio and gets missions for different people. For the most part, these tasks involve running around to other parts of the studio, occasionally while driving a kart or under a time limit. Sometimes you'll have to scale the heights of the buildings and jump around, collecting items and such. Other times you have to get into terrible fight sequences. There are several quick time events that involve pushing the right buttons at the right times, as well as a "directing" minigame, where you choose the most appropriate shots of a scene.

While the first portion of the game takes place solely in the studio, you eventually enter three different "dream" landscapes, based on various movie tropes: "Beefcake Mountain", a typical Western; "Horror Coffin", where Larry dresses up as Michael Jackson from the "Thriller" video and fights against Dracula; and "Bytanic", with Larry taking on the role of Leo DiCaprio on the doomed boat. These provide changes in scenery, but the game's still the same - more jumping, more fighting, more racing, more fetch quests.

Pretty much every aspect of this game falls apart. The platforming is marred by slippery controls - especially when bouncing off walls - and the camera haphazardly changes angles, often sending you flying straight towards the pavement. The fighting is awkward, stilted, and might be one of the worst implementations in any game since the PlayStation days. May God have mercy on your soul if you run out of health and need to repeat any of these missions.

Every once in awhile, an "Employee of the Month" will become available, which means there's a girl you can try to bag. Conquering them usually requires finding a certain item and weaseling your way through a dialogue tree, after which you and your lady will disappear briefly into your trailer. This is the only moment where Box Office Bust even remotely channels the old games, but the whole experience is appalling for any number of reasons.

For starters? The graphics are hideous. The landscapes are okay, but the character models are routinely grotesque, with extremely malformed proportions. This is especially notable in the females, who have freakish faces and obscenely large tits. There's no nudity, but if everyone's this ugly, that's definitely for the better.

But even worse than the appalling visuals, the awkward controls, and the boring mission designs is the extraordinarily painful writing. Magna Cum Laude was more vulgar than the earlier Larry games, but Box Office Bust makes that look PG-rated in comparison. Everyone tries to make jokes in every line - including Larry, who routinely talks to himself - and none of them are funny, often just relying on curse words and double entendres to get by. All of the characters are extremely unpleasant, even though the game obviously thinks they're hilarious, like obnoxious actor Damian LeCoque (voiced by Patrick Warburton) or film executive Kip (Jay Mohr). Nikki Cox, Carmen Electra and Shannon Elizabeth also provide some voices for the girls. The "funniest" parts are the mission titles which rhyme with popular movies. How clever! At its worst, some lines are literally just double entendres strung together with absolutely no coherence. For example:

Man: Stop playing games, girl. That move ended her career. Besides we know Sanchez is indeed involved here. Oh this Sanchez is dirty and if I have to I will smear it all over the paper.
Woman: You'll never find my Sanchez, he never leaves his mark.
Man: Oh he left his mark. I can tell you are lying. It's all over your face.

Apparently the writer, Allen Covert, works for Happy Madison Productions, but even compared against the not-quite-stellar standards of an Adam Sandler film, this is just awful.

Box Office Bust is essentially one of those subpar licensed platformers made for kids. Except, it's supposed to be aimed at adults, but the writing ensures that no one older than ten will enjoy any of the humor. It's unquestionably the worst game in the Larry series, supposing you even include it in the continuity. (Al Lowe was not consulted at all, and has publicly dismissed it on his web site.) It's also one of the worst games released in 2009. How shameful.

Quick Info:

Developer:

  • Team17

Publisher:

Designers:

  • Paul Dunstan
    Allen Covert

Genre:

Themes:


Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust

Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust

Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust

Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust

Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust


Screenshot Gallery


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The Laffer Utilities - PC (1994)

Around the early '90s, Sierra decided to diversify their product line to include various other types of applications. One of these was The Laffer Utilities, a parody of the Norton Utilities pack. It isn't a game at all, but rather a collection of "useful" tools featuring Larry. Some of these include a phone book, an office pool organizer, a screen saver, various forms and fax covers, and a joke generator. Since it was developed from Windows 3.1, many of its functions are very basic and the pictures are only 16 colors. It's hardly worth paying any more for it by itself - and this was true even back when it first came out - but it's packed on a few collections just for curiosity's sake.


