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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (40065)
Written on  :  Aug 07, 2003
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3.17 Stars3.17 Stars3.17 Stars3.17 Stars3.17 Stars

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Help El Dorko lose his virginity

The Good

In 1987, a Sierra employee named Al Lowe played the Apple ][ game, Softporn Adventure, written by Chuck Benton. He decided to make an update to the game, adding graphics and sound. He also added a central character that players were free to move around and interact with. And so Leisure Suit Larry was born.

The plot is nothing new as it is loosely based on Softporn Adventure, Sierra's only text-only adventure game for the Apple ][. Lowe basically remade the game, adding a central character, and incorporating graphics, sound, and a humorous parser. The story centers around Larry Laffer, a polyester leisure suit-wearing, 40-year-old sick of being a virgin. He decides to search the streets of Lost Wages for the girl of his dreams. Just like in real life, he must give each of his targets gifts in order to impress them, and do things that every girl likes.

Before the game begins, players are warned that the game is aimed at adults and are asked five questions that only an adult will know the answer to. Most of these questions are based on American knowledge, so as a non-US citizen, I had a bit of trouble with the questions regarding US presidents, sporting greats, or former actors. One question that I found amusing was a question regarding Bo Derek. One hassle about this quiz is that you have to sit through it every time you load up a game, and you can't load up a game immediately. It's brilliant that you can press three keys simultaneously to bypass it.

Leisure Suit Larry was made in 1987, so the game uses Sierra's old AGI graphics. This is the engine that gave us chunky graphics, text input, and PC Speaker sound. The buildings in each of the five areas (which include the bar, casino, disco, store, and wedding chapel) as well as their interiors are designed well, even with a resolution of 160x200. People who play this game today may be put off with the quality of the game, but that is what technology was like back then. Maniac Mansion wasn't any better, but at least there was mouse support!

The music is okay, if you can stand a single beep coming from the PC speaker. It sounds better if you have access to a Tandy computer. The sound effects are the normal Sierra standard. I like the extra features built into the game that acts as a boss key and software program. I wonder if they actually worked.

One thing I like about LSL1 lies in its humor. You can type almost anything in the game, only to get funny responses most of the time. Throughout the game, you are reminded to use your breath spray through funny responses such as "Your breath smells like a motorman's glove". When you wait long enough in a location - no matter where you are - a black dog approaches you, piddles on your leg, then goes away. Finally, when you die at your starting location, you get a humorous look at how Sierra's characters are made.

You are supposed to meet the girl of your dreams. There are only four girls in this game, but three of them are beautiful. You are allowed to get a close-up view of her face. In fact, that's required to complete the game. The one I set my eyes on is Eve, the girl in the jacuzzi. She has some gorgeous tea cups that I wanted to fondle.

The Bad

When Sierra made games in the mid-Eighties, they decided to insert mini-games that you can play at the casino. In LSL1, you have a choice of either blackjack or slots. This is necessary due to the increasing costs of taking a cab and the hundred of dollars you have to pay just to get it on with a girl. Everywhere you read urges you to save the game if you win and restore if you lose. But it is too much restoring that made me stop playing the game for a while.

The Bottom Line

Al Lowe has created an adventure game designed for adults based on Sierra's earlier works, and he was pretty serious about his intended audience too, by introducing a quiz that only an adult would know the answer to. Inside the game, it is humorous in the way that you can type anything in the text parser and it produces a funny response. The sound and graphics were okay at the time, and there are some nice girls. The only problem with this is the gambling part, but this is important to get through the game. So in conclusion, LSL1 is a nice entry to Sierra's adult adventure series, and anyone into humorous adventure games should check it out.