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Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail

For: Mobile

We're not buying, thanks

Product: Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail | Developer: The Mighty Troglodytes | Publisher: Vivendi Games Mobile | Format: Mobile | Genre: Adult, Adventure | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 386KB | Reviewed on: N73 other handsets | Version: Europe
Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail Mobile, thumbnail 1
Some things are arguably better left in the '80s. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, for instance. The Police Academy films. Leisure Suit Larry.

Yep, going on recent performances like Larry Beach Volley, not to mention his fulsomely anachronistic behaviour, the eponymous Larry has been asking to get stuffed back into that box marked 'memories' and stored indefinitely. Can Love for Sail save him from the attic? Let's take a look.

You play as Larry Laffer, a balding 40-year-old bachelor with a collection of corny chat-up lines matched only in size by his paunch. One of gaming's most deliberately oily characters, Larry's in danger of losing his job as a video game designer and is sent to an overseas conference to brush up his skills.

Setting the tone for the rest of the game, through a series of comedic mishaps Larry, being Larry, gets on the wrong plane. He's then mistaken for a more famous video game developer who's been invited to a tropical island to meet the owners of a game company and perform at a concert.

What ensues is an adventure game where Larry bumbles through all sorts of situations that neatly dovetail into his deluded view that he's being tested to see whether he's good enough to keep his job.

Nothing much has changed since Larry made his debut on home computers in the mid-1980s. It's an old-skool adventure game involving wandering around, talking to the onscreen characters, collecting items, and using them in the right circumstances (or with each other) to solve a puzzle and carrying on your merry way.

It's a simple concept that works with varying degrees of success. Most of the stock situations follow the same path: you need something specific to reach the next part of the level, so you talk to one of the people that'll be hanging around and then look for what that person wants; give the person whatever it is they're after and they'll give you what you're after.

That's about it and, once you figure out the formula, Love for Sail becomes a fairly average adventure that can be played largely by rote, not least because there's generally only one task to do at a time, one item in your inventory, and a very limited range of objects to act upon.

The humour on which the series prides itself is flakily in evidence, and while some of the lines are genuinely funny, some fall flat. The Leisure Suit Larry games have always centred on adult themes and it's a tradition that's upheld here. Though with chauvinistic sensibilities as aged as the star himself, it's one some will loathe and some will love.

For a nominally adult game, Love for Sail doesn't progress beyond being mildly racy – there's far more titillating fare available for mobile phones if you're looking for it, and Larry is more Roy Chubby Brown than Hugh Hefner.

The game looks good (one area in which Larry the character and this vehicle differ), with colourful, detailed landscapes to explore, although some elements of the presentation are less impressive. Dodgy spelling and grammar rear their warped heads from time to time, while the sound consists of a backing track with no effects, which just drones on.

These problems, though, are surface defects. The core mechanic, including the controls and way you play, is fine. You can control almost the entire game with the thumbstick (or '2', '4', '6', '8') and the '5' key. A single press in range of a pliable object brings up a discreet, icon-based menu: look, use, use with inventory item, talk.

This interface is very slick, and along with the cartoon-esque graphics and infrequent moments of humour, there's the bones of a great game on offer here. Which is what it would have been, if only someone had been willing to put the time and effort into creating a more challenging, sophisticated adventure.

As it stands, Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail is too shallow and littered with niggling flaws to really recommend. It's not that Love for Sail is truly terrible, but it's a fairly thin imitation of the bawdy adventure games that first made Larry's name.
Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail
Reviewer photo
Mike Abolins | 14 August 2007
Despite decent graphics and a tidy interface, lack of depth really lets this old-skool adventure down
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