At the beginning of Larry Laffer’s latest adventure, you can prompt seedy barkeep Lefty for information on the current era. One of his many responses is the revelation that “people don't play point and click adventures anymore, they play games with exploding candies instead”. Throughout Crazy Bunch Studio’s revival of this much-beloved adventure series, there’s on the nose dialogue like this. There are also frequent callbacks to a bygone era of cartoonish adventure games. It’s self-aware, cynical, blunt and crude. A Leisure Suit Larry game, then.

This time around, Larry is a fish out of water in the digital age, waking up in a strange lab, decades after his last big outing. He immediately gets involved in the online dating scene, after making a profile on the new-fangled Timber app. For reasons only his libido is aware of, he needs to woo the assistant of Bill Jobs, CEO of tech company Prune. Larry takes his new AI-assisted PiPhone onto the streets and sets about boosting his Timber points.

If all that sounds toe-curlingly unfunny, this is not the game for you. The humour here is puerile and thinly veiled. Larry himself is a grotesque caricature of masculinity: a nasally-sounding, slimy, out-of-touch dead beat, that’s as incompetent as he is lucky. Almost every dialogue tree has a joke that a teenager might scrawl on the side of a bathroom stall. This is, of course, the point. Fans of the series aren’t looking for high-brow. Giant, penis-shaped buildings, unicorns with female genitalia in their mouth, and toilet gags are true to the spirit of this franchise. The writers know their audience well – you can't even start the game without answering retro pop culture questions to prove your age.

It was always going to be a dicey proposition bringing back a series synonymous with low taste sexual humour, starring a womanizing sleaze-bag straight out of a time best forgotten. Thankfully Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don’t Dry manages to balance a tone that’s true to the original, while also poking fun at just how ridiculous its protagonist is. That’s not to say the game gets away clean, there is a lot here to be offended by and a lot that feels out of touch. The fun poked at social media, online dating, and hipster trends would have felt outdated upon the game’s original release last year. A lot of the writing just really doesn’t work, but the overall tone and a large portion of the jokes do raise a smile. The story is compelling enough, centring on a nefarious tech company and taking potshots at shady game development practices.

It’s also gleefully self-aware at times. After the construction of particularly absurd item (a sex toy, a plastic bag, and a toilet roll), the game gives you the option to refund it, only to claim the programmers were too lazy to implement the feature.

What makes this title distinct from others in the series, and the point and click genre as a whole, is the freeform nature of its objectives. Larry’s quest to get a 90 rating on Timber isn’t exactly a sandbox goal, but it does open up the main portion of the game to allow for non-linear puzzle solving. Each one of Larry’s potential dates will hand him a task to complete before he can get what he wants and receive the all-important profile boost. Puzzles are standard fare: pick up random items and give them to the characters in need or combine them into some bizarre contraption to get you past an obstacle. The order in which you tackle each errand is left up to you.

As is customary for traditional adventure games like this, things can often get a little frustrating. Whether it’s an item you’ve missed or a nonsensical solution for a seemingly logical problem, prepare to be infuriated on more than one occasion during Larry’s odyssey. Thankfully, the relative freedom to the narrative means you can always try some other task in the hopes that a solution will present itself.

The game looks and sounds great, with gorgeous hand-drawn artwork and fantastic voice acting. The characters – aside from the titular Lothario – are likeable, if a little one dimensional. Overall, this is an enjoyable entry in a very niche sub-genre of adventure games. Some of the gags fall flat and this is definitely not going to find a wide audience, but Larry’s latest adventure does him proud.

Conclusion

Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don’t Dry plots the return of a filthy anti-hero that’s often enjoyable and sometimes cringe-worthy. An interestingly non-linear story format breaks from the usual adventure template, but this is still the same old Larry – for better or worse.