Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (in Several Wrong Places) is the second game in the Leisure Suit Larry series of graphical adventure games, designed by Al Lowe and published by Sierra On-Line in 1988. Like its predecessor, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, it was developed for multiple platforms, including MS-DOS, Atari ST and Amiga. It utilizes Sierra’s Creative Interpreter (SCI0) engine, featuring 16-color EGA graphics and a mouse-based interface for movement. The story continues the exploits of Larry Laffer, who becomes stranded on a tropical island during an ill-fated vacation.
This game starts off sort of where Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards left off. You’re mowing the lawn of the woman you hooked up with at the end of that game only to find out you may have jumped the gun a bit (she wants nothing to do with you). Eve doesn’t really know how you are or why you’re at her house and tells you to get your shit and go.
The story proceeds linearly as you buy a lottery ticket that turns out to be a winner, bumble your way onto a dating game show and win the dream cruise, end up deserted on an island and end up saving the island natives from the mad scientist there.
Early on you’re presented with a subplot that has the KGB following you around as you’ve accidentally ended up with some microfilm the mad scientist wants (for … reasons).
Unlike its predecessor, this game uses the new SCI engine which has full mouse support. Honestly the mouse is just a distraction as you really only use it to interact with the menu bar occasionally, which you can do more quickly using hot keys anyway. SCI0 games still relied on the text parser to interact with the game world, but as soon as you start typing all character movement stops so you don’t have to time your input around a moving Larry.
Having the extended color palette (16 glorious colors!!!) and increased screen resolution (320x200 pixels!!!) allows the Sierra artists to really take full advantage of the hardware available at the time. Though I played through the SCI VGA remake of Larry 1, other games of this time such as King’s Quest really looked pale in comparison.
Clearly this title has learned a lot from the previous AGI Sierra titles as the text interactions tend to be more informative when you make a mistake, and the typical
LOOK verb you use helps direct your attention a lot more effectively to the items on screen you’d want to interact with. Though the text parser era was drawing to a close by this point, I still really enjoy this method of interacting with a game and kind of miss the jokes programmers built into these games to entertain you when you typed something stupid.
SCI games were optimized to use sound cards when available, so the sound effects and music are well done. Other than the main theme though I don’t really remember anything standing out so I guess they did a good job of keeping the background effects in the background :P
On the negative side, this game’s puzzles get to be frustratingly vague and can require a LOT of backtracking. I died A LOT trying to find a way off the plane, and when I did find it you had to position your character at exactly the right spot so the text parser would allow you to interact with the hidden third door on the lower part of the screen. You also have a limited time to get yourself off the plane so you need to reposition yourself repeatedly and keep retrying the text inputs only to die and have to reload and do it over again.
Getting yourself past the KGB on the island is also a chore as you can’t go directly to any of the locations where parts of the fetch-quest puzzle are located. You have to wait through an animation of Larry bumbling through the forest over and over and over until you get where you want to be. If you forget an item, you have to go back and repeat this process while it cycles through the locations with this stupid scripted sequence over and over.
Having unintuitive puzzles, dead ends and repeated game overs are just staples of these early Sierra Online games so I can’t really complain about that. I knew parts of this game would be frustrating and even with a walkthrough it … was frustrating.
Timing various interactions with a text parser (ex: swinging from one vine to the next over a river of piranas), or navigating a narrow path through quicksand where a one pixel misstep results in death requires frequent incremental game saving and loading.
Once you finally figure out how to make a molotov cocktail and drop it into the volcano, the (LONG) endgame sequence is triggered and you end up with the girl of your dreams. The game ends with you marrying the island girl and you’re both naked on the beach.
I don’t know if there’s a final scene or if my game froze, but this was as far as I got … and I managed to be missing 1 point from having a perfect score :/
These old text parser games are a lot of fun as great care has been put into developing the stories and characters. Al Lowe really likes to focus on juvenile humor that is essentially dick and fart jokes, but they’re still funny and make these games endearing.
If crude, suggestive, innuendo-filled games are your thing, you’ll likely enjoy this game as well as the rest in the Leisure Suit Larry series of games.
|Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (in Several Wrong Places)
|DOS, Amiga, Atari ST
See here for a refresher on how we’re scoring these games.