App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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Larry Laffer isn't quite as popular as, say, Manny Calavera, Guybrush Threepwood, Roger Wilco, or Bernard Bernoulli, but that's not for lack of trying. Larry's been sleazing up bars for decades, actually. Although it'd be best to ignore his more recent exploits. Now the perpetual lounge lizard (and loser) is back in Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded; an remake concocted by series creator Al Lowe and the money tree that is Kickstarter. Will he finally lose his vir-I mean "find true love" this time around? Probably not, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun to watch him fail!
Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded finally returns Larry to his 2D adventuring roots; none of that awkward 3D cartoon junk with terrible mini-games here. He'll have to be pointed and clicked along as players attempt to solve puzzles, acquire random trinkets, and score with whatever Larry can coax a smile out of. It's not simply a redressing of the original, either. This time around Larry's got some grimy new visuals, a soundtrack complements of Austin Wintory, more characters, more areas to explore, more puzzles, and more of pretty much everything else. The interface has even been updated and now gives players the choice between a more traditional "menu with interaction icons" option, or a handy radial menu that pops up when an object is tapped and held.
Larry's revamped return both looks and sounds great. The backgrounds are extremely detailed and sharp (if a little gross) and the characters are all kinds of colorful. The animations seem like they might be missing a few frames here and there but honestly I feel like that helps to keep Reloaded from feeling too modern. I also really like having a choice between two different control options since they can each be useful depending on the situation. And, of course, all of Larry's R-rated exploits are as nasty and hilarious as ever.
The downside to being a remake of an old school adventure game is that it also shares a common problem with games of the era: the puzzles. Some of them make sense, many of them don't. And unless players have either played the original before or consult a walkthrough they're going to get lost on more than one occasion. It's not much of an issue for people familiar with early adventure games or patient enough to explore every single interactive bit in every single environment, but anyone who's gotten used to more contemporary games with more obvious puzzles or help features might have some trouble.
Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded can be a bit obtuse but that's ultimately part of its classic charm. He'll undoubtedly bring a nostalgic smile to any fan's face, and most likely bring that plus a grimace or two to any newcomers'. Larry's back (in more ways than one) and arguably better than ever.