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I’m trying to find out if there is an industry-standard term for the genre of games where you randomly click around to figure out what to do yet. That is, what category are games like Samorost, Hapland, Tetsuo, and such?

Finding games like Mystery PI or Mystery Case Files is simple enough, just do a search for "HOG (Hidden Object Games)" or "Seek and Find Games", or to find games like DOOM you search for "(First Person) Shooter", but what about these other games? How do you find these without a standard term? Are they called "random-click","click-around","manual-less", "unscripted" or something else?

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this question is for meta – Ivan Solntsev Mar 16 '13 at 13:43
@IvanSolntsev I don't really agree, unless it's a "how do we tag", and we don't tag genres so it's not useful there anyway. – Ben Brocka Mar 16 '13 at 13:49
Not a gaming-industry thing, but the act of randomly clicking interface elements to see what works and what doesn't is often called "minesweeping" in UI design parlance. – Ben Brocka Mar 16 '13 at 13:50
Don't know about the others, but Samorost certainly doesn't require you to click around randomly. It's a point and click adventure game – Private Pansy Mar 16 '13 at 14:01
@IvanSolntsev, then why is there an existing terminology tag? – Synetech Mar 16 '13 at 16:23
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The term for this is "pixel hunt" although I'd stop short of calling it a genre. It's more a (often considered negative) game design element.

Hidden object and adventure games often employ this element, as do "escape" games.

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Sounds good to me. I’m not sure it is widely used yet, but I imagine as more games like these become popular (Machinarium was one of the first commercial ones to exclusively use it), I would assume more people would want to find them, so your answer may help consolidate searches for them. ☺ – Synetech Mar 17 '13 at 14:28
@Syntech It, and a more swearing variant, have decades of use behind them. It might not be a genre, but when "pixel hunt" is used to describe a game, it's clear what part of the play experience is most prominent. – SevenSidedDie Mar 17 '13 at 18:30

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