Larry Vales 2: Dead Girls are Easy

Adventure 2001 Windows Third Person Humorous

Enjoyable graphic adventure

The charmingly goofy traffic cop hero, Larry Vales, returns in this sequel to the popular graphic adventure Traffic Division, and for fans of the original, this is sure to prove appealing. Taking place once more in Stagnant, Tennessee, the game sees the hapless Larry involved in any number of bizarre and mundane situations, as he loses his job, his patrol car and his girlfriend all in one day, but if that wasn't enough, he also finds himself uncovering a conspiracy of epic proportions that will tear apart his beloved piece of small-town Americana. Like the first game, this is a fairly standard graphic adventure, where players must explore and interact with the various town inhabitants while solving the occasional puzzle that gets thrown your way. However, what makes these games stand out is their use of humour and the near constant barrage of pop culture references, with everything from Red Dwarf (classic British sci-fi comedy show) to American Beauty (Oscar winning movie) being referenced along the way. The humour is less than sophisticated, but has its charms if you set your standards low, although the pop culture references do go a little overboard and it does feel as if the developers are simply showing off for the sake of it. The graphics are improved this time around (but still don't expect anything truly spectacular) and while the puzzles are less annoying than they were before, there are still some poor moments where both the story and gameplay seem forced and are less than fun. Larry Vales is no classic graphic adventure, lacking the sophistication of Monkey Island or Day of the Tentacle, but it is certainly a passable gaming experience.

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