Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude Review

The original Leisure Suit Larry games came out during the heyday of the point and click pixel hunt adventure games on the PC over a decade ago. Players guided the middle-aged lounge lizard title character through a series of comic misadventures and a sea of double entendres all in the mostly hapless pursuit of scoring with women way out of his league. In spite of being tamer than your typical teen comedy, Larry’s eternal optimism at the prospect of finding some pixilated nookie despite endless bad luck and frustration seemed to strike a chord with gamers (imagine that!) and so the games hold a special place in the gaming memory of those who’ve played them. Now after a long hiatus the series has been revived in Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude. The game moves the series away from the singles scene and onto a college campus as you take on the role of Larry Loveage, a student on the six year plan at Walnut Log Community College and nephew of the original lounge lizard of the same name.

Larry, you smooth talker you....

Magna Cum Laude breaks from its predecessors by moving the action into fully 3D environments and replacing the pixel hunting gameplay mechanic with a collection of mini-games. The game’s storyline has you trying to score a spot on a dating show known as Swingles by bringing the show’s hostess proof that you’re man enough to make it with the ladies of Walnut Log in the form of “tokens of affection”. This story serves as the excuse for you to try and bed a series of curvatious cuties that are drawn from just about every college stereotype that you can think of, but who cares? Are you really only interested in this game if it has a complex plotline? Yeah right, wink wink, nudge nudge…

What a perfect segue into answering the question that is on the minds of 99.99% of the males who will read this view. And the answer is … yes, there is nudity in the game. There’s no full frontal or views of people’s nether regions, but you’ll get to see your share of jiggling 3D modeled mammaries. The business ends of things are covered by a very large square with the word “CENSORED” plastered on it, and that’s when Larry actually scores to acquire his latest token of affection. Due to circumstance both within and out of his control, Larry often has trouble sealing the deal, so to speak. If you’re into ogling video game vixens the game gives you plenty of other chances outside of the boot-knocking scenes to get an eyeful, with women on trampolines, wet t-shirt contests, and the like to tickle your fancy.

Making headway with the women in the game, and in fact accomplishing anything from getting money to boosting your confidence level, involves successfully completing a variety of mini-games. Some of these are based on such arcade classics as Pong and Root Beer Tapper, while others draw their inspiration from more recent rhythm and dance games. The game used to converse with the women is probably the most unique take on the racing games of old in which you moved a race car back and forth to avoid hitting the cars that you were passing. In true Leisure Suit Larry style, the car has been replaced with a sperm and the oncoming traffic with positive and negative icons. Your goal is to move your sperm up and down to scoop up the good green icons while avoiding the bad red ones. Hitting green smilie faces and hearts fills your heart meter and drives the branching conversation in a positive direction. Hitting the red ones will make Larry say the wrong thing, cost him some of his heart meter, and in some cases even make him drunk. Believe me, you don’t want Larry drunk during this game because it makes it very hard to steer your sperm. I am not making this stuff up, I promise.