Al Lowe and Replay Games want to make Leisure Suit Larry come again!
It's true that I'm getting a little tired of talking about all these videogame Kickstarter projects but this one deserves a mention, I think, if only for its historical significance. Originally released in 1987, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards was one of the biggest franchises in the classic Sierra stable, alongside King's Quest, Space Quest and Police Quest, and was also notable for its startlingly "mature" [although endearingly tame by today's standards] gameplay. The sequels, sadly, grew increasingly awful, culminating in the disastrous 2009 release Box Office Bust, which has a well-deserved Metacritic score of 20 [our own Logan Westbrook recommended that gamers who see it in a bargain bin for a dollar use the money to buy some candy instead], but Replay Games is now seeking to revive its past glories with help from the man who made it all happen in the first place - Al Lowe.
Not only was Leisure Suit Larry a ground-breaking adventure, as Lowe explains in the Kickstarter pitch video, it also invented shareware - sort of. "We didn't mean to, that's just kind of how it worked out," he says. "Larry was one of the most heavily-pirated games in history. How do we know? We sold more hint books than we sold copies of the game."
Replay's vision for the Leisure Suit Larry remake includes both PC and tablet versions of the game, updated, "ultra-high res" graphics, a modern interface, full voice acting and even more of that "great" Al Lowe humor. If the game is funded, excess cash will be used to pay for additional platforms like XBLA and PSN, localization into other languages, "a live orchestra performing all your favorite Leisure Suit Larry tunes" [I'm not sure if that's serious or not] and more.
The Replay team has actually been at work on the Leisure Suit Larry thing for quite awhile now: Replay announced that a Lowe-powered remake was in the works in October 2011. And while there's presumably already funding in place for the project, a successful Kickstarter could make the long-term plan to remake all the "real" Leisure Suit Larry games and, if they're a success, possibly even create new ones a little easier to realize. Or maybe Al just wants more money. Who knows?
Like all the other Kickstarters kicking around, a pledge of $15 will get you a digital copy of Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Reloaded, while higher tiers bring greater rewards: $50 gets a digital "art book," $100 brings a physical copy of the game including a Leisure Suit Larry branded condom [still in wrapper!], $500 gets a signed "Descent Into Madness" special edition of the game with a whole bunch of bonus stuff like a hardcover art book and your name in the credits, and so on.
The Kickstarter seems to be going pretty well so far, with a little over $24,000 of its $500,000 goal pledged in just a few hours. So whether you're an old Sierra fan, an adventure gamer with a taste for the "risque" or you just think it's time for Al Lowe to buy a new shirt, now's your chance to step up to the plate and help out. Do it for Larry - do it for love!