This week’s Apps takes us back in time, adds flavor to Vine, and appropriately calls itself SmartWoman.
iPad App of the Week – Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded
By no means the sole purveyor of raunch and perversion in video games in the ‘80s and ‘90s, Leisure Suit Larry was no doubt one of the more conspicuous. Replay Games recently purchased the rights to some of the older games, and, thanks to a Kickstarter and cooperation with series creator Al Lowe, has just finished Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded.
This is a remake of the original game, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards. If you’re not familiar with the series (very possible, it’s a niche series, to say the least), the title character is Larry Laffer, a balding man in a cheap suit and loafers who has never been with a woman. The object of the game is to make that last part happen, so I guess now you probably know whether or not you are interested in Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded.
It’s a point-and-click adventure, where you guide Larry around seedy places and interact with objects in an effort to get the perpetually unsmooth Larry laid. Here, Replay Games and Lowe want to stress that the game isn’t exactly a remake – in addition to the upgrades in graphics, animation, music, voice work and the addition of new jokes and sight gags, the game’s puzzles have been completely changed from the original, for a fresh experience. I’m not sure fresh is a word that works with Leisure Suit Larry, but we’ll go with it.
The series has made its name on sex and toilet humor, with its actual edginess up for debate (it is passing muster over at Apple, after all). We’ll beat past the moralizing and questionable taste that can easily be discussed when it comes to games like these, and ask a more pressing question for Replay Games – is anyone going to actually still care about Leisure Suit Larry?
This is an old series, and it’s had so many entries that it’s approaching The Land Before Time territory. Raunchy sex humor has by no means vanished today, but it has evolved since the ‘80s and ‘90s, and it’s hard to say whether or not Leisure Suit Larry’s particular brand of low-brow humor still has an appreciable audience. It certainly has an audience – the $500,000 Kickstarter goal was met and surpassed, hitting well over $600,000.
But, we’ll have to make the inevitable comparison – Duke Nukem seemed to still have an appreciable audience when Duke Nukem Forever finally dropped in 2011, but ended up being a colossal flop. Part of that was because Duke Nukem Forever just wasn’t a very good game, and it’s possible that Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded will differ in that respect. But, Forever also flopped because Duke’s time had passed – he had become a relic, and the release of the game drove that realization home.
If Duke couldn’t make a proper comeback, I’m not so sure Leisure Suit Larry can, either. But, for fans of the series, I don’t think that matters too much, as long as the game is good and brings the nostalgia. Should you be interested in a trip back to Larry’s world, and can’t afford your own ticket to Las Vegas or Miami, Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded is scheduled to drop trough in the iTunes App Store July 1st as well as be readily available on PC, Steam, and Android. Welcome back Lounge Lizards!
Update 7/17/2013: It is available to download here for iPhone and iPad.
Windows 8 App of the Week – Fotor
Yeah, photo editing apps have been pretty much done to death by now, but all the same, it’s not too often you find one with as many features available for free, without having to pony up for a pro version.
Fotor is that kind of app. It’s easy to use – most options just require one click – but there are some slightly more advanced options you can play around with. One-touch options are mostly for applying lighting effects or artistic filters and borders. Over 60 filters and 23 frames are all available for free, which isn’t a bad haul.
You can also crop photos with a fair amount of precision, and can use the Tilt-Shift function to bring the center more into focus or blur around the edges, kind of like what happens when you play around with aperture settings on an SLR. There’s also a fix-all one-tap enhance button, if you’re in a hurry.
If you want to add more custom touches, you can add text to a photo or put a few together in a collage, using one of several layouts and border colors and designs.
It’s a solid app considering that it’s completely free, and there’s the added bonus of being able to import RAW files. Check Fotor out on the Windows Store.
iPhone App of the Week – SmartWoman
The SmartWoman Project is a new initiative designed to help women help women everywhere, through a specialized social network of sorts.
The app, which will launch in September, requires a $5 monthly subscription fee. That fee opens up a question and answer board, a member profile, and tips and advice from expert women in a variety of fields. Using the profiles, you’ll be able to browse other women’s profiles and those of the experts that have signed on to the service.
More importantly, that $5 monthly pays for daily SMS messages to underserved women in Nigeria, Kenya, Indonesia, and Mexico. Those SMS messages will contain educational and life lessons and tips that will help women in those areas to live healthier, safer lives, while giving them knowledge and opportunities to start their own businesses.
You can also use the app to make a donation of a mobile phone, or give to one of many NGOs that the SmartWoman Project supports.
The main thrust of the SmartWoman Project is to help women everywhere bridge the gender gap in both pay and access to services, by creating a vast pool of knowledge and expertise from around the world.
You can sign up now to be notified when the SmartWoman Project app goes live on the iTunes App Store.
Android App of the Week – Norton Zone
There are millions of cloud storage services out there. And that’s awesome, because the more there are, the more free storage you can score, and the less you actually have to pay for. As long as you don’t mind having all of your files in different places, that is.
Norton Zone, from Symantec is the stalwart anti-virus brand’s crack at cloud storage, so security and virus protection are the big benefits here. Specifically, you’ll get a free automatic virus scan on all files saved onto your little plot of Norton Zone land. Another little plus is that you can restore file versions from up to 90 days previous. You can share files from within the app, and designate trusted contacts that can also access your cloud folder.
But, that’s not what we all came for. You can add 5 GB to your free cloud storage collection using Norton Zone, which can be synced across devices. If you want to pay Symantec money, you can purchase 20 GB, 50 GB, or 100 GB worth of storage.
Norton Zone is available now for free on Google Play.
Windows Phone App of the Week – Viner
It’s not a proper Vine app, but unfortunately, when you’re a Windows Phone user, you have to take what you can get sometimes.
Before you get your hopes up, Viner does not let you upload Vines. Bummer, but not something a third party app can do right now. What it can do is let you search and share Vines, and view your own profile. You can like and follow other accounts or Vines, as well. Most popular and editors’ choice lists can also be browsed.
Again, it’s not going to light the world on fire, but it might be a decent way to get your Vine fix on the go on Windows Phone, even if you can’t get in on the action yourself. Viner is $0.99 on the Windows Phone Store, but you can try it for free