Gaming Review: Leisure Suit Larry - Wet Dreams Dry Twice

Review: Leisure Suit Larry – Wet Dreams Dry Twice

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About an hour into Leisure Suit Larry – Wet Dreams Dry Twice, I realized something. I’ve actually played this series before. It’s been over two decades since I last booted up a Leisure Suit Larry game, and now I’m actually old enough to understand them. Unfortunately, even though I understand it now, I’m still not sure I get it. The game plays, as it always has, as a classic point-and-click adventure game with lovably nonsensical puzzles and quirky interactions. For fans of the series, the game’s plot will be a direct continuation from the previous game, Wet Dreams Don’t Dry, but Wet Dreams Dry Twice can easily be enjoyed as a standalone title.

After escaping an arranged marriage, the titular Larry finds himself shipwrecked on a resort island that is an amalgamation of all tropical destinations—it’s vaguely Hawaii, vaguely Mexico, and vaguely everything all at once. The story springboards from there, and Larry finds himself haplessly roped into all sorts of characters’ problems. Your first mission? Earn the resort a five star review on the famous website Gulp (an obvious pun on Yelp).

The game is so jam-packed with sexual innuendo that it is barely worth mentioning. Nearly every interaction holds a double entendre, and all the backgrounds are jam packed with smutty goodness. Sadly, this is sort of where Wet Dreams Dry Twice starts to lose me. It’s relentless. Sure, the occasional witty joke lands, but for the most part, it starts to feel like a slog. The game is as much a survival game where you battle against terrible puns as it is a point-and-click. For the right audience, this game could be a laugh riot, but on my playthrough I find it missing time and time again. I end up clicking my way through most of the dialogue.

Apart from the onslaught of sexual puns, Wet Dreams Dry Twice is actually fairly enticing. The story is intriguing enough to keep me interested, and I find myself wanting to keep going to figure out how it all will end. But this is no easy task. I distinctly remember how difficult these point-and-click games were as a kid, and twenty years later it’s no different. There’s no two ways around it: Wet Dreams Dry Twice is hard. I wouldn’t be surprised if most players were checking guides fairly regularly. I certainly was.

The puzzles are both inventive and exceedingly strange. Your first puzzle is to fix a guitar with an old electrical wire, but the solutions get increasingly odd. At one point, to trick a stubborn environmentalist into leaving their post, I combine a lewd rubber ducky and a plastic six-pack ring to lure out a rooster. I throw said rooster into a vat of oil, call the environmentalist, and, voilà, problem solved. If your mind can figure out those sorts of puzzles easily, then congratulations, you’re quicker on your feet than I am. Again, for someone dipping their toe into point-and-click like myself, these puzzles are frustratingly difficult. But, for the inveterate player, these might be perfectly crafted.

The charm in Wet Dreams Dry Twice stems from the little details. The game is replete with a myriad of pop culture callouts. In only a couple of hours, I’ve encountered references to Blade Runner, Austin Powers: Gold Member, and even Finding Nemo. There’s also several on-the-nose nods to our current society. Larry finds himself constantly on the outside of societal norms. He’s constantly confused about the proper way to navigate everyday life in the modern era. He, like the Leisure Suit Larry series, is a relic of the 1980s marooned in the 21st century.

You’ll also encounter all the classic stereotypes of our time. You’ve got the ludicrously picky critic who is weaponizing their reputation on a review platform, the rave obsessed backpacker, and the tried-and-true aloof hipster. It’s all fine, but it feels like it’s been done a million times before. It’s not exactly unfunny, but it certainly isn’t fresh.

Wet Dreams Dry Twice is an odd experience. It oscillates between totally enjoyable and completely tedious. I am either enjoying the challenge of a certain puzzle or flocking to the safety of a guide to get me through. Like most games, I can imagine a perfect audience for Wet Dreams Dry Twice, but to me it feels dated—and not in an intentional manner. Sure, loyal fans might be thankful that CrazyBunch has stayed true to their roots, but newcomers will find a game that feels too deeply couched in a bygone era. I haven’t played a point-and-click in over two decades, and yet the genre feels completely unchanged. Is that a good thing? Possibly to long standing fans of the genre. But to most, it’s all going to feel a bit stale.

SUMMARY

+ Quirky characters
+ Fun artistic style
+ Funny enough parody of our times
- Point-and-click feels dated
- Frustratingly hard puzzles
- Repetitive humour
(Reviewed on PC)
Brendan Dick
An avid gamer since he first stood on the family computer chair to be able to see and play Diablo. When he is not writing, he primarily spends his time worrying about not writing.

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