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Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don’t Dry Review

The Leisure Suit Larry series first debuted back in 1987 and over the past 30 years, the series has erected a place for itself within the gaming industry as a memorable point-and-click adventure series. Though more recent efforts, like Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust, received a flaccid response, the Larry Laffer line of games remain beloved by many and now Larry is back to satisfy the gamers of the 21st century. Leisure Suit Larry is the type of game that is a guilty pleasure, for the game relies on juvenile humor and places a strong emphasis on sexual innuendo. For the first time, Leisure Suit Larry has charmed his way to a Nintendo platform with the release of Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don’t Dry for Nintendo Switch.

One genre the Nintendo Switch isn’t lacking in is the point-and-click sort and Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don’t Dry can stand beside the others with a sense of pride. Despite its adult theme and limited appeal, Wet Dreams Don’t Dry is a proficient adventure that is more than capable of providing laughs and moments of genuine entertainment. The older Leisure Larry games are products of their time and Wet Dreams Don’t Dry can remain true to series’ roots, but also matures in storytelling and character depiction as it makes a smooth transition into the modern era.

Wet Dreams Don’t Dry opens with a dazed and confused Larry mystified by his surroundings. He stumbles out of an underground vault and finds himself in a familiar, yet puzzling environment. After a brief search, Larry staggers his way to Lefty’s, a tavern he had been a patron of. Despite his disorganized state of being, Larry is primed to do what he thinks he does best: flirt with and look to pick up women.

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In Lefty’s, Larry learns that he has been gone for nearly three decades and then talks with a young woman that is sampling craft beer and engaging in social media activities – like uploading to Instacrap, checking dating profiles on Timber, and browsing Farcebook. Wet Dreams Don’t Dry satirizes the modern era and our reliance on technology for social engagement, the quest of ‘Likes’, and the need for apps to find dates. Thrusting from this concept, Larry soon equips himself with a cellphone and joins Timber because, after all, that’s the best way to find a date and is the central point of the game.

Lefty’s bar serves as a tutorial section, as it introduces you to the setting, controls, and premise. Upon completion of the opening hour, you’ll find yourself exploring the city of New Lost Wages in your pursuit of women. The women of the Leisure Suit Larry series have always been interesting characters and the depiction of women in Wet Dreams Don’t Dry illustrates growth and maturity in terms of representation.

The women in which Larry will pursue may be exaggerated takes on clichés – like the nerd that is into cosplay or the hipster that has a nihilistic view of the world, but they aren’t relegated to the demeaning role of being objects for Larry to win or acquire. Each dateable character is defined by their personal identity. They are unique individuals, and this reflects in their appearance and dialogue. The characters aren’t eye-candy; they are full people and all areas of their person are given time in Wet Dreams Don’t Dry.

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Larry’s character is often on the receiving end of the game’s many jokes because the character acts in idiotic ways, but even Larry shows character growth. However, the humor is of the acquired taste variety. You’ll need an appreciation for satire and mocking the current trends, sex puns, and dick jokes if you want to enjoy a good chuckle. Gratefully, the game successfully strikes a balance between storytelling and humor. Even if the humor leaves you feeling unsatisfied, the narrative may be enough to bring you some form of pleasure.

Wet Dreams Don’t Dry’s core gameplay is standard point-and-click fare; as you solve puzzles, talk to NPC, collect miscellaneous objects, and attempt to have a successful date to build your Timber score. It doesn’t redefine or revolutionize the genre in any way but does well to blend the retro feel of classic Leisure Suit Larry with modern point-and-click games. When necessary, you’ll access your inventory and combine items to solve puzzles and complete tasks.

Inventory management is one of the game’s rough spots as making use of items is convoluted. To use an item, you must first equip the said item and then visit the location of interest. It’s a minor annoyance that is bothersome during the opening section, but one you should quickly adjust to. It would have been nice if you could click on the locked door and drag the key to lock to open it; instead of visiting the inventory, equipping the key, walking to the door, selecting to use the key, and then unlocking the door. A slight inconvenience that could have been made more efficient, but is serviceable nonetheless.

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Another area the comes up short in is with its puzzle design. Many are needlessly obtuse and will leave you confused as to how to find the solution. With enough patience and trial and error experimentation, you’ll eventually stumble upon the solution but getting stuck on an unnecessarily imperceptive puzzle can slow progress considerably – especially when it’s something trivial like a hidden Switch that is hidden in an obscure location that makes no sense in the context of the environment or setting.

What made puzzle solving a bit more enjoyable was the option of playing the game in handheld mode. While button controls are adequate, the touch-screen controls make managing your inventory and searching an environment feel more natural and less like a chore. Thankfully, the game looks crisp on the Switch screen and it suits itself well to portable play.

Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don’t’ Dry is a return to form for Larry Laffer and this new release successfully erases the nightmare of recent entries like Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust from memory. While the obtuse puzzles make things hard and difficult to overcome, the experience is mostly satisfying. The quirky humor may not please everyone, but such is love. Wet Dreams Don’t Dry is a fantasy worth having if you are a fan of the series and looking to reunite with your old friend Larry.

Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy provided by Assemble Entertainment

Nintendo Insider Review Score 7

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