Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded review

Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded' falls short despite the best efforts of Replay Games, N-Fusion Interactive, and an enthusiastic audience of Kickstarter backers.
Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded' falls short despite the best efforts of Replay Games, N-Fusion Interactive, and an enthusiastic audience of Kickstarter backers.
Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded' falls short despite the best efforts of Replay Games, N-Fusion Interactive, and an enthusiastic audience of Kickstarter backers.


  • Beautifully redone audiovisual presentation
  • Faithful to the spirit of classic Sierra games


  • Slavishly adheres to the original game, flaws and all
  • Inelegant user interface lacks basic commands/functionality

DT Editors' Rating

It turns out that the name Leisure Suit Larry has become an ironic title, as the cold reality of the game’s resource management tasks set in and reloading the game to fill your wallet becomes a painful chore. Again and again you scurry off to refill hapless Larry’s wallet at one of many electronic gambling machines, where luck rather than skill determines how quickly you can move through the game. Do you spend time walking outside and receiving a $10 gift from a homeless man when you’ve gone broke or do you simply “cheat” and reload the last save, from when you actually still had money to gamble?

The blame isn’t entirely on N-Fusion Interactive or publisher Replay Games. To be fair, going broke in the original Sierra title meant a game over and forced reload. Turning the clock back is much more of a voluntary act here, since that same homeless fellow will keep feeding you a sawbuck every time you bottom out. Instead of being forced to reload, you simply want to because it’s so horribly dull to keep betting your $10 and losing it, over and over, until you hit a long enough string of jackpots to fill your wallet anew. The difference now is that you feel like you’re cheating every time.

There are other strange design choices here as well. Increasing your bet can only be done in $1 increments, each of which requires a single click, since holding down the mouse button brings up a radial menu for swapping between the different pointer commands. It’s a redundant feature, since you can also use your scrollwheel, your right mouse button, or a drop-down menu at the top of the screen to switch. Then there’s the lack of quick-save/quick-load buttons, forcing you to dive through a series of menus every time you want to recover your lost dollars.

Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded Lefty's

If you’re wondering you’ve just spent three paragraphs reading about a story-driven adventure game’s slot machines, it’s because of how much time you spend staring at them. Larry’s money is constantly trickling away as you play, whether you’re spending it on cabs, on booze, on paying for an ill-advised wedding, and on any number of other things. You need it, and you’ll need considerably more in the end than the paltry $100 you start with. Gambling is a requirement.

This was a poor choice in the original game and it remains a poor choice now. The lingering importance of gambling in the game is frustrating, but it also speaks to the bigger issues at play in Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded. There’s a failure of design, but there’s also a creative miscalculation. Replay’s successful Kickstarter campaign for Reloaded could have delivered a re-born Larry for a 21st century audience, but little has been done to fix what was fundamentally broken before.

The finished product here feels more like a direct port of the VGA remake from the ’90s with a new skin on top of it. Fan service is valuable, but Larry felt uneven in 1987. N-Fusion could have gotten away with taking some creative license here and there to deliver a more fun game instead of just an HD re-release. There’s new content in the form of an extra woman to spurn Larry’s advances, and the point-and-click play continues to be charming, but the hoop-jumping progression through the story hinges too much on luck rather than the player’s powers of deduction.

Leisure Suit Larry convenience store

That said, Reloaded isn’t a disaster. The heart of the 1987 game is intact, and fans of the Sierra classic won’t be able to keep from smiling as they explore one familiar puzzle after another. The revamped soundtrack from Austin Wintory is also an immediate winner, reviving the original chiptune melodies with the nice, full sound of a live band behind them. It’s hard not to linger when you load to the title screen and hear the familiar tune play again.

The cartoon-style presentation is also a success, with character animations reminiscent of the skipped-frame style of Adult Swim’s programming. The writing continues to be sharp, and it pops anew thanks to the efforts of a full voice cast. The baritone narrator is a particular standout, his voice booming frequently out of your speakers like a wiseass voice of God. Whiny Larry is harder to listen to, but you get the sense that that’s sort of the point.

