Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don’t Dry Review

Frustrating and flawed sex romp.

Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don't Dry

It isn’t often a video game tears you in two directions. Then again, it isn’t often someone has another crack at breathing life into Leisure Suit Larry a lewd series of adventure games dating back to the late 1980s. As the credits rolled on Wet Dreams Don’t Dry, developer Crazy Bunch’s modern take on the antics of sex-fuelled chauvinist Larry Laffer, I found I’d enjoyed some sights and sounds, but little else.

Larry awakens in an underground laboratory. Fumbling in the dark, he soon emerges high resolution, into the bright lights and dingy dives of New Lost Wages.

Wet Dreams wastes no time on its central conceit of shaggery. You enter Lefty’s Bar (a familiar spot for series enthusiasts) and Larry’s back at it: throwing out one-liners and latching on to anything with a pulse. This time, by way of online dating app ‘Timber’.

From the get-go, it’s clear that the German developer is holding steadfast to Larry’s roots. Accessed through your filthy, bathroom smartphone, Timber plays matchmaker, allowing you travel to different parts of the city in the hope that somebody will sleep with you. The premise isn’t surprising for the series but you can’t help but feel a bit grimy when, in 2018, progression ties to dialogue choices, almost all of which come across as aggressive or lecherous.

Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don't Dry

Once you’ve picked up a quest or two, Wet Dreams makes ample use of its classic point-and-click format. You head to an area, comb the environment and amass a bustling inventory of combinable junk. Items are wildly creative, and integral to completing those tasks set by your Timber matches. Unfortunately, many also feel lacking in internal logic, and in a world where darts stick into brick walls and some shopkeepers are simply more lenient with their policy on five-finger discounts, blind inventory mashing often ends up as the best way forward. The game also doesn’t limit the amount of quests you can take on. This opens things up, but enforces regular backtracking as you search for items you might have missed, or revisit conversations to see if new options have appeared.

Technically, Wet Dreams is excellent. Animations are silky smooth and the world looks crisp and vibrant, scenes littered with interesting trinkets and dodgy devices. It’s bargain bin humour, but the sheer attention to detail spread throughout the world, from a putrid bathroom to a bustling underground sex club, is a sight to behold. Locations ooze ambience and all of your rummaging is scored by a handful of sleazy show-tunes and oddly emotional boardwalk reveries.

Wet Dreams Don’t Dry could have been an interesting swerve for Larry, one which had him keep his bravado but learn a thing or two along the way. Unfortunately, frustrating puzzles and a shallow bawdiness override anything outside of a downpour of dick jokes and paper-thin commentary on 21st-century technology addiction. It’s fun to look at but fundamentally flawed, and a few hours in when things take a turn for the obtuse and you find yourself repeating conversations with people like ’Dick Ryder’, or staring intently at a dildo-headed unicorn (‘screwnicorn’) trying to figure out its purpose, you’ll be questioning your own.

[Reviewed on PC]

4/10