The adventure genre has gone through its fair share of ups, downs, and technical revolutions, but it has been one of the most fondly remembered gaming genres.
Early adventure games are a product of hardware limitations. Creating immersive worlds was too complicated for PCs back then, not so nowadays though.
The direction of point-and-click adventure games took a sharp turn with the release of Mystery House by Sierra Entertainment in 1980.
This game led to the transition towards graphic adventure. Initially, these games were still using text parser and accompanied it with a very basic graphical interface.
With improvements in graphics processing capabilities, text parsers became surplus to requirements, and during the mid-1980s, mouse-controlled graphic adventure games started to become more common.
This period has proven to be the golden era of point-and-click adventure games.
With a limited, mostly static environment, you spend a lot of time on such games. Graphics allowed developers to create far more detailed gaming environments or worlds.
You can find ample point-and-click adventure games on PC, consoles, and various other platforms.
There is a resurgence of these games, gaining new followers while cashing in on our nostalgia.
Let’s focus on the top 20 iconic points and click adventure games.
Best Point and Click Adventure Games
The great perhaps is a sci-fi adventure point-and-click game that explores time travel. It is an emotional story of a cosmonaut who wakes up from hibernation after years to find the earth bereft of life. He immediately sets off on an exploration mission to find out the cause of this devastation.
He possesses an old lantern, which allows traveling to the past. He embarks on a solo mission to prevent the apocalyptic event from ever taking place. He can stay in the past, only for a short time, after which he is transported back to the real timeline.
Although there is no character development for the cosmonaut, it is an adventurous puzzle game. Each puzzle level has two versions: the past and the present.
- Developer: Caligari Games
- Publisher: Drageus Games, Daedalic Entertainment GmbH
- Release Date: August 14, 2019
Trüberbrook has some amazing graphical representation of its environment with a powerful voice over. The story focuses on an American Scientist, Hans Tannhauser’s visit to this village in the 1960s. He visits Trüberbrook, after winning a free stay. He witnesses a stranger going through his belongings but quickly vanishes with a paper on quantum mechanics.
Hans now starts investigating among the villagers to identify the person who stole his paper. This requires solving puzzles and questioning locals throughout the village. The gameplay is jarring but enjoyable at its best bits.
- Developer: Btf, Headup Games
- Publisher: Headup Games, Whisper Games
- Release Date: March 12, 2019
Set in 1993, Little Misfortune is a story of deception and mystery. It introduces Ramirez Hernandez, who lives with her parents on the outskirts of a town in Sweden. As the narrator announces, today is the day she will die, the girl can hear him.
This narrator’s voice invites her to play games by making choices, adding there are only consequences for each choice. If she can beat this game, she will be given eternal happiness.
It is later revealed through a book that the person behind this voice is a dimensional being, Morgo. Another being a fox named Benjamin is a protector, but he cannot interact with them directly. What happens, in the end, is a mystery for you to unravel.
- Developer: Killmonday Games
- Publisher: Killmonday Games
- Release Date: September 18, 2019
Freddi Fish is a popular character among the millennials. It was among the first popular graphical point and click adventure games. This game is designed to promote the thoughts and imaginations of a 12-year old kid, but that doesn’t translate to no play for adults.
You need to undertake side quests for characters to obtain items that you need to use in other side quests. The story unravels as Freddi fish’s grandma loses her treasure containing kelp seeds. The entire gameplay is well animated for simple fun, and anything you click has a unique animation.
- Developers: Humongous Entertainment, Atari, Mystic Software
- Publishers: Humongous Entertainment, Transposia, Majesco Entertainment, Night Dive Studios
- Release Date: October 28, 1994
Kentucky Route Zero is a surreal adventure game with stunning graphics and a twisting story. With its final fifth act and simultaneous release on consoles, this game has taken the point and click adventure genre by storm. Unlike the classic games in this genre, Kentucky Route Zero largely replaced item collection and puzzles.
Players get an extensive amount of choices in navigating the characters through conversations. The end goal of this five-act series is to find an address that seemingly does not exist. It can only be accessed through a hidden track, highway zero. Along the way, the protagonists gather companions.
With endless creativity to the gameplay, Kentucky Route Zero remains fresh through the entirety of this game.
- Developer: Cardboard Computer
- Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
- Release Date: January 28, 2020
Mosaic is a narrative-driven walking simulator where you control a nameless character who struggles to find meaning in his mundane life. The story focuses on the modern-day aspect of a worker with a mundane routine and little appreciation.
What follows is happiness by helping others and listening to street performers. But you cannot explore these events further as he needs to get back to work. You will also witness surreal dreamlike scenarios while returning from work. Shrinking and avoiding other’s footfalls or swimming in vast water bodies with no end are common scenes.
The interpretation of these sequences is left to the user. The strongest aspect of Mosaic is how fluently it sets up a scenario and mindset of the character. You can take extra time to fix your tie, download a dating app, invest your money in the stock market, make dialogue choices
These elements have been introduced to show the loneliness of the character. Mosaic tries to deviate your thoughts into doing things that you find interesting instead of sticking to a mundane daily routine.
