In 1987, a pixelated version of the 40 year-old virgin walked on-to to our DOS booted PC’s (Apple and Amiga computers also experienced some Larry loving) and the Leisure Suit Larry series was born. From 1987 to 1996 Larry Laffer clumsily tried to woo the ladies. More importantly, the crude humor and hilarious situations that Larry found himself in certainly were apart the pure heart of the game. Yeah, yeah, we know that it was also about getting the girl. Whatever.
1987 Original Release: Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards
A hundred or so 5.25-inch floppy disks, 3.5-inch floppy disks, and CD-ROMs later, the leisure suit was hung-up and the series came to an end – for the most part. We chose to ignore the existence of both Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude and Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust – sorry.
But now the original and still nebbish Larry, is really back, and this time, it’s back to basics. Al Lowe has also returned and so has the soul of this series. Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of Lounge Lizards has essentially been rebooted once again (this will be the 3rd time, for those who are keeping track) and it’s now available on just about every platform – except a gaming console, and each platform will need a cold shower after playing the game.
LSL: Reloaded was released on June 27th and became immediately available on Microsoft Windows via Steam, Mac via the App store, and Linux. In the meanwhile, those who wanted Larry on their tablet and smartphone had to wait. Well the wait is over, and Larry is ready to unzip for the iPad.
1991 VGA Remake: Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards
After you load up the game on the iPad, it is like taking a trip down memory lane. Having played every LSL game created, we got pangs of nostalgia as we were questioned on the validity of our age by answering several questions.
Once you have successfully proved that you’re old enough to play a dirty cartoonish looking game – the classic music plays and Larry introduces himself to the player. For those who are pros in the LSL world – you will most likely have an advantage, as many of the puzzles have stayed the same. For new comers – the point and click adventure game might become annoying after awhile on a PC or Mac (relentless clicking and looking under bushes is what exacerbated the slow death of this gaming genre years ago), but in a casual gaming environment, the iPad, iPhone, or any Android device is really the perfect medium for this type of game.
Gameplay on the iPad is simple and straightforward. You can either listen to constant voiceovers or read text, or both. Dialog can also be skipped if you are over listening to the sarcastic narrator, which at times is a nice respite. Point and click/tap on the iPad is simple but at times the controls could be a little clumsy – I expect a future update will correct that.
Graphics are clean and crisp and stay true to the LSL universe, while still being vastly improved from both the 1987 original version (obviously) and 1991 remake. That said, this latest remake brings a much needed polish to make it up-to-date with today’s casual gaming standards.
In the end, Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded is a welcome return to classic gaming. A few easter eggs are sprinkled throughout to pay homage to Sierra On-Line, and its Kickstarter backers – some of which paid thousands to be a lounge lizard at Lefty’s bar. The game offers loads of dialog, unique puzzles, and a sense of adult oriented humor that will appeal to many. That said, sometimes the humor is a bit over the top, but what should we expect from a game that is squarely focused on a middle aged man trying to get some.