Leisure Suit Larry's Casino - PC (1994) / Larry's Casino - PC (1998)

There are actually two completely separate releases of Larry's Casino. The first one is part of the Nick's Picks budget line, and just includes standalone versions of the casino minigames from Leisure Suit Larry 1 VGA and Leisure Suit Larry 6. The second release, published on CD-ROM in 1998, is technically the last Larry game produced with Al Lowe's involvement. You can choose to play as one of a few characters from Love for Sail, in addition to Cavaricchi from LSL6. In addition to a quick map, you can also explore the casino with a first person view, although they're just static pictures. The game includes Blackjack, Poker, Craps and Roulette, each with several different rule sets. A bulk of the content was created for Sierra's WON (World Opponent Network) service through the internet, but that's long been shut down. There would have been options to sit down and chat with other gamers, buy them virtual drinks, give them gifts, or even hold virtual weddings in a chintzy wedding chapel.

If you run out of money in online mode, you would've needed to play party games like billiards with other people in order to rack up more dough. According to the manual, this was done to give more stakes on your virtual moolah, to increase the excitement of gambling, since you never actually use any real money. In offline mode, however, they'll simply replenish your cash when you run out. As you get more cash, you can upgrade to more expensive hotel rooms. There's also a Cyberlarry 2000 machine in your hotel room which tells jokes. Other than the constantly-playing Larry theme song, there's very little of the usual humor, and not much reason to play it beyond any other simple casino sim, especially since the online functions are nerfed.

Leisure Suit Larry's Casino

Leisure Suit Larry's Casino


Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail - Mobile (2007)

Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail

Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail

Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail

Despite the name, the mobile version of Love For Sail isn't really related to the PC game from several years prior. It was most likely released to help promote Magna Cum Laude, but unlike that game, this mobile title is a graphic adventure that stays a bit closer to the series' roots. The story begins when Larry is summoned to a beach resort for a work retreat, where he meets various different girls and finds various different ways to "relax". The viewpoint is overhead with entirely sprite-based 2D graphics. The interface had to be changed to accommodate the mobile platform, so you need to move next to items or people, and then cycle through commands to interact with them. Larry also walks pretty slowly, so getting from place to place is time consuming. There are a total of seven chapters, in addition to the prologue, so beating the whole game will take at least a few hours.

When stacked up to other Larry titles, it obviously falls flat on its face. It feels extremely juvenile - not in the same goofy, immature manner as the other games, but it really almost seems like it's aimed towards kids. In addition to the cartoonish art style, the writing is very simplistic, almost on a grade school level, to the point where it doesn't feel like it was written in native English. The puzzles, too, are very, very easy, and the humor never really ventures beyond PG-related territory, other than some vague innuendos and promises of hooking up. And it's not really all that funny either. But at the same time, it's hard to hate it - despite its simplicity, it's a rare mobile title that doesn't suck, because it doesn't rely on any action, and its intentions are at least in the right place. It also features a few cameos by Ken and Roberta Williams, as well as Al Lowe as a "Big Guy" who constantly gets in Larry's way. A lot of the characters are references to pop culture, too, like the Baywatch rip-offs on the beach, or Peter Graves' character from Airplane.

Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail

Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail

Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail


Leisure Suit Larry: Kühle Drinks und Heiße Girls - PC (2004)

Leisure Suit Larry: Kühle Drinks und Heiße Girls

This strange title, translated as Cool Drinks and Hot Girls, was only released in Germany and was created by a company called Phenomedia. It's a collection of three Flash-based minigames featuring the characters from Magna Cum Laude. Babewatch puts in the role of a waiter/lifeguard on a beach, as you need to fetch drinks or ice cream for your customers. After helping them, they'll ask you to lather them with lotion, after which you'll get a "date!" increasing your score. Every once in awhile, you'll also need to rescue someone out in the water, which will also get you a date.

In Bar Wars, you need to serve your customers by grabbing either beer or coffee, serving it to them, cleaning out the glasses, and repeating. As they get drunker, soon they start getting rowdy and taking their tops off before collapsing. Both of these are controlled with the keyboard, although the movement takes place on an isometric plane, making it very hard to control. Nightwatch is actually a ripoff of an old Flash game called Ya Ya XX. You play in a dark room filled with woman, and as one of them peeks up from the covers, you click on them for a quick bit of lovin'. In other words, it's more or less just like Whack-a-Mole but with chicks. Hidden amongst the beautiful girls is also the fat, ugly one, which will actually deduct points from your score. As one might expect, these are all pretty bad, and it's amazing that anyone anywhere expected people would pay money for these.

