Les Manley in: Lost in L.A. (DOS)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39505)
Written on  :  May 08, 2005
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Find you pipsqueak friend in L.A.

The Good

Lost in L.A. is an average sequel to Search for the King, also by Accolade. This sequel has improved a lot over its predecessor, but it still doesn't cut the mustard when compared to other good quality adventure games. The Les Manley series have gone from a silly comedy adventure to a more serious one. Helmut Bean, known as the world's smallest man, invites Les over to stay with him for the weekend at his L.A. mansion, so he arranges tickets for him to fly over and catch up on old times. When Les finally gets there, however, he learns that some famous celebrities were kidnapped, and one of them happens to be Helmut, as well as his lover, LaFonda Turner.

As I said, Lost in L.A. is a big improvement over its predecessor. There is a long introduction that is worth watching. Its graphics have not got that cartoony look that the intro to Search for the King had, but rather it has that gothic feel to it. In the intro, you usually see people having fun when an intruder comes and either kidnaps or murders them, and you hear screaming and a dog barking. This is what is portrayed in the game, and it is this that sometimes help me get right into the game.

When you start the game, you only see the cursor, which changes depending on which action that you want to perform. Point the cursor anywhere on the ground, and some footsteps will appear, telling you that Les can walk over there. But pointing to different objects (including people) will make the cursor change into a question mark. Click the mouse to bring up a list of commands that allow you to interact with the object.

Drag the mouse down to the bottom of the screen, and a chopped-down version of Sierra's icon interface will appear. Clicking on the little monitor allows you to access the control panel, where you can save, load, restart, or quit a game. The rest of this interface is reserved for the items that you picked up throughout your adventure. Like any other adventure game, you can use these items on different objects. There is no typing involved, which takes the fun of typing something stupid in order to get a silly response back. The game describes the scene to you when you first arrive.

Unlike Search for the King, Lost in L.A has 256-color VGA graphics, giving us the joy of staring at digitized actors when you are interacting with them on screen, and they look good in VGA. CGA, EGA, and Tandy support is removed. I cannot think what they would look like if you decide to use something other than VGA. The rest of the graphics in the non-interactive scenes have the same detail as the graphics that are used in the Leisure Suit Larry games.

More often than not, the people that you meet are nice and they are willing to help you accomplish certain tasks, but very little of the characters are bad and some, such as Abe Goldstein, Maladonna, and the Killer Zombie Bimbos, attempt to put an end to your search for Helmut.

The Bad

The only thing that lets this game down is the sound. Even if you use the Adlib, Sound Blaster, or Roland, most of the music seems to be a bit too rough. Your starting point is an example of this. There is digitized sound effects in the game, such as the screams of terror and the bird pooping on the red sports bar, but there does not seem to be enough of these effects.

In certain cut-scenes, you are forced to click the left mouse button in order to get through them, otherwise they appear static.

The Bottom Line

Despite the sound, Lost in L.A. should appeal to mature audiences. Like Search for the King, there is some content that is unsuitable for minors, such as the women stripping in the intro, and Les participating in the Mud Wrestling contest between two attractive women, and ending up in bed with them. As for the game's interface, I like the typing interface better than the interface used in the game.

Rating: ***½