RETRO – Leisure Suit Larry is a series of adult-themed adventure games that first appeared in 1987. The games revolve around a protagonist, Larry Laffer, a 40-year-old virgin, who is on a quest to find true love. As Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love and romance, it is the best time to look back at the history of Leisure Suit Larry and the legacy of this iconic series. The Larry games are also free at the moment on Steam, hence we wrote an article of all of them.
The Leisure Suit Larry series was created by Al Lowe and published by Sierra On-Line. The game was initially released for MS-DOS, Apple II, and Commodore 64. Despite facing controversy and criticism for its adult content, the game became a commercial success, spawning a long-running franchise that has seen several iterations and remastered versions.
Sierra On-Line was a pioneering game development company that was responsible for a number of influential titles during the 1980s and 1990s. The company was founded in 1979 by Ken and Roberta Williams, and quickly became known for its adventure games, which utilized the company’s proprietary “AGI” and “SCI” game engines.
One of the key figures in the development of Sierra’s adventure games was Al Lowe, who joined the company in the early 1980s and went on to create the Leisure Suit Larry series. Lowe’s contributions to the adventure game genre were significant, and he is often credited with helping to popularize the genre and making it more accessible to a wider audience.
Lowe was a game designer and musician who began his career at Sierra On-Line in the early 1980s. Before working on the Leisure Suit Larry series, Lowe was involved in the development of a number of other Sierra adventure games, including King’s Quest III, Police Quest II, and Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist. However, it was his work on Leisure Suit Larry that cemented his legacy in the video game industry.
Lowe’s approach to game design was known for its humor and irreverence, and he quickly became one of the most well-regarded designers at Sierra. His contributions to the company were significant, and he was seen as a key figure in the development of Sierra’s adventure games.
Now let’s see the list of his games!
Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards (1987)
The first game in the series, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, was released in 1987. The game introduced the character of Larry Laffer, who is on a mission to lose his virginity by any means necessary. The game was set in a fictional city of Lost Wages and featured several adult-themed puzzles that needed to be solved to progress the story.
Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards was a game that stood out for its irreverent and adult humor, which was rare in video games at the time of its release. The game’s protagonist, Larry Laffer, was a hapless and awkward character who stumbled his way through various comedic situations, often with sexual undertones. The game’s humor was also enhanced by its pixel art graphics, which were detailed and colorful, and its catchy and upbeat soundtrack, which added to the game’s overall charm.
Still, the game faced backlash and controversy for its adult content, with some critics calling it sexist and offensive. Despite this, the game was a commercial success, leading to several sequels and spinoffs. The game has also been remastered and re-released for modern platforms such as iOS and Android.
One memorable joke from the first game involved Larry, who had to buy a condom from a vending machine in order to have safe sex with one of the characters. However, if he tried to buy the condom without any money, the machine would respond with the message, “Nice try, cheapo. You’re not getting any until you can pay for it like a real man.”
Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (in Several Wrong Places) (1988)
The second game in the series, Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (in Several Wrong Places), was released in 1988. The game saw Larry Laffer traveling to various locations in search of love, including a resort in Acapulco, a casino in Las Vegas, and a yacht in the Caribbean.
Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (in Several Wrong Places) built upon the success of its predecessor by improving the graphics and adding new locations and characters. The game’s humor continued to be a highlight, with its witty writing and double entendres that pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in video games at the time.
The game was also notable for its setting, which saw Larry traveling to various locations around the world in his search for love, including a casino in Las Vegas, a cruise ship, and a hotel in New York City.
One memorable joke from the game involved a character named Julius Biggs, who was a not-so-subtle reference to real-life billionaire Howard Hughes.
The game was well-received by critics, who praised its humor and improved graphics. The game has since been remastered and re-released for modern platforms such as PC and PlayStation.
Leisure Suit Larry III: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals (1989)
The third game in the series, Leisure Suit Larry III: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals, was released in 1989. The game saw Larry teaming up with a female character, Patti, to solve puzzles and find love. The game was also notable for its improved graphics and sound effects.
The game continued the series’ tradition of humor and irreverence, but introduced a female protagonist for the first time. The game’s setting, a tropical resort, provided a colorful backdrop for the game’s wacky characters and scenarios.
One of the game’s memorable jokes involved Larry encountering a woman who claimed to be a virgin, only to reveal that she had in fact slept with the entire male staff of the resort. Despite its controversial subject matter, the game was well-received and is considered a classic of the adventure game genre.
