Leisure Suit Reboot

Posted April 3, 2012 by Richard Plant in Editorial
Leisure Suit Reboot

It’s sometimes remarked that the early history of gaming held more creativity and humour than the current generation of titles, and while there is certainly something to that notion, retro gaming also has more than its share of skeletons in the closet.

Leisure Suit Larry, for a certain generation of flat-capped codger, is a game that continues to drive a wedge of division into the soft underbelly of gaming culture. Is it just a drop of harmless fun (what I like to call the Clarkson argument), or harmful objectification of women (singing from the Dworkin hymn sheet)?

Still, this moral morass seems to be no barrier to US studio Replay Games, who have already succeeded in getting hold of the licence to the 25-year-old series from previous developers Big Software. With original designer Al Lowe on board, the company seeks to create a new version of the classic arsehole simulator aimed at mobile devices.

In common with many indie developers these days, the company wants your cash up front before they do the hard work of porting to your handy handheld friend. Their Kickstarter page is asking for a total of $500,000 in donations, and with less than a month to go, has succeeded in raising more than $80,000. Donations of $15 or more land you a copy of the game, with further tiers offering the usual fluff for deep-pocketed backers.

Unsurprisingly, Replay’s Kickstarter doesn’t attempt to address the issue of whether the rampant misogyny and sub-toilet wall writing of the original games is really something worth resurrecting. As a group of former Sierra employees, they clearly have a deep fondness for the fruits of their labour, a fact that perhaps blinds them to the fact that the culture at large has moved on somewhat since the late eighties.

Anyway, trailer embedded below. Make your own decisions.


About the Author

Richard Plant

Author, producer, dreamweaver… also actor. Willing to talk at length about JRPGs for food.

    Richard Plant
    April 4, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I don’t think it’s going too far to suggest that the original series promoted some pretty heinous stereotypes about women: of the four women in Land of the Lounge Lizards, three are virtually mute receptacles for Larry’s double-entendre-laden patter, one is a prositute, and one is ridiculously hyper-real Madonna figure.

    I’m not saying it didn’t have its moments, but I’d like to think we’ve moved forward from that particular point. It is possible to be funny, clever and downright subversive without dragging along stagnant ideas.

    I’m not against video games addressing sex (in fact, I think it’s essential), I’m just against doing it in such a dull fashion.


    Debbie Timmins
    April 3, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Misogyny? Aww, I loved the early Leisure Suit Larry games. Original Larry was less of the creepy weirdo that you see in the 2004 and 2009 game and more of a desperate loser just looking for love. The first four games were my childhood favourites. (This may explain a lot about me as a person)

    It makes me sad that they’ve brought together the old team complete with Al Lowe and all they can think to do is update the graphics and interface AGAIN. If they were making a wholly new game I’d seriously consider buying it, if only for a few seconds before demanding a gameplay video. Once bitten…