[SXSW] Hands on With Leisure Suit Larry
Tucked away at SXSW this year was a small booth containing gameplay for Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards Reloaded. For those that have been sitting out the news, Leisure Suit Larry is back in 2d form from Austin based Replay Games. He has gone through Kickstarter. He has gone through Steam Greenlight. Finally, with a month until release, he was in playable form.
As I was cautioned however, the game is still in Alpha. Hit the jump to see if Larry’s still got his mojo.
I’m not sure if playing adventure games in alpha form on the floor of a convention center is really the best place to judge a game on its merits. Larry was looking a bit rough. The animations for Larry were actually not bad looking. Larry looks like a cartoon character come to life. Unfortunately at this point of the game’s development, he’s the only one.
Characters in the bar were mostly stiff paper cutouts. When the bartender went to fetch me a drink, he reverted back to his pencil line drawings. When they informed me that this current build was alpha, they were serious. When they told me the game was looking to release in a month, I raised an eyebrow.
The foundation however is here. What I was able to play of the game consisted of 4 rooms in Lefty’s notorious bar. The outside looked as glamorous as you see in the screenshot that heads this article. The inside of Lefty’s is filled with drunks and odd new characters. Turns out they are the Kickstarter donors. They look oddly out of place, but with a game still finalizing the animations, that’s fine to see.
As someone who managed to get away with playing Leisure Suit Larry when he was younger, I was looking for a bit of nostalgia; something to grab me. I didn’t expect it to happen as soon as I booted up the game. Upon loading Leisure Suit Larry, the game pops up with an age verification questionnaire. Putting in my age, I was asked all sorts of age appropriate questions. It was, dare I say, hilariously nostalgic.
I was only able to navigate 4 screens, one of which had issues with some context controls, and in doing so I could get a sense of the game. Gone are the text commands parsers. Everything is done with the mouse through a drop down menu or through cycling commands via right click. Other than that, you have the same standard adventure formula Sierra mastered 2 decades ago; just now in high definition.
I’m not sure I can judge much about Larry’s latest adventure from the gameplay I played. The game’s tone however can be felt in the only place that matters: The text. Larry still is a funny game. From picky drunkards to sassy women, the game made me grin more than once. I’m sure the guys behind this are stressing about putting the audio in this week and getting the next frames of animation together. From what I could tell though, the game’s on its way there. What it will look like in a month is anybody’s guess, but the game has jumped through the hurdles that Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight put down before them.
They have the foundation here, its just time to hurry up and get out of Alpha.