LEISURE SUIT LARRY / Sierra / PC
Based almost entirely on the structure and puzzles of earlier Sierra text adventure Softporn, Leisure Suit Larry introduced the Larry character, graphics and Al Lowe's wit and a whole bunch of charm. With these added ingredients the game went from totally forgettable text adventure to one of the biggest names ever in adventure games.
I haven't played this version of the game in over ten years and I'd forgotten how (comparitively) good it looks - it might be the best looking of Sierra's AGI engine games. Lots of background detail, great use of the limited color palette. Sound is limited to some PC internal speaker honking here and there, but that's just how things were at the time.
The forced gambling to earn enough money to make it through the game is my only real complaint, but it does take it easier on that count than SoftPorn did. With the ol' save-restore shuffle and max betting it really doesn't take very long to build up the 400 or so total dollars you need to win to cover all the game's expenses. Only other issue is the "age check" that consists of pop culture and TV trivia questions that even people in their 40s might have problems with at this point, but that's easily defeated by a number of means.
Larry 1 is short; you can blow through it in just about an hour if you know exactly what you're doing. For the time, though, it was a pretty well-crafted adventure. Al Lowe's personality and humor really come through and elevate the game above its humble (and rather gimmicky) text adventure roots.