Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards

This article is written by Nick Herc.

You start the game in front of sleazy "Lefty’s bar".
You start the game in front of sleazy “Lefty’s bar”.

In 1987 we got our most unconventional Hero, especially for 80s, Leisure Suit Larry a.k.a. Larry Laffer.

It was among the first games in which the main protagonist had only one goal: getting laid. Surely the game was a major hit which spawned many sequels.

The game begins when our hero, Larry Laffer, steps out of a taxi in front of a bar. He’s in the city of Lost Wages (Las Vegas satire) with only one goal, finding his true love or at least getting some action. He’s over 40 years old, bald and with a big nose, but that doesn’t stop him at his quest.

There is no major plotline like in the majority of adventure games. Larry is browsing around, talking to women and drunks, jumping from casinos to discos. The whole game has this almost Bukowski-like feeling with drunks, bars, back allies and a whole set of characters from the edge of society.

Jokes are simple and dirty, yet clever and will make you laugh for sure.

When you think about it, Larry’s adventures aren’t really that hardcore. All the explicit scenes are censored and the game even has a “quiz of adulthood” with five questions (questions about the Vietnam War, Nixon, Elizabeth Taylor, etc., which you can skip by pressing alt x). Leisure Suit Larry games are about dirty jokes, hints about sex, intentional cheesy lines and making fun of stereotypes. So in today’s perspective, Leisure Suit Larry games are fairly innocent.

I guess leisure suits were quite popular back in the day.
I guess leisure suits were quite popular back in the day.

But remember, when Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards came out, the year was 1987 and things were very different.

So there was no surprise the sale number was low as Radio Schack’s (biggest merchant at that time) boss didn’t approve of Larry Laffer. But word got around and quickly they managed to sell 250,000 copies and a game became a huge hit.
Graphics are by nowadays standards outdated, but still look pretty. The controls consist of a keyboard. Yup, no mouse, you have to type every command, like “open door” “talk to” “order drink”, etc., which makes the game, whose gameplay is hard by itself, even harder. Yeah, the puzzles are very hard, especially for gamers who did not grow up in the late 80s and early 90s. Games back then were very hard, especially within the adventure genre.

In 1991 a remake came out, adding vega graphics and mouse control, so you may check out that one, but I would recommend the original despite the lack of mouse control. It has charisma, pretty colorful graphics and typing commands can be in a way really fun.

Another remake came out in 2013. Al Lowe, creator of the original games, asked fans through Kickstarter to help him out financially with remaking the original. The campaign was a success, raising over $600,000.

They did a good job, the only problem is that there is no new content (or very very little of it). For the price of 20$ you’ll do no harm if you pass it and try out the original. Leisure Suit Larry isn’t a gaming legend by accident and he will make you laugh for sure.

This article was written by Nick Herc, who runs a Leisure Suit Larry fan page.

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