Follow TV Tropes


Point-and-Click Game
aka: Point And Click

Go To

Point-and-click games are a long running genre in which rather than navigating an environment the player must use nothing but their mouse and some logic to find and assemble clues scattering the scene in order to escape a locked area, uncover a mystery, or complete a quest. Often there's a rich narrative, sometimes it's more scenic than wordy, generally depending on the tech of the era. The games are usually first person, and the genres stretch from horror, mystery, even surrealism, all striving to create vivid, highly atmospheric settings which the player will enjoy exploring.

Popular in no small part due to their ease of creation, their quality varies massively with some being incredibly detailed works of art and comical entertainment, and others involving only the barest of details and stylistic appearances. Many point-and-click games have proven to be highly logically taxing, and some quite frankly skip around logic all together and require dramatically Out of the Box thinking to complete. Most point-and-click games are based on intelligence, rather than coordination and quick reflexes.

Many examples of point-and-click games can be found here.

Variations on these Games include the following:

  • Adventure Games, such as by Sierra, LucasArts, etc.. The game follows a storyline progression but the player must point and click through (with some dialogue boxes) to solve problems and advance. Scripted in detail with elaborate stories, painted background graphics, and Gamebook side-plots. Their biggest heyday came in The '90s, followed by a bust in the wake of Doom. Today dozens of excellent games are made every year.
  • Room escape games — the player awakens (usually) to find themselves trapped in a locked room. These games usually involve little Backstory asides from what is necessary to get the player into the room in the first place.
  • Visual Novel games — A number of old-school visual novels were essentially adventure games with point-and-click mechanics, such as The Portopia Serial Murder Case and YU-NO. There are also some modern visual novels with point-and-click gameplay, such as the Spirit Hunter series.
  • Search and Mystery Games — The player must utilise their logical skills and exploration abilities to uncover a mystery, find a solution to a problem, or even uncover a crime. Elements of these are often found in the more urban Adventure Games.
  • Exploration Games — Such as Mystery of Time and Space, are mainly a combination of Escape the Room games and Exploration games, requiring both sets of skills. Often these games contain higher levels of story-telling.
  • Living Artworks - often not games precisely so much as surreal or experimental works of art which can be explored by clicking various objects.
  • Eduanimation products which are often endorsed by schools, or otherwise sold as external "fun and learning" activities such as the Logical Journey of the Zoombinis.

The point-and-click genre was preceded by text-based games such as Interactive Fiction, and is also succeeded by roleplaying genres such as MMORPGs, along with First-Person Shooters.

Tend to be ripe with Nightmare Fuel. Sometimes the game isn't scary itself but the mood can be quite unsettling.

Examples (in alphabetical order):

Alternative Title(s): Point And Click Adventure, Point And Click