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Point-and-click games are both a popular pastime for online enthusiasts and designers and officially produced product games available on the market. Rather than moving around a 2D or 3D character the player must use their sense of logic and their mouse to find and assemble various clues scattered around the scene in order to escape a locked area, uncover a mystery or complete a quest. Sometimes the adventure will be a heavily plot-based epic adventure; other times there will be little plot whatsoever. The games are usually (though not exclusively) first person games, and can be of various genres though the most popular appear to be horror and, naturally, mystery games. Surreal games are another popular genre. Many games strive to create vivid, highly atmospheric settings which the player will enjoy exploring.
Point-and-click games are highly popular online, both to play and to create, specifically because they are so easy to put together. One can be put together with a simple Flash program. Because they are are mass produced online, 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 game playing skill.
Many examples of point-and-click games can be found here.
Variations on these Games include the following:
- Adventure Games, such as by Sierra, Lucas Arts etc. The game follows a storyline progression but the player must point and click through (with some dialog boxes) to solve problems and advance. Scripted in detail with elaborate stories, painted background graphics, and Choose Your Own Adventure 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.
- 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.
Tend to be ripe with Nightmare Fuel. Sometimes the game isn't scary itself but the mood can be quite unsettling.
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