Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards

aka: LSL VGA remake
Moby ID: 413

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 75% (based on 21 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 111 ratings with 6 reviews)

Lecherous loser launches ludicrous liaisons!

The Good
Note: this review refers to the content of the original version as well as the changes made in this remake.

Originally released in 1987, Leisure Suit Larry was Al Lowe's first major work as a designer, and the beginning of Sierra's third long-running series (after King's Quest and Space Quest). With this adventure, the company boldly went into the realm of naughty humor. The developers could have just inserted dirty jokes and nudity for a cheap sensation; indeed, they have already done so with the much more primitive prototype on which this game was based - Softporn Adventure (which also received a curious graphical Japan-exclusive remake). But Leisure Suit Larry is miles above those earlier attempts in terms of writing and presentation. They not only kept reasonably good taste in dialogues and descriptions, but invested in the gameplay at least as much as in the then-shocking adult content.

Indeed, today many people my age remember Leisure Suit Larry mostly as a "guilty pleasure" from their teenage years, a silly old game they tried out when their parents weren't watching. What is often overlooked is the fact this was also one of the best adventure games of its generation. It had a fairly simple, yet beautifully flowing gameplay consisting of interwoven tasks elegantly strung together. While King's Quest III was very difficult, and the first two Space Quests fairly straightforward and streamlined, Leisure Suit Larry opted for intuitive, yet non-linear exploration of several locations available almost at any time and packed with important items and encounters. This approach made sure you were neither overwhelmed by complexity and clueless wandering, nor whisked away from familiar locations without any chance of returning.

The puzzles consist almost overwhelmingly of getting objects either required by the game's female characters or needed to obtain them. These simple tasks are arranged in such a way that the player is compelled to explore as much as possible, making frequent trips to different locations and keeping in mind puzzles that can be discovered right in the beginning but remain unsolvable for a long time (such as getting the bottle of pills). In addition, the player has to keep an eye on Larry's finance and engage the services of the casino to win the cash needed for taxi and objects that can be bought.

Leisure Suit Larry contains death scenes and a few dead ends, but they are never as frustrating as in King's Quest games, and some of the situations leading to the demise of the unlikely hero are very amusing and cleverly integrated into gameplay mechanics - for example, you have to think of wearing a condom and then actually removing it after having had sex. There are all sorts of funny details and occurrences such as people laughing at you if you don't use your breath spray often enough, a dog pissing at Larry if you let him stand still for too long, etc. The conversations with the several young women are lively and rather long, with quite a few responses and options available. And of course, the ever-present humor makes everything more entertaining, especially when it comes together with the growing tension as you help Larry "score" with at least one of the ladies, urging you to press forward and find out how things end.

The remake, released only four years later, uses 256-color VGA graphics and a new icon-based interface introduced by King's Quest V. The catchy, excellently arranged MIDI music greatly enhances the game's atmosphere in comparison with the original's few beeps. My main reason for preferring the remake, however - and that despite the understandable nostalgia associated with the older version - are the visuals. While King's Quest V benefited from detailed hand-painted graphics to immerse the player into the serene beauty of its world, Leisure Suit Larry uses a similar style to convey wacky visual comedy. The game is full of energetic, saturated, contrasting colors; locations are decorated with a very fitting bombastic opulence, and characters (with the exception of the women) are comically disproportional. In fact, it was one of the first adventure games I recall that deliberately went for cartoony, over-the-top, flashy design that later became synonymous with a large portion of the entire genre.

The graphics are also more detailed than in the original game, with more objects and some new visual gags (did you notice the moose head in the bar was actually attached to a real moose?..). The good thing is that the game incorporates these objects into the gameplay, eliciting new text feedback if the player pays attention and tries to interact with them.

The Bad
Leisure Suit Larry has a fairly large playing area and there is no strict order imposed on its tasks; but there is only one way towards the completion of the game. Like in all other Sierra adventures, there are optional actions that give you more points, but no multiple solutions to puzzles in the sense of King's Quest games.

The only thing this remake loses compared to the original is a bit of freedom in interaction. Of course, with six different icons and the possibility to interact with almost every object there is enough place for experimenting, but a few tasks were clearly designed with a text parser in mind and feel somewhat strange in the remake. For example, I found it more exciting to actually type the password you had to learn in order to access the pimp's quarters, instead of using this password as an inventory item.

