Leisure Suit Larry 1 Enhanced logo

Five years and a million fashions ago, a white-suited punter landed on our screens. Larry Laffer, nerd incarnate, and hapless pursuer of female attention. Al Lowe's touchingly obnoxious anti-hero, forever in search of censored action, spawned a whole series of highly-suggestive graphic adventures. Now Sierra have brought him back with an all-mouse interface and Nineties backdrops. Will he recapture our glands?

At 40, Larry Laffer boasts little more than $94, his breath spray and an insatiable appetite for romance. Starting at the seediest hangout in town, Leffy's bar, he works his way through dark alleys, garish discos and dubious hotels in search of first love. He becomes intimately acquainted with the ups and (more frequently) downs of life, leaving a trail of broken hearts, windows, or bones in his wake.

More often than not, however, he finds himself the victim of impossible circumstances. It is up to you to solve the plethora of puzzles, so that Larry-turned-hero can embrace the (current girl of his dreams in the end.

By far the most original and, although hidden beneath a layer of innuendoes, wittiest of the quartet, Larry I has now been shaped up to meet today's standards. Keyboard commands have been replaced by an icon bar along the top of the screen. Current modes are shown by the shape of the cursor and changed by right mouse clicks (look, walk, manipulate, etc), actions performed by left mouse clicks directed at specific objects, people or locations. While friends of the keyboard will deplore the loss of language, others might welcome the straightforward interface.

A literal creep
Sporting a jaunty gait, Larry strides up to the counter - except that, in fact, he doesn't. He rather creeps up to his destination, waddles across the room and exits it so slowly you might be tempted to, say, mow the lawn, format a few disks or ring up a friend in the meantime. Maybe even do all three if you're installing it on anything less than an A3000.

The graphics have been directly converted from the PC - and downgraded to 32 colours. A drab, fuzzy scenery is the outcome, with some objects barely discernable. Clear, if placative surfaces (as in the older adventures) and marker lines (as in Willy Beamish) would definitely have helped the player. As it were, you are left to admire the bizarre perspectives, wondering what the locations would look like if properly redrawn.

If fuzziness is the future of graphics, what lies in wait for your ears? Certainly, the sound effects (mostly the ones accompanying the lesser dealings of life) are all there. But without a Roland sound card the music comes out thin, monotonous and uninspired.

Larry comes on four disks and a technical manual, a handful of beginners' tips and three lewdly suggestive (copy protection) leaflets. You need two drives or (highly recommended) a hard drive and at least one Meg. Even so, the pleasure of playing departs with the first waiting sessions. Instead of setting a role model for modern classic, Sierra prove that sloppy, off-hand conversions from the PC can actually do a game more harm than good. The first version of Al Lowe's classic is far more fun. When will they learn to take the trouble of proper reprogramming that is worthy of the Amiga?

If you can't lay hands on an 'old' Larry I and are dying to live the legend, bring along a bulging purse and a huge thermos of coffee. At least he story has lost none of its appeal. Still, unless your machine boasts a turbo card or a 3000 label, don't even begin to worry about hormonal overdoses...