Larry Laffer is a 40-year old man who lives in a basement and has not yet lost his virginity. Having grown weary of his lonely existence, he decides to visit the resort city of Lost Wages to experience what he has not lived before, and find the woman of his dreams. The city consists of five areas: Lefty's Bar, a hotel casino, a 24-hour wedding chapel, a disco, and a convenience store. The player can walk between areas that are next to each other, but the only method of travel between area's that are not next to each other is by hailing a taxi, which costs the player money, which Larry can earn by playing in the casino. Larry's quest involves four possible women: a nameless, seedy-looking prostitute; Fawn, a club-going material girl; Faith, a receptionist who (true to her name) is faithful to her boyfriend; and Eve, a bathing beauty and Larry's ultimate goal.
The game was first released in 1987, the first part of the Leisure Suit Larry series. It was a completely graphical adventure game with 16 color EGA graphics. It utilizes the Adventure Game Interpreter (AGI) engine. Originally developed for DOS and the Apple II, it was later ported to other platforms such as the Amiga, Atari ST, Apple IIGS and the TRS-80 Color Computer. In 1991, Sierra released a remake that used Sierra's Creative Interpreter (SCI) engine with 256 colors and icon-driven (as opposed to text-based) interface. The game was then once again remade and released in 2013 by Replay Games, titled Leisure Suit Larry 1: Reloaded, a game for which Al Lowe came out of retired to help developing it.
The story and basic structure of the game are lifted from Softporn Adventure, Chuck Benton's 1981 Apple II game and Sierra's only text adventure. Leisure Suit Larry designer Al Lowe figured that Softporn adventure should be remade and borrowed its basic structure and added a new 2D graphic engine, improvised humor, and the protagonist, Larry Laffer.
Unsure of how the game would be received, Sierra's management chose to release the game without any publicity or advertising budget. Unsurprisingly, its first-month sales were lower than any new Sierra product launch in years; many large computer chain stores refused to sell it, finding the adult content unacceptable. However, word-of-mouth quickly spread; by year's end, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards became a critical and commercial success, being named the Software Publishers Association's "Best Fantasy, Role Playing or Adventure Game of 1987" and selling over 250,000 copies. The game is also nicknamed "The most pirated computer game in history" as Sierra sold far more hint books than copies of the game.