Some people feel the comic style of the graphics is less appropriate than the "serious" visuals of the original version. That is, of course, a matter of taste.

The Bottom Line
It's easy to dismiss Leisure Suit Larry as a vulgar copycat riding the success train of early adventures and attracting large crowds only thanks to its obscene proclivities. Such an evaluation, however, would be absolutely misleading. Leisure Suit Larry is much more than just a bunch of sex jokes: it is a witty, well-designed, entertaining adventure game with great pacing and - especially in the case of the remake - outstanding production values. So slip into your leisure suit and help a forty-year-old man lose his virginity in the city of Lost Wages!

DOS · by Unicorn Lynx (181780) · 2014

Hey baby, what's your sign?

The Good
After Sierra was done releasing one or more of their major “Quest” titles, they thought of remaking the original games using their newer SCI engine, which provides support for VGA graphics and Sound Blaster. The result is the same quality as Leisure Suit Larry 5.

If you haven't had the chance to play the original Leisure Suit Larry from 1987, here's the lowdown. In the game, you play as Larry Laffer, a 40-year-old man who is yet to lose his virginity. He vows to spend one night in Lost Wages, trying to score with three different women. The game was designed by Al Lowe, who wanted to make an adult-only game based on Softporn Adventure, the only text adventure released by Sierra.

As such, the player is asked six questions only an American adult would know, with the six question relating to the brochures that come with the game. Even if they enter the three-key cheat that allows them to bypass the majority of the questions, the player is still asked the “copy protection” question. Whatever sex scenes are present, there is a “Censored” sign covering the characters, and I think this is another safety barrier in case children lie about the age and discover the cheat keys.

The typing interface has been replaced by a point-and-click interface, which can be accessed by a colorful icon bar at the top of the screen. As well as the look, talk, pick up, and walk icons, you now have a zipper and taste icons. These icons have a special purpose, and I enjoyed clicking both on different things and laugh at the amusing messages. There are brilliant hand-drawn graphics, and the animations are top-notch as well.

LSL1 provides a fair dose of humor. I stood outside Lefty's Bar long enough to let a poodle take a whiz on my foot. Likewise, the flasher at the wedding chapel is actually two midgets standing on top of each other. The highlight, however, is getting reconstructed after getting attacked by a thug in the alley, where everything is done inside a blender rather than at Sierra's headquarters (which is a bit of a shame, because the original's was better).

The soundtrack is excellent, and it blends in with what you are doing most of the time. My favorite piece of music comes when you are traveling inside the taxi, as well as when you are looking inside the convenience store. If you like the music in this game, you can play most of them by using the jukebox inside Lefty's, but at a price. The sound effects are right up there with those from Leisure Suit Larry 5. You don't get the bodily function sounds when you press the function keys, but who cares?

The Bad
Catching a taxi between locations is quite expensive, and unless you are prepared to win at least $1000 at the casino, you will find yourself running out of money real fast. Also, the game can be quite short, especially if you know how to pick up women in real life.

The Bottom Line
This is a great Sierra remake that takes Larry Laffer in the Nineties, complete with stunning graphics and sound. However, the problem that exist in the original version are still present here. If you brought a PC in the Nineties, chances are that you already played this version. But if you happen to own one of the compilation packs, you will get the best of both worlds. Play both of them, and decide which one you like best.

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43091) · 2014

The Original is far superior

The Good
Playing the first Leisure Suit Larry alongside this one, I found that the original was so much better. The wacky graphics slowed down action and gameplay. For instance your own character on screen gets in the way when you want to click on the bar stool, etc. How bizarre that it was faster to type in commands in the old version than in the newer point & click. The casino room was particularly slow. Perhaps the system might have been considered a little less harshly when it was released, though it is lacking even for 1991. The blackjack game was nicer though essentially the same, just a bit tidied up.. but it was a great loss that the blackjack table animation had been kicked and it looked instead like a slot machine. The one saving grace is the music which is very very nice in comparison with the bleeps of the Eighties.