Leisure Suit Larry: Kühle Drinks und Heiße Girls

Leisure Suit Larry: Kühle Drinks und Heiße Girls


Leisure Suit Larry: Bikini Beach Volleyball - Mobile (2004)

Leisure Suit Larry: Bikini Beach Volleyball

Leisure Suit Larry: Bikini Beach Volleyball

Leisure Suit Larry: Bikini Beach Volleyball

This is one is a bit more shameless. Larry is apparently coaching a team of all-female volleyball players. At the beginning, there are only two girls to choose from, but as you continue to play, you get more cash to unlock new girls, each of whom have different skills. The art style is far more anime inspired than previous games, with big eyes, wildly colored hair, and variations of DDD-sized boobs. Strangely, all of the girls look identical during play.

The actual game is painfully simplistic. You don't control the players directly - instead, there's a tiny action bar at the bottom of the screen that pops up whenever you serve, defend, or spike. If you hit it in the middle, you'll pull off the action perfectly - if not, you'll potentially flub it. That's pretty much the whole game. Serving is very easy, but trying to defend or spike is unnecessarily hard, because you need to pay attention to when the action meter pops up. The meter randomly starts on different parts of the bar, so sometimes everything will happen too quickly to let you react.

There's also a "massage" minigame where you follow arrows on screen, which increases the "heart" meter of the girl. It's more of a groping simulator, although one supposes that the difference between this and SNK's infamous Doki Doki Majou Shinpan is that the girls here are on the safer side of legal. At any rate, much like the game itself, all girls look identical, except for the portrait at the top of the screen. Anyway, it's all terribly exploitive and not very fun, and Larry himself barely interacts with the game other than popping up to chide his players, or promise "rewards" to them. Ugh.

Leisure Suit Larry: Bikini Beach Volleyball

Leisure Suit Larry: Bikini Beach Volleyball

Leisure Suit Larry: Bikini Beach Volleyball


Leisure Suit Larry's Sexy Pinball - Mobile (2004)

Leisure Suit Larry's Sexy Pinball is a pretty standard pinball game for mobile phones. There's only a single table, which scrolls about two screens vertically. One of the ramps is a condom, some of the bumpers look like boobs, and racking up points will slowly strip the cartoon girl in the center of the screen. Larry Lovage only barely appears, reclining in a Speedo as seen in some of the Magna Cum Laude promo artwork.

Leisure Suit Larry's Sexy Pinball


Cameos

Larry pops up in several other Sierra games, of course. He appears in his LSL2 form at the police station in Police Quest II, and his great-great-great-etc grandfather makes an appearance in Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist, another Al Lowe game. There is also a single pinball table, based off LSL5, included in Take a Break Pinball, which featured several themed tables from other Sierra titles.

Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist



Cancelled Games

Several Larry titles have been planned over the years, and ultimately canned. Other than the infamous Larry 4, there was originally a game meant to follow Love for Sail, dubbed Leisure Suit Larry 8: Lust in Space, as advertised in Larry's Casino. Alas, Sierra's main adventure game studio was closed before this could come to pass. There were a few other titles planned by Vivendi to coincide with the release of Magna Cum Laude, include a portable title tentatively named Leisure Suit Larry: Cocoa Butter. There was also an N-Gage game called Leisure Suit Larry: Pocket Party, which would have contained several minigames.

Leisure Suit Larry: Pocket Party


Compilations

In North America, there are four compilations of Larry games on CD. The first one, Leisure Suit Larry's Greatest Hits & Misses, features all four of the original games, the VGA non-talkie version of LSL6, Softporn Adventure, the first Casino release, and the Laffer Utilities. The second one, Leisure Suit Larry: Collection Series, contains all of this, plus the SVGA talkie version of LSL6 and a copy of the Leisuire Suit Larry Official Book. The third one, Leisure Suit Larry: The Ultimate Pleasure Pack, ditched the book but includes Love for Sail and Larry Casino. This package in particular is remarkably expensive. The fourth and most recent pack, released in 2006, is the most barebones, and only contains the first four Larry games and the VGA version of LSL6. It's completely lacking any bonuses, and only contains a licensed copy of DOSBox to make these playable on Windows XP machines. Most of them can also be downloaded from Good Old Games.

German Collection


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Page 1:
Softporn Adventure
Leisure Suit Larry

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Leisure Suit Larry 2
Leisure Suit Larry 3

Page 3:
Leisure Suit Larry 5
Leisure Suit Larry 6

Page 4:
Leisure Suit Larry 7
Leisure Suit Larry Magna Cum Laude

Back to the Index

Page 5:
Leisure Suit Larry Box Office Bust
Leisure Suit Larry Spinoffs

Page 6:
Interview with Al Lowe


Back to the index