|Leisure Suit Larry|
Cover art for the 1997 collection
|Developer(s)||Sierra Entertainment, High Voltage Software, Team17, Replay Games, CrazyBunch|
|Publisher(s)||Sierra Entertainment, Codemasters, Replay Games, Assemble Entertainment|
|First release||Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards|
July 5, 1987
|Latest release||Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Dry Twice|
October 23, 2020
Leisure Suit Larry is an adult-themed video game series created by Al Lowe. It was published by Sierra from 1987 to 2009, then by Codemasters starting in 2009. The first six Leisure Suit Larry titles, along with Magna Cum Laude and Love for Sail Mobile, were distributed by Vivendi Games (now Activision Blizzard), while Box Office Bust and Reloaded were distributed by Codemasters. Currently the games are being published and distributed by Assemble Entertainment.
The games follow Larry Laffer, a balding, double entendre-speaking, leisure suit-wearing man in his 40s. The stories generally revolve around him attempting, usually unsuccessfully, to seduce attractive young women. As of 2011[update] , the series has sold 10 million copies.
The series had its origins in Sierra's earlier Softporn Adventure, a 1981 text adventure created by designer Chuck Benton; the story and basic structure from that game were reused for the first "Larry" game. The "Larry" games were one of Sierra's most popular game series during the genre's heyday, when it was first released in the mid-1980s. The series contains the only games produced by Sierra that contain significant sexual themes.
In general, the games follow the escapades of Larry Laffer as he attempts to persuade a variety of nubile women to sleep with him. A common link between the games are Larry's explorations of luxurious and cosmopolitan hotels, ships, beaches, resorts, and casinos. The character of Larry Laffer was voiced by Jan Rabson.
After the first game, the series – despite becoming known for its lewd content – gained a reputation for not featuring as much sexual material as expected; this was particularly true of the middle games in the series, which were released at the same time as more explicit games, like Cobra Mission. At most, the raunchier moments were usually hidden as Easter eggs. Things became racier again toward the end of the series, particularly in the (original) final installment, Love for Sail!.
Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, a spin-off version of the series, featured a different protagonist and style of game play. It was developed by High Voltage Software and released by Sierra in 2004. In 2007, Vivendi Universal Games announced a mobile remake of Love for Sail! In 2008, Sierra Entertainment announced plans to release Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust. It was developed by Team17, and the publishing rights were offered to Codemasters, who published the game in 2009. Larry Lovage, the protagonist of Magna Cum Laude and Box Office Bust, was voiced by Tim Dadabo. Box Office Bust was panned by critics, including Al Lowe himself, who thanked VU Games for keeping him away from developing the game.
In June 2011, Replay Games announced on their blog that they had acquired a license for the Leisure Suit Larry series. Replay Games planned to re-release the titles it licensed. It was also announced that the series' creator, Al Lowe, would be involved with the development of the new releases. In April 2012, Replay Games initiated a Kickstarter project that finished funding on May 2, 2012 and secured a total of $674,598, for which the developers promised to add more story, additional dialogue, and one more character.
The "HD" game, titled Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded was originally announced to be released in late 2012, but it was delayed to mid-2013. In April 2013, Lowe said that early development had begun on a remake of Larry 2; Josh Mandel later confirmed the game's early development in a Kickstarter update.
Leisure Suit Larry 4: The Missing Floppies is the name for a never-made fourth installment, often regarded as an in-joke. The name, used by official sources and fans, refers to rumors that the reason for the cancellation of the game was the losing of the game's original production floppies, after which the developers refused to remake the game from scratch. Other sources claim that it was nothing but an internal office prank. The franchise's installments were numbered as if this installment had been published; the actual fourth installment was Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work.
Al Lowe gave two official reasons for the cancellation of Leisure Suit Larry 4. The first was that Sierra had begun work on a multiplayer installment for The Sierra Network, but the project failed mostly due to technical reasons. The second was that the ending of Larry 3 was definitive and somehow metafictional, since it showed Larry and Patti coming to the Sierra studios to make games based on their adventures, as well as living happily in a mountain cabin in Coarsegold. This completed a relatively cohesive trilogy, and was a dead-end for a new story arc. In 2012, Lowe discussed what happened to the fourth installment in a video made for a Kickstarter project, in which he said that the idea for skipping Larry 4 came as a flippant comment in the office, and became a "real marketing coup" when selling Larry 5 because buyers would immediately ask what happened to the fourth. It became "one of software's big jokes".