The third game was also well-received by critics, who praised its humor and improved gameplay mechanics. The game has since been remastered and re-released for modern platforms such as PC and Xbox.
Leisure Suit Larry 4: The Missing Floppies (Not actually released)
Leisure Suit Larry 4: The Missing Floppies is an interesting entry in the series, as it was never actually released as a standalone game. The game was a running joke in the fifth game, Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work, where Larry Laffer was told by a computer store salesman that he couldn’t buy the game because it didn’t exist, and that it had been lost in a mysterious accident involving a truckload of floppies.
The joke was a playful jab at the video game industry, which has a long history of games being announced but never released. It was also a reference to Sierra On-Line’s decision to move away from the traditional adventure game format and experiment with other genres. Despite not being a real game, the legend of Leisure Suit Larry 4 continued to grow over the years, and it remains a popular topic of discussion among fans of the series.
Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work (1991)
The fifth game in the series, Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work, was released in 1991. The game saw Larry and Patti going undercover as employees of a company to solve a mystery. The game was also notable for its improved graphics and gameplay mechanics.
The game was well-received by critics, who praised its humor and improved gameplay mechanics. The game has since been remastered and re-released for modern platforms such as PC and Nintendo Switch.
The game followed Patti as she went undercover to investigate a cosmetic company, and the game’s humor was a mix of satire and parody of the fashion and beauty industries. The game’s setting, a bustling city, provided a sharp contrast to the tropical locales of the previous games, and allowed for a wider variety of characters and scenarios.
One of the game’s most memorable jokes involved a game show called “Stallions”, which was a thinly veiled parody of the television show “The Dating Game”. The game show featured a variety of bachelors with absurd personalities, including a robot and a man dressed in a giant chicken suit. The game’s production was a bit of a departure for the series, as it was one of the first Sierra On-Line games to feature full voice acting, and it also introduced a more streamlined interface that made it easier for players to interact with the game world.
Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out! (1993)
Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out! was released in 1993 and was the first game in the series to use Sierra On-Line’s SCI engine. The game followed Larry as he attempts to win a date with a woman named Shablee, who is hosting a TV dating show. Al Lowe returned to write and design the game, as well as provide the voice for Larry. The game’s humor was once again a major selling point, with Lowe’s signature blend of raunchy jokes and clever wordplay.
One interesting tidbit about the game is that it was originally going to be titled “Leisure Suit Larry 6: The Hawaiian Vacation,” but the title was changed during development to better reflect the game’s storyline. The game also featured a variety of mini-games and puzzles, including a weightlifting competition, a trivia game, and a game where Larry must mix drinks at a bar.
A typical joke from the game involves Larry stumbling across a hidden room filled with sex toys and kinky equipment. Another memorable scene involves Larry trying to impress Shablee by showing off his dance moves, which leads to him accidentally breaking the dance floor and falling through to the level below.
Overall, Leisure Suit Larry 6 was another successful entry in the series, featuring improved graphics and gameplay mechanics, as well as more of the humor that made the series famous.
Title: Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail! (1996)
Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail! is the seventh installment in the Leisure Suit Larry series. Once again, the game was developed by Al Lowe, who also wrote the script and composed the music. The game uses a point-and-click interface and features 2D graphics.
The game’s story follows Larry as he wins a contest for a luxury cruise, where he hopes to find the woman of his dreams. However, his plans are complicated by a variety of obstacles and challenges, including rival suitors and a dangerous stalker. The game is notable for its humorous writing and adult themes, which push the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in video games at the time.
One interesting tidbit about the game’s production is that it was the first game in the series to use digitized voice acting, with real actors providing voices for the characters. The game also features a variety of mini-games, including a trivia game, a casino, and a virtual pet.
A typical joke from the game involves Larry mistaking a massage chair for a toilet and getting stuck in it. The game’s setting, on a luxury cruise ship, provided ample opportunity for humor, including satirical parodies of other cruise ship games and activities.
Overall, Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail! continued the series’ tradition of irreverent humor and adult themes, while also introducing new gameplay mechanics and features.
Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude (2004)
The eighth game in the series, Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, was released in 2004. The game was a departure from the previous games in the series, featuring a 3D environment and a different protagonist, Larry Lovage, who is the nephew of the original protagonist, Larry Laffer. The game saw Larry Lovage attending college and trying to win the affection of several female characters.
