Les Manley in: Search for the King
Description official descriptions
This is a classic text-parser-with-moving-onscreen-actors adventure game from the early 90's. In this game you are a tech specalist for a company. (Basically Les is the poster child for nerds all over the US.) Your goal is to win the Search for Elvis contest and win the heart of the girl of your dreams. You might even wind up a superstar.
Credits (DOS version)
31 People (21 developers, 10 thanks) · View all
|Adventure Programming Engine|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 63% (based on 8 ratings)
Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 11 ratings with 3 reviews)
n 1990, game company Accolade decided to invent their answer to Sierra's Leisure Suit Larry, in the guise of Les Manley. Being a dumb person with black hair, not only does Les has the same personality as Larry, but he also shares the same interests (ie: women). Les makes his first appearance in Search for the King.
W.I.L.L., the television network where Les works, is getting low on ratings, and in order to fix the problem, the network decides to run a contest where the first person to find the King alive wins a reward of $1 million. One of the people interested in the deal is Les, who currently works as a technician. His boss feel that he is not up to the job, so he must prove them wrong.
Search for the King attempts to mimic Sierra's games that use their ancient SCI0 engine. When you start a game, the title bar is displayed at the top of the screen, displaying the score as well as the name of the game and the location. The player moves Les around using the mouse. Actions are performed by typing in commands at the keyboard, usually a "verb-noun" sequence. Al Lowe decided to play this game, and he thought that the game is a blatant rip-off.
The graphics are detailed and rich. Your adventure takes place in three cities, including Las Vegas and New York, and most of the backgrounds are well drawn and colored in nicely, such as the sand dunes that are found in the Las Vegas desert, as well as the interior/exterior of the city's casino hotel. I played the MS-DOS version of Search for the King. As well as supporting CGA, it also supports two other graphics modes: "EGA/VGA 16-color mode" and "EGA/VGA enhanced 16-color mode". When you are playing the game using the latter graphics mode, the output looks nowhere near as close as the Amiga version.
Although the game has no sound effects, I found that most of the music nice and relaxing, especially when it comes straight from the Amiga's sound chips. The theme song is worth humming to, but it is not as catchy as that to Leisure Suit Larry.
Since this is a LSL rip-off, you'd expect the game to include a little bit of humor. Most of it lies within the dialog boxes that usually appear immediately after you enter commands. The funniest aspect of the game is Helmut, the world's smallest man - so small that you can carry him wherever you go, and use him to your best advantage, especially when he can retrieve items in tight spots. Too bad that little do you use him in the game.
It is obvious that Search for the King is aimed at the mature gamer. During the game, you will meet several women who you must speak to, including Stella, the attractive blonde office worker. Although breasts and genitalia are hardly shown, there are a few scenes that include Stella in a blue petticoat, revealing her sexy legs; and sitting next to Lyla Libido near the hotel's pool will cause her to notice you and say something like "Sitting next to a guy like you always turns me on. I think I need something to relax, like go jump in a pool."
When you enter commands, there are no shortcuts that you can take. You are expected to write properly, unlike Sierra's text parser games. For example, if you go up to a person named Brett, and you want to give a banana to him, you need to write GIVE BANANA TO BRETT, rather than just GIVE BANANA. This makes it hard for people who are used to not write commands in proper English when they play Sierra games, with the exception of KQ1 and KQ2.
During the game, you are slapped with copy protection, requiring you to look up a word on a page given by the dialog box. Either find the game manual or get a cracked copy of the game.
The Bottom Line
The Amiga version of Search for the King is much better its MS-DOS version counterpart, due to its excellent graphics and sounds. This is actually the first game that I played that required commands to be written in proper English. You cannot get away from this. Due to its mature content, it is unsuitable for minors (under 15 years).
Amiga · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2005
This game had me wrapped up in laughter. From one scene to another Les was great. I loved les so much because he was such a nerd (or course not like me in high school) and he still won the day and the girl.
One of the best things about this game was the music. The theme song was unforgettable and seemed approiate for les. Graphics were outsanding for its day. and general gameplay was fun and exciting. The puzzles werent too hard although sometimes I found them difficult.
Not much. This was one of the first games that I played on the PC and I wasnt that picky then. Today I probably would not have liked as much looking at it as an adult. Copy protection was always hard for me to figure out. It wasnt a simple thing like enter a number. If memory serves it was a three question test that included comparing a plug and answering some math questions. note: I didnt copy the game, I had the orginal manual and disks, just borrowed :-)
The Bottom Line
Overall this was a great game. Highly recomend if you can find it.
DOS · by William Shawn McDonie (1130) · 2001
The developers can't be faulted in creating a game-world that is engaging and pleasant to be in. The character, Les, is easy to empathise with (he's nerdy!) and the music is excellent.
I bought this game on e-bay in 2004, and playing it now feels very retro. Those who are familiar with text-adventures and parser-based games like this probably find it easy and natural to enter commands in word by word via a keyboard. I found it irritating and fiddley, and I can understand why the genre died out. Copy protection kicks in several times in the game, which was a pain too, and another reminder of the game's age.
The Bottom Line
Its a great adventure game, but not quite up there with the best partly because its so short, and partly because of the aforementioned faults .
As a gamer playing both Les Manley games for the first time in 2005, I preferred the second (Lost in LA), but both are fun and worth taking a peek at.
DOS · by jossiejojo (37) · 2005
|How to install the game?||Nowhere Girl (8679)||Sep 10th, 2015|
There is a Bart Simpson riding on a skateboard that will go by when you are inside building that has glass doors.
Information also contributed by John Hamill
Related Sites +
A humorous review on PC Gamer
Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!
Contributors to this Entry
Game added by William Shawn McDonie.
Game added January 30th, 2001. Last modified October 18th, 2023.