- Developer: Krillbite Studio
- Publisher: Raw Fury
- Release Date: April 17, 2019
Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror is a two-dimensional adventure game played from a third-person perspective.
The protagonists George and Nicole, become embroiled in yet another mysterious quest. They venture far from the safety of civilization into the heart of ancient darkness.
This storyline is full of Terror, sacrificial rituals, and bloody massacres beneath the Mayan mystery. With ruthless drug barons and political intrigue, the game offers a powerful uncertainty.
Players will have to collect objects to complete objectives by using a map to travel to new locations. Characters can even die if they make the wrong decisions.
- Developer: Revolution Softwares
- Publisher: Virgin Interactive
- Release Date: October 17, 1997
13. Broken Age
Broken age offers an amazing and unique concept in the point and click adventure genre. The game focuses on the life of two teenagers in different worlds. They have no direct connections to have an interchangeable creation in the end. Focusing on the life of Vella Tartine and Shay Volta, you get to play two different storylines by interchanging the worlds at any movement.
This game has two parts, and by the end of Act 1, both these characters interchange their worlds. As it happens, Shay is confused and emerges from a mechanical machine, which was the monster Vella was trying to kill. But as Shay exits the machine Vella falls into it, ending part 1 of this game. Act 2 of this game is even more interesting with a clarification to different unsaid facts of Act 1.
- Developer: Doublefine productions
- Publisher: Doublefine productions
- Release Date: April 28, 2015
12. The Walking Dead
There is no denying the impact that walking dead has had on the video game landscape. Originally released as a five-episode download, The Walking Dead is a classic game because of the emotions it elicits from players.
This game starts with the primary character Lee Everett, a murder convict on his way to prison. But his fate had something else in the store, a Zombie breakout, and soon he started caring for a little girl named Clementine.
This story of Lee and Clementine is so well-acted and told that the players connect with characters in a way that most video game developers fail to offer.
You will experience different dialogue and actions based upon your chosen adventure. It allows for minor differences and deviations, making way for a more personal experience.
- Developer: Telltale Games
- Publisher: Telltale Games
- Release Date: November 2012
11. King’s Quest
Instead of being only about a King’s Quest, this game is a story of a young person named Graham, who becomes a Knight and then a King. The entire story of Graham becoming a king is narrated to his rowdy granddaughter Gwendolen by Graham himself.
This game is a beautiful experiment in resurrecting the old conventions of past point and click games and dresses them up in the lush graphics available today. With funny moments, all the scenes are designed with hand-painted backgrounds, and the main character looks like some character from Disney.
The older voice-over is the primary aspect of storytelling, making it all the more interesting to play.
- Developer: The Odd Gentlemen
- Publisher: Activision
- Release Date: April 28, 2015
The fate of Atlantis feels like the standard point and click adventure from LucasArts films. The story of this game replicates the standard Indiana Jones plot. Our all-time favorite explorer and archaeologist Indy or Junior seeks artifacts, teams up with ladies, fights nazis, travels by map, uses whips to cross obstacles.
Indiana Jones is after an idol, and after spending quite some attempt to find it, he returns to his office. He is visited by a fellow scholar and german man, Mr. Smith, who takes the idol at gunpoint. Mr. Smith manages to slip past with the idol in the heart of the fight with Indy. As his coat is left behind, Jones learns that this scholar was a Nazi Agent.
Indiana soon understands that the idol he found was a relic of Atlantis. Thus, turning into an adventure exploration for the search for Atlantis, the mythical city. The game is full of challenges and obstacles for you to overcome.
- Developer: LucasArts
- Publisher: LucasArts
- Release Date: April 28, 2015
09. Angelo & Deemon: One Hell Of A Quest
What happens when a lighting strike confuses the grim reaper? He meets a desperate blogger Angelo, who is more worried about getting a real job if his channels do not help him generate enough money. Angelo then follows the reaper to get some hot and exciting stuff for his blogs.
Apart from the promised adventure, the soundtrack of this game makes it far more playable. But in doing so, Angello not only helps his cause but other nonplayer characters too. Angelo also gets a sidekick, a flying devil kind of creature.
The game is a solid combination of fun, excitement, humor, and philosophy backed with some mind-blowing puzzles.
- Developer: Specialbit
- Publisher: Specialbit
- Release Date: May 29, 2019
The story of Irony Curtain follows the adventure of journalist Evan Kowalski who is convinced that communism is the way ahead. He is soon contacted by a Russian spy who sets him to meet Matryoshka. Evan soon finds himself entangled in a web of lies and espionage of the cold war.
But the entire game covers this aspect of cold war espionage in a rather fun and comic way. It is filled with ridiculous propaganda and pure wacky characters and one-liners. While Evan feels like an idiot, the way this character undertakes spy tasks is pure genius.
Some of the conversations with non-playable characters in the game are pure gold. The voice-over aligns well with the sense of the Iron Curtain. Even the jokes fit perfectly and seem like a cartoon episode.