The new content adds a bit of playing time to the game, but the biggest timecrunch in Reloaded is, unfortunately, the laborious process of returning to the gambling machines again and again. Strip those out and you’re left with a relatively brief adventure, and one that frequently stalls around obtuse puzzle solutions that require visiting and re-visiting specific locations you might otherwise overlook.


With studios like Telltale Games working to push forward a new era in adventure game storytelling, Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded feels as dated as his titular outerwear. There’s something to be said for the simple joy of strolling through the newly refreshed environments of Sierra’s classic and to hearing all of these beloved characters actually speak for the first time, but it isn’t enough. The immature humor and outdated, borderline offensive treatment of women all works within the context of the fiction, but never has it been more clear that it’s time for Larry to grow up.

(This game was reviewed on the PC)

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: inflatable backpacks and robotic submarines

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

The N64 was an all-star console with a line-up of all-star games. These were the best.

The Nintendo 64 introduced a long list of top-tier games, but which were the iconic platform's best? From Mario Party to Ocarina of Time to NFL Blitz, check out our picks for the best N64 games.

Crypto-intrigued? Here's how to buy Bitcoin for the first time

Is it time to purchase your first Bitcoin investment? If you're ready to get involved in the cryptocurrency, we'll walk you through how to pick an exchange, how to choose the right wallet, and how to buy Bitcoin the safe way!

Researchers hack John McAfee’s ‘unhackable’ Bitfi cryptocurrency wallet

Researchers have successfully hacked John McAfee's Bitfi cryptocurrency wallet. Researchers show that the device can be hacked, as they have gained access to the device's private keys and passphrase despite McAfee's security promotion.

Want to play SNES classics on your PC? These emulators make it easy

Emulation can be a tricky subject to nail, especially when you don't know where to begin, but you can explore your favorite Super Nintendo classics from the comfort of your home with our guide to the best SNES emulators currently available.

Take control of your Xbox with these top-tier Xbox One gamepads

A number of different controllers are available on the Xbox One, from gamepads made by Microsoft, to third-party controllers loaded with special features. Here are the best you can buy.

‘Diablo III’ is bringing loot-filled goodness to the Nintendo Switch this year

Blizzard's acclaimed action-RPG Diablo III will be coming to Nintendo Switch later this year and it will include four-player cooperative play on the console, the legendary game studio announced.

Blazer5 Gaming has dominated the NBA 2K League. Now they prepare for the playoffs

We spoke with Blazer5 Gaming, the NBA 2K team that currently tops the professional 2K League, about their journeys to playing the basketball sim for a living. We also played a little game of overrated or underrated with NBA 2K19's ratings.

Blizzard wants to see Diablo characters join fray in ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’

With Diablo 3 coming to Switch later this year, is it possible that we could see Blizzard characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate down the line? Blizzard would very much like to see Diablo characters in the Nintendo brawler.

Blizzard changes its tune, says ‘Overwatch’ could run on Nintendo Switch

Blizzard's hugely popular multiplayer shooter Overwatch isn't available on Nintendo Switch, but one of the studio's senior producers says that it could technically run on the hybrid console.

‘Warframe’ adds a trio of minigames, including a 2D fighting experience

Digital Extremes has added a new 2D fighting mini-game to Warframe, its free-to-play science fiction title. The game can be unlocked by using the Standing resource and features a surprising amount of depth.

New 'Fortnite' challenge is among the most difficult yet, but we know the solution

Where are the Stone Heads looking? That's the challenge posed by Fortnite's sixth week of season five. It's an easy challenge in concept, but difficult to manage in execution. If you don't want a hassle, no sweat. We've found the solution.

The PlayStation 5 rumors are heating up, and the console may arrive by 2020

Recent rumors suggest the launch of the PlayStation 5 is closer than you might expect. Predictions range from 2018 to 2021, and some reports are already making definitive claims about the hardware.

Federal judge puts the brakes on ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ mod that allowed cheats

The GTA series brought us the lawlessness of Los Santos, but U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton handed down an injunction against David Zipperer of Georgia, maker of the Menyoo and Absolute mods.