It was a simpler time when all gamers had to do was click on their computer mouse. Simple point-and-click mechanics have long fallen out of fashion in favour of more complex and rewarding gameplay. But while the genre peaked in the distant 1990s, classic point-and-click entries revolutionised the medium with their story-driven focus, colourful characters, and sharp dialogues. So, we’ve put out a list of some of the best games to discover or revisit, mixing some timeless gems with modern takes on the genre.
Doko Doki Literature Club!
This 2017 point-and-click visual novel is a case in point of not judging a book by its cover. At first glance, Doki Doki Literature Club might seem like your average dating simulator with its anime-styled characters and bubbly design.
The main protagonist joins a high school literature club upon the invitation of her childhood friend, Sayori. As per the usual eroge formula, said book club is brimming with cute girls you may either seduce or friend-zone.
But a much darker truth is lurking in the shadows. So dark indeed that this indie game caused quite a moral panic back in the day, as its light-hearted vibe quickly gives way to sheer psychological horror. So, brace yourself for unexpected plot twists that will send shivers down your spine.
Ace Attorney is one of these series you needn’t have played to know. From fiery attorney Phoenix Wright to stylish prosecutor Miles Edgeworth, its iconic characters have spawned more than a few memes to become an integral part of internet culture.
Beyond the memes, though, lovers of legal dramas may discover some of the best visual novels ever put out. Bar a few exceptions, all cases toggle between investigation phases and courtroom trials. Players must interrogate witnesses and gather clues to clear their client’s name in epic court battles. Yet, many dubious witnesses and prosecutors willing to do anything to strike a guilty verdict will get in your way.
Despite its eccentric characters, the series balances out a light tone with compelling murder scenarios tackling mature themes. Newcomers have six main entries to delve into the franchise, besides several spin-offs. History buffs may even travel back to the 19th century with the recent Great Ace Attorney Chronicles.
When it comes to retro point-and-click entries, no game boasts as enduring a legacy as Grim Fandango. Mixing elements of film noir with Mexican folklore and dark comedy, Grim Fandango bombed upon its release in 1998. Still, the game gradually reached cult status among critics and gamers.
This retro classic from LucasArts tells the tale of Manny Calavera, a travel agent working in the Death Department of the Aztec Land of the Dead. His line of work boils down to sending recently departed souls to their final destination. But the arrival of a new client, Meche, will set him on an adventure to save this virtuous soul, taking him from the Edge of the World to an underworld casino.
Unlike several recent hits, though, the game boasts no casino minigames. Gamblers may turn to online casinos instead. In Britain, for instance, free guides help players find the best casino bonuses in the UK. Top casino offers may include welcome bonuses for newcomers. Free spins and no deposit bonuses even allow gamers to have a blast without committing any money. So, trying out some Aztec-themed slots has never been easier before revisiting the iconic Grim Fandango.
If you’re looking for an award-winning point-and-click title, look no further. Published by Czech independent developer Amanita Design, Machinarium is a brilliant adventure game that received too many accolades to count.
Meet Josef, an adorable robot who discovers a plot by three villains to bomb Machinarium as he finds his way back to the city after being dumped in a junkyard. Only solving brainteasers and puzzles may foil the impending tragedy. Surprisingly enough, Machinarium contains no dialogue. But cute hand-drawn design, an intriguing storyline, and original mechanics are reasons enough to give this indie gem a try.
The linear gameplay and barebone mechanics of point-and-click games may fend off hardcore gamers. But if you love the strong narration and engaging characters, nothing beats a good old point-and-click adventure. While vintage classics are ideal for a nostalgic gaming session, many developers have rejuvenated the genre for modern audiences. So, get ready to scratch your brain with the best titles the genre has to offer.