- Developer: Artifex Mundi
- Publisher: Artifex Mundi
- Release Date: May 16, 2019
07. Jenny LeCLue
Jenny Leclue is a mystery adventure game that introduces you to the primary character in her first murder mystery. The entire game is narrated by a fictional author giving a story sense. Jenny Leclue must find evidence and clear her mother from the suspected murder at Gumbal University.
There are quite a few aspects of the gameplay that make up better ingredients for cooking a unique puzzle adventure. You can interact with other characters, and explore the environments while collecting items.
The game also allows for a detective element, where you can interrogate the characters and search for clues, using magnifying glasses to piece together small mysteries. You also have a detective notebook to refer to a different clue. Challenges in this game have been designed, keeping in mind every age. Hence they are not difficult to solve.
- Developer: Mografi
- Publisher: Mografi
- Release Date: August 25, 2020
Whispers of a Machine is an adventurous murder mystery about Vera, a cybernetically modified detective. As a player, you will be controlling her character to identify and solve murder mysteries surrounding dark conflicts over forbidden technologies.
You soon find out the source of killings to be a group of fanatics who intend to create a super-intelligent AI. Vera is a Central Bureau agent, possessing nano-substance blue, which allows her to develop super abilities with her psychological thoughts.
This game seems like a mix of Terminator with Sherlock Holmes. As a player, you will get to taste the best of both worlds with cool pixelated graphics and powerful dialogues.
- Developer: Clifftop Games, Faravid Interactive
- Publisher: Raw Fury
- Release Date: April 17, 2019
Another Adventure drama, Kathy Rain, is a 2D retro-style point and click game. It follows the story of a college girl who came to attend the funeral of her late grandfather. As soon as she arrives, odd things start to happen as the playable character bents towards the detective attitude.
The game is a story of the rebellious life of an outcast. Kathy is a leather jacket wearing, motorcycle riding with a rather refreshing character. You will have to try some actions in multiple ways until you stumble upon that one method that the developer programmed into the game.
- Developer: Clifftop Games
- Publisher: Raw Fury
- Release Date: November 23, 2016
Gibbous will have you playing one of the three different characters across the story, Don R. Ketype, Buzz Kerwan, and his cat. They come in contact with a powerful book that gives Kerwan’s cat the power to speak.
Because of the powers of the Necronomicon book, an evil cult wants to get their hands on it.
At its core Gibbous is a traditional point-and-click adventure with an inventory system, dialogue choices, allowing you to combine items to solve different puzzles. It also modernizes the genre with the ease of navigation around the storyline.
There are a lot of dialogues and about 60 hand-painted environments to explore. This game has better graphics animations and story highlights. Experience the occult activities of the powerful Necronomicon.
- Developer: Stuck in Attic
- Publisher: Stuck in Attic
- Release Date: August 7, 2019
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is an adventure game focusing on the life of novice attorney Phoenix Wright and his cases. You will be solving five murder cases in this game in sequential order. Once that is done, you can even replay the cases in any order that you prefer.
Each case starts with a prelude to the murder scene, after which you can defend the main suspect. This game has two aspects, investigations, and courtroom trials. You can interact with the surroundings to collect evidence related to your case.
Experience a battle of wits, unlike any you have witnessed before. Uncover the truth of these crimes and save the day.
- Developer: Capcom Production Studio 4
- Publisher: Capcom
- Release Date: April 09, 2019
The secret of Monkey Island – Special Edition is an improved version of the original game. It now comes with a more graphical interface. It follows a two-dimensional adventure game from a third-person perspective.
The story follows the desire of a young man Guybrush Threepwood who arrives on a fictional island with the hope of becoming a pirate. While seeking out the pirate leaders, he is set upon to achieve three feats to be accepted as a pirate.
These acts include winning in a sword fight against the resident swordmaster, finding a buried treasure, and stealing an idol from the governor’s house.
What happens next is truly an amazing story, but the game ultimately leads Guybrush on an expedition to the Monkey Islands to save the governor from a mysterious threat. It is the best point and click adventure games for consoles.
- Developer: Lucasfilm Games
- Publisher: Lucasfilm Games, U.S Gold, The Software Toolwork
- Release Date: April 28, 2015
Blackstad: Under the skin is an adventurous three-dimensional crime-solving game featuring John Blacksad, a private detective. A boxer disappears, and the boxing club owner dies in suspicious conditions. John Blacksad is approached by the daughter of the boxing club owner to bring the truth to light.
The most amazing aspect is the feline character of Blacksad. It allows the player to slow time and find visual clues from the surroundings. These aspects can be beneficial in solving the main story as well as the optional-side quests.
With 30 unique characters, this game offers six possible endings. You are welcome to unravel the mystery behind the crime.
- Developer: Pendulo Studios, YS Interactive
- Publisher: Microids
- Release Date: November 5, 2019
The significance of point and click adventure games is its focus on the important aspects. Doing logical things and trying to find something logical with the available resources. These games aren’t graphic-intensive and can be played on most devices, including mobile devices.
The best thing about these games is how they incite puzzle-solving and a mood to indulge deeper into character development and learning about the unknown. With no age restriction to play, these games offer an amazing experience and personal skills development.