Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude Review

If you had a computer and were playing games about, oh, say ten or fifteen years ago, then you probably know all about Leisure Suit Larry. Leading this hapless middle-aged loser on point and click adventures through the perils of the singles scene was a right of passage for some and a tongue-in-cheek, ribald diversion for others. Now it is time for a new generation and so enter Larry Lovage, Larry Laffer’s nephew and longtime student at Walnut Log Community College. Gone are the static 2D screens, gone are the fastidious pixel hunts, but also gone are some of the devious puzzles, replaced by mini games to be played ad infinitum in magna Cum Laude.

The ladies of Walnut Log are certainly beautiful.

The basic premise of the game is this: Swingles, a hip dating show, has come to Walnut Log and Larry is dying to get a spot on the show. The show’s hostess refuses to believe that Larry is anything but a loser and before she’ll let Larry even audition he’ll have to retrieve objects of affection from several different women to prove that he is not a loser with the ladies. So you must guide Larry through campus and help him score with enough women to get a seat on the show.

Getting the tokens of affection involves locating the right women to initiate a conversation with, playing a series of mini games in which your success will drive your conversations with the women in the right direction, and then sealing the deal to collect the token. Or at least trying to seal the deal, as Larry is about as unlucky in bed as he is out of it and something inevitably seems to go wrong. If you’re looking for some pixilated porn in the game then you should really take note of that last point. While you’ll get to see a fair amount of cartoony bare breasts in the game, there’s very little real, ahem, action, and what does happen gets obscured by a large label marked “CENSORED”. In fact, there’s no full frontal or fanny shots either as these areas are also always covered by the aforementioned label. What you do get is a lot of no holds barred and randy, often crude, humor. Sometimes it is pretty clever and pokes fun at just about every collegiate cliché you can think of. At other times it is sophomoric and will appeal mostly to Junior High kids who snicker when they hear obscenities and are supposed to be too young to be playing this game.

Now back to the gameplay. Everything in the game is driven by a handful of mini games. Even on the few occasions when you are supposed to collect an object, you’ll almost always need to buy the object in question and so will probably need to play one of the job mini games to earn some cash. You’ll play a dirty version of Pong, take-offs on Root Beer Tapper, Dance Dance Revolution style timed button pushing, and chases in which you must collect a set number of items before being caught by pursuers in a vague homage to Pac-Man all for cash or to advance the plot. The problem is that once the novelty of the games where off, which doesn’t take long, there’s not really much enjoyment in them. They are just too repetitive and too simple to be fun, and you’ll end up playing them over and over again through the course of the game.