Point-and-click adventure games are those where the player typically controls their character through a point-and-click interface using a computer mouse or similar pointing device, though additional control schemes may also be available.
The player clicks to move their character around, interact with non-player characters, often initiating conversation trees with them, examine objects in the game's settings or with their character's item inventory.
Further computer advancements led to adventure games with more immersive graphics using real-time or pre-rendered three-dimensional scenes or full-motion video taken from the first- or third-person perspective.
These types of mysterious stories allow designers to get around what Ernest W.
Adams calls the "Problem of Amnesia", where the player controls the protagonist but must start the game without their knowledge and experience.
Infocom's text adventure The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has been criticized for a scenario where failing to pick up a pile of junk mail at the beginning of the game prevented the player, much later, from completing the game.
Early text adventures, Colossal Cave Adventure, "Hugo's House of Horrors" and Scott Adams' games, used a simple verb-noun parser to interpret these instructions, allowing the player to interact with objects at a basic level, for example by typing "get key".