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Review: Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Dry Twice Numbed Me to Sex Jokes

Note: This Article has been updated

I grew up playing adventure games, mostly from Lucasarts, but I knew of the Leisure Suit Larry franchise. In fact, Leisure Suit Larry was so infamous that friends I knew who never played an adventure game knew of the franchise. I wasn’t surprised when the series found a new life in 2013 with Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded, but it wasn’t until this release that I finally played a Leisure Suit Larry game. It was equal parts not what I was expecting, and exactly what I was expecting.

Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Dry Twice is a point and click adventure game starring loveable lech Larry Laffer. It takes place after the events of Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don’t Dry—and the series features a style of humor that would make you uncomfortable to play it in front of your mom. To be honest, I thought the series would be a little more gratuitous—but that depends on your sensibilities, I suppose. For instance, in almost every scene there is a mundane phallic object made out to look like a penis. I won’t turn this into a treatise on the type of humor the series employs, but it’s like hanging out with a 13 year old boy who thinks any mention of sex is funny. There’s just so many sex jokes it’s exhausting. A lot of humor is about defying expectations, but when you expect the sex joke, it’s not too funny anymore, especially when that’s all there is.

 

I’m not saying Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Dry Twice isn’t funny—but it isn’t laugh out loud funny. Strangely, the story is carried well by the perpetually horny kleptomaniac that is Larry Laffer.  Larry himself is a fish out of water—taken from the 80s, and put into our modern world. He’s learned quickly that women don’t want to be treated as sex objects, and has even been undergoing sensitivity training to offset his horny ways. This doesn’t stop women from inexplicably throwing themselves at him—even if he’s on a quest to find a woman named Faith, who is “totally into him.” This search brings Larry through a set of cirCUMstances (haha, get it?) that will require point-and-clicking specific objects to overcome.

Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Dry Twice is a point and click adventure that feels like it came straight out of the ‘90s. I couldn’t help but be endeared with its art style and interface. It’s perfectly streamlined, and (mostly) able to be played with just one hand—sex joke unintended. Left clicking performs an action, right clicking works as “observe.” These two actions replace rows of context menus  that I was forced to deal with growing up. Even further streamlining the ordeal is the ability to get into your inventory and “PiPhone” with just a scroll of the mouse wheel. I rarely gush about the interface for an adventure game, but Wet Dreams Dry Twice is the pinnacle of point and click adventure game user interface. It’s too bad the gameplay itself leans a little more towards pixel hunt than clever puzzle solving. Something I ended up doing because the instructions to highlight all objects are buried in the tutorial, as far as I can tell.

UPDATE: After I published this article, it was pointed out to me that you can press space bar to highlight objects you can interact with. So I jumped into the game to verify this–while I was initially a bit embarrassed about it, I did a little more digging. I did try to find a button to highlight these objects, but there’s no option for it. In fact, as far as I could tell, there’s no mention of it besides the opening moments of the game. I play a lot of games–and sometimes put them down to prioritize other projects. When I came back to Wet Dreams Dry Twice, I even looked for the button that highlights everything in the settings. But my error wasn’t even as egregious as that, the “spacebar” or “middle mouse” to highlight all objects instruction is buried in a tutorial–a tutorial that made you do specific actions before you could proceed. Press space bar or middle mouse wasn’t one of them. It even says “remember” but it wasn’t talked about before then. Even so, I was able to complete my playthrough of Wet Dreams Dry Twice in a little under eight hours.

For those who hate random objects solving puzzles, there’s a good amount of moon logic in use here, but fortunately not a lot. Most of the puzzles can be solved intuitively—if you can find the right items. Some adventure games I found myself stuck after not knowing exactly what item to use for a puzzle. In Wet Dreams Dry Twice I was stuck finding items I could interact with. Each of the scenes are packed visually, and sometimes the item you need to progress is tucked away, and hidden in a spot harder than where Waldo would be. If I found myself stuck, I’d go to each scene and methodically hover over every inch of the scenery, painstakingly searching for something I might have missed—and I can interact with. You could argue that’s a staple of point and click adventures, but I’ve seen it handled more cleverly.

 

Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Dry Twice has an interesting cast of characters. A lot of the dialogues and interactions (aside from the innuendo) could fit perfectly in a Lucasarts adventure. Most of them accept Larry for his horny ways. There are a lot of references to how Larry himself is inappropriate for modern sensibilities, which I find ironic, considering the game exists at all. The Leisure Suit Larry vibe is embraced, but with a lot of “this is totally inappropriate” commentary. It’s an effective way to skirt the line of acceptability, but I wish the game had something to say with its humor beyond “haha penis.”

Screenshot: Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Dry Twice

Despite its adult themes, there’s something weirdly innocent about Larry himself. He accepts who he is, and what he wants—and doesn’t apologize for it, even if the world around him has moved on. That can even be considered a little noble in its own way. Despite his lecherousness, I couldn’t help but root for Larry: he’s affable–misguided, but he means well.

Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Dry Twice is a good adventure game. It’s not really very funny to me—but its constant stream of sex jokes didn’t get tiresome, either. I imagine it’s the same sort of desensitization that happens to those who work in shops that sell pornography and sex toys—and it’s exactly that desensitization that makes the humor fall a little flat. It does a good job maintaining the old school point and click adventure feeling, and manages a few throwbacks to its more pixelated days. I guess I can finally say I’ve played a Leisure Suit Larry game.

 

Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Dry Twice is available today on Windows via Steam.

 

 

 

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2 replies »

  1. Er, you are aware that you can press the space bar or press the mouse wheel to highlight all objects in a location, right? No pixel hunting in this one if you don’t want it.

    • What?! No, I totally wasn’t aware. All of those hours…haha. I’m going to put an update in this article to reflect my mistake.

      Thanks for the head’s up.

      Edit: and thanks for reading!

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