One of the oldest genres on the PC, point and click adventure games make use of the unique capabilities of the mouse to act as a controller for titles that are largely driven by narrative, puzzle solving, and exploration.
Some popular titles for the console include Maniac Mansion, while those for the PC include such greats as Return to Zork, Myst, and the haunting Phantasmagoria.
Noted for their origins in text-based adventure games, point-and-click adventure titles often offer limited interaction with the player’s surroundings and usually it is only to advance the story, obtain an item, or solve a puzzle.
Though not entirely confined the PC, point-and-click adventure games do rely upon mouse input for ease of interaction and this is often why they are not found on consoles. Another input that point-and-click adventure games often used was the keyboard.
This would be used to type in commands or even mimic mechanics seen in text-based adventures for DOS. A genre that is a derivative or cousin of a point-and-click adventure game is the interactive novel.
Today, point-and-click adventure games are experiencing a resurgence as indie titles with retro aesthetics seek to recapture the magic and novelty of these titles.
Though not as interactive as many modern games, foundational titles like Myst and Return to Zork popularized 3D graphics and pre-rendered backgrounds as a way to make in-game worlds come alive.
Puzzle-solving mechanics found in these games can also be seen in survival horror titles like Resident Evil and even some role-playing games.