The first six Leisure Suit Larry games all featured Larry Laffer, a former computer programmer who decides to change his image, travel the world, and look for love. Believing that the Leisure Suit represented the pinnacle of fashion (probably after a misguided Saturday Night Fever viewing), Larry sets out to find his, um... "fortune". Throughout the various games in the series, players guide Larry through a variety of locations, including versions of US cities Las Vegas and Los Angeles, cruise ships, and tropical islands. The series humor typically centers around the misguided attempts of Larry to seduce each game's many female characters, and the equally strange puzzles that players must solve in order to progress.
The first three games in the series form a trilogy, with the third game ending with Larry writing his memoirs in the form of a computer game. The final three games also follow off of each other, but there is no conclusion to the overall story arc as with the third game in the series.
Looking at the games in the series, it's fairly obvious that there was never a Leisure Suit Larry 4. LSL3 ends with Larry writing the introduction to the first game, while LSL5 begins with Larry having no memory of how he came to be working for a record company. Later, there are references back to "Leisure Suit Larry 4: The Missing Floppies", or other events that might have happened in the intervening years. Some fans wondered where the missing game was, leading to speculation that it was never released for fear of being too explicit, however the real story is far more mundane.
Series creator Al Lowe has explained that there was never intended to be another game after the trilogy was finished. This is why all the loose ends are tied at and the end of LSL3, and Al went on to work on new projects. Fans wanted more Larry though, so an ambitious project began: to create one of the world's first online-only adventure games. At the time, Sierra was working on a new online gaming service that would eventually become INN (The Imagination Network), and LarryLand was going to be one of the premier applications to run on the service (which incidentally ran on several chassis filled with 2400 baud modems). In order to get a feel for how game might work online, the team created some simple chess, poker, and blackjack games, as well as an avatar creation system that used preset elements to define a character. All the research was to determine how much could be done with as little bandwidth as possible, and once some working games were up and showing results, work began on the online Larry game. A graphic adventure game however, proved to be more compicated than simple turn based games, and work on the project was eventually scrapped. The team moved on to other projects, but demand for a new Larry game continued. Al Lowe has cited a few reasons for skipping the numbering, but the two primary ones seem to be that it got him out of having to write a way out of the LSL3 ending, and that it was just really funny to make people think they missed a game.
After the release of Love for Sail, there was an announcement of Leisure Suit Larry 8: Lust in Space, and even a demo of a 3d rendered Larry Laffer released on the internet. Unfortunately, the project was canceled after Sierra closed its adventure games division.
Magna Cum Laude
The series was later given a reboot of sorts in 2004 with the release of Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude. Developed by High Voltage Software, series creator Al Lowe was not involved. Magna Cum Laude took the series in a different direction, beginning with changing the protagonist from Larry Laffer to Laffer's college-student nephew Larry Lovage. The game also broke away from the point-and-click adventure genre, instead using an open-world format as popularized by Grand Theft Auto III.