The Bad
On playing, I expected it to be preferable to the original 1987 version but I was totally wrong. The worst thing was the inaccuracy of the mouse pointer: when changed, for instance, to a glove to use objects, it often missed the spot you would expect to hit. And the glove didn't look like a glove. Other inventory images, e.g. the wine, did not look like what they were meant to be. The controls were irritating at times.. The cursor responded to my earlier movements at one point as I try to obtain an object - the drunk says "oh, well if you don't want it..." and the object is obliterated. What can I say except to play the original, it is so much better in terms of control. This lacks the mature humour of its predecessor, which is odd for something which was essentially a replication. In the older version there is an awesome death sequence which is really rather humorous and turns the tables on the "instant death" which adventurers at this time would complain about. In this new version it is painful to watch through this slow sequence and it destroys the joke. What was really insulting was the remarks of the programmers that thought they were witty by criticising your current score in the game.

The Bottom Line
As a stand-alone game it is good, but play the original and you will have a far more enjoyable experience. This surprised me as I played them both for the first time side-by-side and yet the older version had more character and better playability.

DOS · by steve mcgarry (2) · 2009

I like this classic, funny game!

The Good
I think the music is very interesting. They used Beethoven's Fifth Symphony as dance music for disco - very funny! Also the taxi music was very nice. The graphics are excellent and very colorful. Although I am a girl, I found those women in the game very attractive and sexy. I was really happy when I thought I got a woman ;-) The creator of the game had some fantastic ideas. There are lots of hidden things to discover. The usage of language is very humorous. It was very exciting to always find new things.

The Bad
Sometimes you can die too suddenly, like in the toilet! I didn't expect it. In the convenicence store, I just stole some stuff, but was killed by the owner ;-)

The Bottom Line
In a word, that's a wonderful game, I enjoyed it very much.

DOS · by Linlin Fan (1) · 2003

HA HA HA HA HA!!!

The Good
The Leisure Suit Larry series is perhaps my favorite to date. While this one wasn't my favorite game IN the series (mostly because it was so short and less-than-eventful when compared with LSL 6 and 7) it was definitely a milestone in my young life. I played this game for the first time when I was about twelve or thirteen and have been a contemptible, corrupted person ever since ;c) In all honesty though, Al Lowe...I applaud your creation of this wonderful, wonderful game series which changed my life (and probably not for the better).

The Bad
As I said, it was a bit short and relatively dull in content, particularly when compared to classic Leisure Suit Larry's, like "LSL 6: Shape Up or Slip Out," or "LSL 7: Love for Sail!" All in all though, I loved the remake from the original (thank God for remakes) and would highly recommend every game in the series for someone wanting to laugh until their guts hurt.

The Bottom Line
This one has all the necessary ingredients to make any guy happy. A good soundtrack (with jazz music created by Al Lowe and his band), Some of the most hilarious material of any game I've ever played, beautifully rendered artwork (particularly in the women of the game) and enough humorous mishaps to make regular guys feel a little bit better about themselves. I found myself saying, "Oh wow...I'm glad that wasn't me!" more often than not. A+, I highly recommend this game series (though it's hard to find them in stores nowadays). Just...don't ask me about Leisure Suit Larry's Casino because I don't even consider that worthy of having Leisure Suit Larry in its title.

DOS · by Aaron Jones (14) · 2003

Funny!

The Good
Larry's animations are so cute - especially when he dances! Even when so many women hurt him, he doesn't become sad, continues to laugh. He also looks very funny. He has a huge head and a big nose, but he is very short.

There are many ways to die in the game. Those ways are also very funny. There is always a feeling of surprise. Sometimes I wanted to die on purpose just to see the funny animation or message. And after Larry dies it's so weird and funny to see how he gets a new body. And it's funny he has bad breath and always has to use the breath spray.

The graphics are so good, compared to the original version, only four years passed, and the progress is amazing!

There are some women in the game, large, beautiful portraits - they all have different expressions, very sexy!

The music fits the game very well. It's also funny in its own way.

The Bad
You can't really see how they make love!..

...Okay, just a joke.

There is actually no really good story in the game. Just a series of funny things. That's it.

The Bottom Line
Very funny, quite sweet, not too complicated. This is my first adventure game, recommended by my man!

DOS · by Melody (48) · 2006

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Trevor Harding, Patrick Bregger, Alsy, S Olafsson, GTramp, Игги Друге, Sun King, Gonchi, Terok Nor, Ryan DiGiorgi, Jeanne, Scaryfun, Wizo, Víctor Martínez.