Overview and common mechanics
Adventure games are games that focus on the player's role as protagonist of an interactive narrative. Gameplay in adventure games may take many forms, but common game mechanics in the genre include exploration, puzzle-solving, inventory management and conversation with computer-controlled non-player characters.
Computer-based adventure games were very popular in the 1980s and early 1990s. The style of adventure game pioneered during that time was known as "point and click" after the primary mode of player interaction with the game. Like other video game genres, adventure games often incorporate elements from other genres. Overlap with games in the action or role-playing genres is quite common.
Adventure games traditionally focus on story and non-violent puzzle solving, and consequently the genre has been singled out for its educational potential. Adventure game mechanics tend to support skill sets such as critical thinking and reasoning, although content alignment must still be identified on a game-by-game basis. A 2008 study by Spanish researchers concluded that the genre's flexibility and slow pace made it "pedagogically sound." However, the study was concerned with custom games created for academia, rather than existing commercial products.