According to production notes given by Lowe, the following events must be assumed to have happened between Larry 3 and Larry 5 to connect the two games: Larry and Patti plan to marry; Patti leaves him at a Yosemite church to pursue her career, but Larry is gone when she returns; The villain of Larry 5, Julius Biggs, somehow steals the game disks and Larry suffers amnesia. The absence of the floppy disks was introduced as a plot element in the sequel to explain how Larry, as a computer generated character, came to suffer from amnesia. Larry 4 appears in several of the other games in the series, including being played in Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude. Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sale Mobile takes place during the Larry 4 development years, and a subplot for the best ending requires finding the lost disks. A folder named LSL4 could be found on the CD of Leisure Suit Larry Collection in which Al Lowe left a note in a readme file referencing the game and concluding "who says sequels have to be done sequentially?".
MAD Magazine proposed what Leisure Suit Larry 4 might have looked like in a 1990 issue spoofing video games. Their idea was "the after effect of Larry's screwing around with the time coming for Larry having to pay the piper." They proposed the idea of Larry in a maze game similar to Berzerk, where he must steer clear of out-of-wedlock pregnancies he has caused, as well as private investigators, case workers and angry fathers wielding shotguns, making it extremely difficult for Larry to continue his infamous carefree attitude towards casual sex. On April 1, 2009 the abandonware site Abandonia released an alleged "leaked copy" for download. This turned out in fact to be an elaborate April Fools' Day prank: the screenshots were fakes, the review was fictional, and the "game" archive actually contained 55 identical copies of scanned front casing of Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust.
Leisure Suit Larry 8, tentatively subtitled Lust in Space (as well as Explores Uranus in some references), was in full development in 1998 until funding was cut. Shortly afterwards, Sierra's adventure games department was disbanded, and Al Lowe left Sierra on February 22, 1999. Like the canned Space Quest sequel, Larry 8 was to feature 3D computer graphics, but no more than a few test renders now survive. The game Leisure Suit Larry: Explores Uranus, as well as its teaser, was referenced in Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail! triggered with an Easter egg, as well as a teaser after completing the game. In 2013, Al Lowe pointed out that this title is still being considered, with support from series co-writer Josh Mandel. Lowe stated that even though he would like to complete the Reloaded series first, Leisure Suit Larry 8 is "absolutely" still in the works.
Leisure Suit Larry: Pocket Party was a canceled game meant to be released in the second half of 2005 for the N-Gage. The publishers were Vivendi and Nokia, while the developer was TKO-Software. In the game, players would explore a 3D college campus, while solving puzzles and engaging in risque activities. As they search for the ultimate good time, gamers bump into Rosie Palmer, the head cheerleader at Larry's college. Attempting to win over Rosie's heart, Larry is thoroughly embarrassed by her jock boyfriend Chuck Rockwell, but humiliation has never stopped Larry before and he is determined to do anything to be with Rosie. In addition to single-player game play, players could also wirelessly square off against an opponent in four different turn-based mini-games. Concept art and design document of the game are in hands of Jody Hicks, one of the game's developers.
In late 2005, Target department stores (through online vendor Amazon.com) began accepting pre-orders for a sequel to Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude titled Leisure Suit Larry: Cocoa Butter. This new game was being developed for the PC, PS2, Xbox and PSP systems, but has since been canceled.
Several Larry collections have been compiled:
The series was ranked as the 85th top game of all time by Next Generation in 1996, for how "the designers have managed to work in enough campy humor and bad puns to keep the game going through five more installments over nine years." The total sales of the first five Leisure Suit Larry games surpassed 2 million copies by 1996, as of Love for Sail's release. As of 2011[update] , the series has sold 10 million copies.
Categories: Leisure Suit Larry | Adventure games | Erotic video games | Leisure Suit Larry games | Obscenity controversies in video games | Sierra Entertainment games | Video game franchises introduced in 1987 | Video game franchises