The original and best. Influential and brilliant
A damn lot. Even to this day it still has more atmosphere than most games. The characters are (were) immortal. Very good plot with a solid theme, i.e pirates; classic soundtrack that once heard, never left your head; clever puzzles that weren't too hard, and the graphics look very good in their rugged way, sure beats the adventure games today where even the dirt looks like it's been polished. Also this game stamped things into the memory of gamers forever, anyone who's played the insult swordfighting should be able to quote you a line. "How appropriate, you fight like a cow".
It threw in a working-class-kid-makes-good love story, whereby your scruffy urchin with amusing trousers gets it on with the govenor of the island by behaving like an idiot. Beautiful. Other than those points (no small amount), it's hard to say why this game is so good. But it is. Lets just say it does nearly everything better than nearly every other adventure game, and it was made in 1990.
It's my mission to never say that there is never a bad point in a game. But this is proving hard. Um...Guybrush is a bit of a loser really. Sometimes the game doesn't give you direction as well as it could have done. Le Chuck bears more than a passing resemblance to Chaos from another Lucasarts game from the same year. If you don't really like the swordfighting, it's tedious to go through (probably). The worst bit is that the game comes to an end and the ending doesn't last 9 hours, more like a few minutes. Damn
The Bottom Line
The classic that sealed Lucasarts reputation for all time and brainwashed the majority of the public into believing they could do no wrong, even when they destroyed it's own legend in the future and turned the series into a parody of itself. The self-appreciation was charming then though: look out for all the Loom references ("I'm Bobbin, are you my mother?"). The only adventure game that I think is better than this is Grim Fandango, but that is really something else.