Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail!
|Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail!|
|Series||Leisure Suit Larry|
|Release||MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows|
Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail! is an adventure game originally developed and published by Sierra On-Line in 1996. It was the last Leisure Suit Larry game written by series creator Al Lowe, and the last to feature original protagonist Larry Laffer as the main character until the release of Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don't Dry in 2018. Despite being known as Leisure Suit Larry 7 during its development, Love for Sail! was actually the sixth installment in the Leisure Suit Larry series due to the (intentional) nonexistence of a fourth game.
After many of the Leisure Suit Larry games had gained a reputation for not actually featuring all that much raunchy content when analysed, Love for Sail! included some much more risqué elements compared to previous installments. It also featured more fleshed-out, cartoon style graphics than its predecessors, as well as full voice acting. A mobile game of the same title was also released by Vivendi Games Mobile in 2007.
Players can "appear" in the game by placing voice samples of selected dialogue and a digitized photo in a particular directory (the default is Al Lowe). Due to time constraints, the information to do so was not printed in the manual, but was published some time later in an online announcement.
Love for Sail! also provides a more-literal-than-usual interpretation of Easter eggs: when certain obscure actions are performed, a small icon resembling an Easter egg flashes in a corner of the screen. This usually indicates that a "seduction" scene can now be played featuring nudity that is normally obscured.
The game also shipped with a "CyberSniff 2000", a sheet of numbered scratch-and-sniff paper, corresponding to a number displayed on the screen at a certain location, so that the player can get a scent of what the area the player character is in smells like.
Love for Sail! is the first Larry game since the third to pick up immediately where its predecessor left off; in typical fashion, it features Larry getting dumped by the woman who represented the ultimate goal of Larry 6, Shamara.
The formula is much the same as the previous games; the "twist" is that Larry was a passenger on a cruise ship populated by parodies of famous people. Among the other cruise guests are "Drew Baringmore" (Drew Barrymore), "Dewmi Moore" (Demi Moore), "Victorian Principles" (Victoria Principal), "Jamie Lee Coitus" (Jamie Lee Curtis), "Nailmi" and "Wydoncha Jugg" (Naomi and Wynonna Judd) and "Annette Boning" (Annette Bening). Various other pop icons are parodied in the background, such as the Archie Comics gang playing nude volleyball, various incarnations of James Bond in the ship's casino (itself an homage to Peter Sellers's famous Casino Royale parody). Most of the male supporting cast (Peter the Purser, Johnson the bartender, Dick the guardrobe attendant, Wang the galley server, Bob Bitt the artist) are named after popular euphemisms for the male reproductive organ or are in some way related to it (Bob Bitt, for instance, is named after John Wayne Bobbitt; the character also shares the same first name and bears a passing resemblance to fellow artist Bob Ross).
The plot revolves around Larry's attempt at winning a weekly contest held on the ship by Captain Thygh, a gorgeous blonde. The contest involves a series of other games varying from legitimate sports competitions like bowling to naughtier things like a machine created to test one's sexual prowess. Each passenger is given a score card with a selection of the various competitions to compete in, and the passenger with the highest cumulative score at the end of the week wins. The prize is an additional free week on the cruise spent sharing the Captain's cabin (and, presumably, her bed.)
The player must come up with a variety of ways to cheat in each of Larry's assigned competitions so that he can get the highest score and win the contest. Among Larry's chosen competitions are a cooking contest, a "best dressed" contest, a game of horseshoes, bowling, the sexual prowess contest and others. At times Larry wins these contests not by cheating but only by an unexpected twist of fate triggered by his (often unintentional) actions. For instance, Larry's encounter with fashion designer Jamie Lee Coitus causes his leisure suit to become the height of fashion; as such he wins the best dressed competition. Similar to Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work, it is impossible for the game to be placed in an "unwinnable" state by a bad decision.
Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail! was originally announced under the title Leisure Suit Larry 7: Yank-her's Away!. According to creator Al Lowe, the development team were initially planning to make the game with live action full motion video, "but what we found out was, we're writing cartoons here... if we did straight video, it becomes not only ludicrous, but obscene [laughs]... We were going over the list of gags we had and just said, 'oh no, you couldn't even do this with blue screen!' ... what we came back to was that we liked what we'd done in the past and we want to do that even more."
This was the first Leisure Suit Larry game to receive an ESRB rating (Mature) upon its original release. Lowe acknowledged that the game was considerably more risqué than previous installments of Leisure Suit Larry but maintained that the focus was on the humor rather than the nudity or sexual content, and that the game would not appeal to those looking for pornography.
Commenting on a puzzle in which Larry must push on a door, despite guns coming out of the wall implying that he shouldn't touch it, producer Mark Seibert recounted that "all of us knew that was a bad puzzle, and that we shouldn't be putting it in, but it made for a big joke and so we left it. Sure enough, people have written me about it all the time and say, 'Hey! That was a stupid puzzle!'" [emphasis in original]
A mobile version by Mighty Troglodytes titled Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail (minus the exclamation mark of the PC version) was released by Vivendi Games on June 21, 2007, featuring a completely different plot to the original.
A reviewer for Next Generation criticized the game's puzzles and re-introduction of a text parser: "Now, we kind of miss text parsers, but combining one with point-and-click results in a game that's neither fish nor fowl, adding an element of pure guesswork to a puzzle set that's already conceptually slippery. Beyond this, the game's other big flaw is that the series hasn't really done anywhere - much like its main protagonist, it seems stuck in a perpetual adolescence." However, he concluded that the game has enough strong moments to appeal to fans of the series. GameSpot complimented the game's challenge and hint system, but found that the raunchy humor quickly grew tiresome. The game was also reviewed by Danny Wallace in the January 1997 edition of PCGamer (UK) magazine and was given a score of 23%, described the game as "a pointless mountain of toss".
Richard Cobbett writing a Larry retrospective for Rock Paper Shotgun in 2011 opined the game was "a really good, very underrated adventure". That same year, Adventure Gamers named Love for Sail the 71st-best adventure game ever released.
According to Al Lowe, sales of Love for Sail surpassed 280,000 units by early 1999. In 2006, he remarked in an interview that it had ultimately sold "750,000 copies plus many more in the various Larry collections."
Ports and re-releases
The game was included as Leisure Suit Larry 7 in the Leisure Suit Larry: Ultimate Pleasure Pack compilation by Sierra Studios, released in 1999. On February 19, 2013, Codemasters re-released the game downloadably on GOG.com for Microsoft Windows and OS X pre-packed with DOSBox. On April 26, 2018, the Windows build was updated to support ScummVM 2.0. A Linux version pre-packed with ScummVM was released on May 15, 2018. On August 2, 2019, the macOS build was updated to support ScummVM 2.0.
- Hamrick, Lee (November 26, 1996). "Leisure Suit Larry ships out". CNET Gamecenter. Archived from the original on August 17, 2000. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
"Sierra On-Line is ready to give you both goose bumps and a good laugh this holiday season. The gaming supercompany has just released two more follow-ups, capitalizing on the success of their former titles...take a break from it all with Leisure Suit Larry's latest misadventure, Love For Sail...[it] is available now for Windows 95 and DOS."
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