The game received mixed reviews, with some critics praising its humor and adult themes, while others criticized its repetitive gameplay mechanics. The game has since been remastered and re-released for modern platforms such as PC and PlayStation.
Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude was released in 2004 and marked a departure from the classic point-and-click adventure format of the previous games. Instead, it adopted a 3D open-world environment with mini-games and a dating-sim style gameplay. The game was developed by High Voltage Software and published by Vivendi Universal, with Al Lowe not being involved in its production.
The game’s humor was often crude and vulgar, relying heavily on sexual innuendos and explicit content. While the game did have some moments of genuine humor, it was largely seen as a letdown compared to the earlier Larry games. Critics and fans alike criticized the game’s subpar graphics, awkward controls, and shallow gameplay.
During the time of Magna Cum Laude’s release, Al Lowe was no longer involved with the series and had moved on to other projects. Some fans attribute the game’s shortcomings to the absence of Lowe’s influence, as he was a key creative force behind the original games. Magna Cum Laude would be the last game in the series to be released for nearly two decades, until the release of Wet Dreams Don’t Dry in 2018.
Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust (2009)
The ninth game in the series, Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust, was released in 2009. The game was a departure from the previous games in the series, featuring a third-person action-adventure gameplay style. The game saw Larry Lovage working at a movie studio and trying to solve a mystery.
Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust, developed by Team17 and published by Codemasters, received generally negative reviews from critics and fans alike. The game was a departure from the traditional point-and-click adventure format of the series and instead featured open-world gameplay and mini-games. Additionally, the game lacked the involvement of series creator Al Lowe and had a different voice actor for the titular character, which was a major letdown for fans.
The game was also poorly received by critics and fans, with many criticizing its poor gameplay mechanics, uninspired humor, and lack of innovation. The game has not been remastered or re-released for modern platforms.
Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don’t Dry (2018)
The latest game in the series, Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don’t Dry, was released in 2018, after a long hiatus in the series. Unlike previous games, it was not developed by Al Lowe but by a German developer called CrazyBunch. The game follows the series’ protagonist, Larry Laffer, as he is mysteriously transported from the 1980s to the present day, where he must navigate modern technology and social media to find love.
One interesting tidbit about the development of Wet Dreams Don’t Dry is that the game’s developers originally intended it to be a mobile-only title, but it was eventually released on other platforms as well. The game received mixed reviews, with some critics praising its nostalgic humor and others criticizing its dated gameplay mechanics.
A typical joke from the game involves Larry attempting to navigate a dating app called “Timber” and accidentally swiping right on his own mother. While the game may not have lived up to the standards set by the earlier entries in the series, it was still a welcome return for fans of the franchise after a long absence.
The game received mixed reviews, with some critics praising its humor and updated gameplay mechanics, while others criticized its outdated and offensive humor. The game has since been remastered and re-released for modern platforms such as PC and Nintendo Switch.
The legacy and future of Leisure Suit Larry
The Leisure Suit Larry series had a significant cultural impact in the 80s and 90s. It was a pioneer in the adventure game genre, blending humor, satire, and adult content into a unique experience. Al Lowe was the creative force behind the series, and his wit and writing style set it apart from other games of the time.
Despite its popularity, the Larry series faced criticism for its sexually explicit content and crude humor. In the current era of political correctness, the series has become somewhat controversial, and some may argue that it is no longer relevant or appropriate. However, the Larry games were a product of their time, and they reflected the attitudes and social norms of the era.
After the release of Wet Dreams Don’t Dry in 2018, it seems that the future of the Larry series is uncertain. Al Lowe, who retired from the gaming industry in 2007, was not involved in the development of the latest game. However, the Larry games will always hold a special place in the hearts of gamers who grew up with them.
As for the future, it is unclear if there will ever be another Larry game. It is possible that the series could be revived for a new generation of gamers, but it would require a delicate balance between staying true to the original spirit of the series while also appealing to modern sensibilities.
In conclusion, the Leisure Suit Larry series was a cultural phenomenon that captured the humor, style, and attitudes of a bygone era. While the games may no longer be as relevant or appropriate in today’s climate, they remain a cherished part of gaming history. Al Lowe’s contributions to the series cannot be understated, and his wit and writing style were a hallmark of the games. Whether or not we will see another Larry game remains to be seen, but the legacy of the series will endure for many years to come.