Leisure Suit Larry finally got itself a virgin…well, if you don’t count that small tryst with The Walking Dead. I’m about as pure as they come to the point and click adventure genre you see, so, much like Larry Laffer, I will also be a fish out of water as I dive into this re-mastered world.
Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded is a remake of the 1987 classic that pioneered the point and click adventure genre, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards. This endeavor was spearheaded by the game’s original creator, Al Lowe, who used a Kickstarter campaign to avoid involving any major publishers with the development, allotting the team more freedom. Although a cornerstone in its field, Larry’s games have often been seen as risqué, explicit, and over the top sexually, but staying true to the original, this game is more inappropriate humor than it is pornographic. Larry thrives on innuendo and suggestion, promoting the theme that less is more.
The game’s visual presentation is brilliantly handled. Everything is redesigned and vibrant, each set piece a beautiful painting without a complicated HUD to distract the player from immersion into Larry’s story. The city of Lost Wages, where Larry is trying so hard to lose his virginity, pieces together fluidly like a Picasso puzzle, using the cab system to get from location to location. Each character is fully voiced and distinct with basic interactions with the most entertaining performances coming from Larry himself and the trusty narrator, a staple in the franchise.
As I have already established my experience with these types of games, it should come as no surprise that I have very little to compare the game play in Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded to. It took some getting used to before I found a good method for interacting with the backgrounds, as trying to click on the item a specific item can be difficult at times. The constant repetition of dialogue when the player mis-clicks or is experimenting with Larry’s particular brand of puzzles can be a bit frustrating.
This game holds no hands and offers only a few veiled clues when attempting to figure out where to go next or what to do. The player picks up random items and interacts with almost every character in order to trigger events that keep the progression rolling. This goes back to that theme of less being more, players should not overlook anything in this series, and pay attention to what the characters are saying. Overall, it can be very frustrating and sometimes require more creative thinking than one is willing to put into a game like this, testing my level of patience. I believe it was around the point that I was using a syringe to extract something from a cat that I had to take a break from the game and question whether or not I wanted to continue playing, all that work for a highly complicated puzzle to concoct a perfume, so that I could sleep with Jasmine. As a whole, it reminded me of my feeble attempts as a youth, trying to fit the round peg in the square hole, or absently prodding around in the dark until I tripped over the right answer.
One of the best moments in the game is at the beginning where the player must take a quiz to prove that they are old enough to play the adventure. A questionnaire that includes questions about Buffy The Vampire Slayer, construction, and even one that asks the player to figure out which of the listed people are not a Scientologists. My guess is that this was all to help the game start off with a few easy laughs, since it doesn’t seem to actually work that well when you have infinite attempts at each question. There are only a few moments in the game that are special like this, as ninety percent of the events are predetermined, but the poker and condom selection portions stick out.
I think I have learned a few things from my time in the city of Lost Wages. In a game that looks like it’s about a pervert trying to take advantage of these women, it is more about them taking advantage of a complete loser. No one in their right mind would want to be Larry Laffer, and everyone should feel better about themselves after playing.
I cannot say I will be looking to dive back into another point and click adventure anytime soon, but I can now see why some gamers find them so fun. With the twenty dollar price tag though, Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded may not be the right game for everyone, especially those players who become easily frustrated. Whatever detractors this game does have though, no one can doubt the heart that the developers put into the production of this updated classic, and trust me when I say that we have not seen the last of the unfortunate adventures of the polyester wearing Larry Laffer.