Malcolm Owen On February 28, 2005 at 12:57 pm

University life appears to be all fun and games to the uninitiated. The general perception is that getting a degree entails turning up for a lecture or two, attending concerts and sporting events whilst draining the fourth keg of the week from your own personal brewery you keep inside your dorm room. People also believe that this lifestyle entails copious amounts of sex with people you barely know, and varying amounts of “experimentation” in both substance and action forms. In reality, people going to university try to get as much out of the course as they can, since it is costing them so much to do in the first place. The late night partying is replaced by working in a local market and last minute essay writing. This is very different from the assumptions of the outsiders looking in, and would be possibly the most boring game in existence, if anyone actually bothered to make one.

You can guess which version this game takes the view of…

Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude is the “triumphant” return to the series, starring a pathetic loser of a guy trying to “score” with some “hot babes”, and failing spectacularly for most of the time. This time however, you do not get to play as ladies-man and Paul Daniels doppelganger Larry Laffer, but his nephew, the more youthful and annoying Larry Lovage.

Larry Junior is in college and as a pathetic single loser, he sleeps in his dorm room alone, pining for the time when he can become as great a man as Hugh Heffner. Of course, he isn’t. He then spots an opportunity to appear on the new reality TV sensation sweeping the nation called, unsurprisingly, “Swingles”. Cue the game, where he has to prove he is “man” enough to appear on TV and have girls playing to sleep with him as a prize.

In order to complete this major objective, Larry must spend the entire game trying to court various girls on campus to gain a token of appreciation, which opens up more areas with more girls to chase. All these girls, mind, are based on stereotypical, narrow-minded viewpoints that some people would find either sexist, insulting or rude. First, there’s the cowgirl, complete with flannel shirt and cowboy hat, which quickly leads on to the shy bookworm that after a makeover becomes a sex machine and a lesbian, which then leads to a “sleep with the fishes” daughter of a Soprano, and so on. Thankfully, Larry doesn’t get to sleep with every single one of them, which can only be a good thing. Sadly, the version I am playing is the “Uncut” version in Europe, which, unlike the mainstream US version, has very little usage of the glorious “Censored” sign except in a few cases, like the monkey spanking his… monkey… This means that I get to see everything, including full frontal nudity, and frankly after seeing the game, I wish I hadn’t.

The actual “Game” element is made up of quite a few smaller mini-games, instead of the expected usual hentai-game system. It’s probably best to explain the games individually so you can see what to expect…

Quarters – Possibly the most annoying game in the entire collection. You have to bounce coins into a glass in the middle of the table. Doing it forces the opponent into a penalty, be it to get more drunk or more naked, whichever version of the game is being played at the time. Of course, it’s more frustrating than it sounds since the requirements to actually score are so narrow, you have no choice but to play the game a few times just so the “Make it Easier” option appears for you to select.

Rhythm Games (1) – You must follow a strict regime of commands and directions in order and without missing the timing. One batch of commands get told, then you have to relay the commands back. If you’ve played Space Channel 5, you’ll understand.

Rhythm Games (2) – The Dance Dance Revolution version of the above, which ends up being a similar way to Whack-a-Mole. An arrow appears, you hit the right one, and avoid making mistakes. Money icons appear on wrong buttons, that gain you cash, but lose you lives.

Slaps – The schoolyard favourite. Your opponent can slap your hands, causing pain, but you can move your hands out of the way, causing a miss. Play reverses. Whomever is either naked or reaches their pain threshold first, loses.

Streaking – Larry runs like hell to avoid people chasing him whilst trying to embarrass other people by running into their general area. Yes, that’s really it.

Wet T-shirt Soaking – You soak t-shirts worn by women. It makes their breasts wet. That’s it really.

Pong – You play this with 2 paddles, and must keep the ball in “play” for as long as possible, all whilst “something” grows in the middle of the screen, to hit the bell. It just feels wrong for so many reasons.

Tapper – It’s a rip-off of Tapper. Really. Chuck people beer. Yes.

“Chatting” – Guide the sperm through a path of obstacles, avoiding red ones and running over green ones. These affect the flow of the conversation being played out in front of you, and depending on how you play, the conversation could end up with the girl not taking a liking to you at all.

Of course, these are poor on their own, except that you also have “confidence” and “drunkenness” meters to contend with. Being drunk makes your controls sluggish whilst being confident makes it easier.

So far, the picture of LSL:MCL isn’t pretty. Shame this image is added by jokes that aren’t that funny, situations that are overly cliché, and long loading screens that appear almost every time you try to do something.

So, pathetic content, fairly useless gameplay, and a box that proudly states on the back “Help Larry Earn a BA in T&A”. It could be worse, but I’m not sure how.

Buy Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude for the PC at
Buy it at


If you want mini-games, play Made in Wario.


Larry is brought into the world of 3D. He should have been left behind.


“Over 90,000 words of spoken dialogue” and most of it unfunny.


There are good “adult” games on the market. Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude isn’t.

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