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Sunday 25 August 2013

Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded - great game, disappointing Android version

Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded is a great game, long awaited by the adventure genre fans. It is a remake of an older game and it was made possible by a successful kickstarter campaign. It contains everything that I used to enjoy in the original version and more. But the Android port is buggy and it somewhat scams you into paying for the game which leaves a bad aftertaste.

Leisure Suit Larry is a series of games created by Al Lowe that used to make me smile, chuckle and look over my shoulder to make sure nobody is watching. Larry is a guy who tries to score with girls and fails miserably and you can probably guess what is the goal of each game. Larry Laffer was also a person working in software industry, making him very easy to connect with for the gamers in the late 80's and early 90's. The games are full of witty adult humour and double meanings and they never fail to be fun. The games also feature a test to prove that you are an adult by asking questions about American culture that an average adult American should know - this was a big issue for me as  in a post-communist country... The remake also has this test, which I consider stupid, because today everybody can easily search for the answers on the internet.

Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded by N-Fusion Interactive and Replay Games is a remake of the first game Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards by Sierra which is actually a remake of an even older text adventure game called simply Softporn Adventure. It is not the first remake, a VGA clone of the original Larry already exists. You can compare the original and the two remakes on the following pictures (chronologicaly from the oldest, if you can't tell!)

And you can compare another set of pictures of the another scene (warning for the easily offended by brief nudity, don't click) from 1987, 1991 and 2013. Apart from improved graphics, the game is also fully narrated and the voice suits the game very well.

From now on, I will be talking only about the Android version, because it's actually much worse than the PC version.

Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded is a typical point-and-click adventure which works well with touch screen. However the controls are somehow buggy and it happened to me many times that I couldn't move or do any other action. Save/restart/load helps, but it's very annoying. Also the graphics are very resource hungry and the game sometimes looked like this when I went back to menu and then started a new game on my low end tablet:

The game uses Unity engine that is usually ok and this is no one-man-zero-budget game. Fortunately it was working fine on a phone. However it's a shame to see such things in a game that you actually have to pay for.

And that's another problem I have with this game. When you find it in Google Play Store, you will rejoice, because it's free and it doesn't say anywhere that it is not a full version. The game description is just full of positive reviews from gaming websites. The star rating, which is currently at 3.1/5 should be a big giveaway though. You need to read a few reviews to find out that it's actually not free. The game scams you into paying for it later.

After few minutes of playing, you will be thanked for playing a demo and asked whether you want to purchase the full version. It would be much nicer if the game actually told you that it is a demo and did not download all content from the start - which takes by the way almost 500MB of your precious drive space.

I guess I did expect it. The steam version for PC costs $19.99. But if I did not know about that, I'd feel cheated, even though the in-app purchase asks for just $5.


Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded is a really well done game with nice graphics and good humour. If you want to give it a try, you can download the Android version but treat it as demo and expect you will have to pay later. If it is stable on your device, it is worth paying for.
Martin Varga is a Czech software developer who likes pygmy owls (hence Kulíš), running, ramen, travelling and living in foreign countries. He is also known as smartus or sm4 on the internet (read as smartass, but there are too many of them). He currently tries to make games in AndEngine like Mr. Dandelion's Adventures and hangs around a lot at the AndEngine forums.