Back in the day, the gaming scene was different. Things were more kid friendly, and sex was more or less a taboo. Much of that changed in the late 80s when the Leisure Suit Larry games emerged. They were dirty and sleazy, yet smart. They made fun of norms and stereotypes, and at the end of they day they were a lot of fun.
Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards came out in 1987. It’s a typical adventure game with standard (hard) puzzles. You play as Larry Laffer, a balding guy in his late forties. Circumstances have led him to the city of Lost Wages to find his true love, or at least to lose his virginity. ( Yup, that’s right, he’s the original 40-year-old-virgin) Since that’s the primary “catch” of the game, any guy can relate to Larry without much effort. No matter who you are or what you look like, there’s a good chance you’ve felt like a dork in front of a girl at least once.
The game itself, like I’ve said, is a typical adventure game for its time. There’s no mouse control, so you have to type commands, which can be tiresome and fun at the same time. The graphics look pretty even nowadays, with a nice palette of colors. Music is also one of the perks of the game and there’s a good chance the songs will stick in your head for a while after your first playthrough. The scenery of the game is fun: bars, drunks, casinos, dirty magazine stores and back alleys all figure in. You encounter a whole set of low life characters and the game makes fun of them in a very smart way, from a drunk guy passed out in the hallway to a prostitute with whom (SPOILER!) Larry loses his virginity. (Don’t forget a condom.)
How much sleaziness and sex is there? Well, to be honest, not that much, since all the sex scenes are censored. Sure, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of The Lounge Lizards was controversial when it came out in 1987, but it’s fairly innocent by today’s standards. Remember, Larry was a hot ember to sell and many stores initially avoided distributing the game. Sales were slow at first, but word spread around and the game gradually became a massive hit. There was just nothing like it before. Sure, there were some games that dealt with sex, but none of them went full mainstream. Leisure Suit Larry cruised the lines between sleaziness and being fairly innocent.
Since the game was a massive hit, sequels were bound to happen, and happen they did, six of them. The last game, Leisure Suit Larry in Love for Sail, looks awesome even today and is funny as hell. If older Larry games don’t appeal to you due to outdated graphics, try Love for Sail. It has aged really well thanks to the cartoonish art. There is also a remake of the first game that recently came out, Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded. It’s a fun and decent remake. The soundtrack is amazing and graphics are beautiful. The only problem is the price-they’re charging-20$ for the same game from 1987, with very little new content added. Avoid Magna Cum Laude and Box Office Bust, the newest “Larry games” in which you play as Larry’s nephew, also named Larry (!?) They are nothing like the original and most fans don’t even consider them cannon.
So that would be it. Do yourself a favor and get acquainted with Leisure Suit Larry series. You won’t be sorry! You can also check out more Larry stuff on this awesome fan page.