ADV stands for Adventure Game, sometimes also abbreviated as "AVG". It is characterized by lots of reading interleaved by choices made by the player. The history of this game play format traces its roots to the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books.

A typical AVG user interface generally has the following components:

  • a scenery image serving as the game's background, reflecting the player's general location
  • a "status window" inside the game that usually takes up 1/4 the screen height, and full width.
    • The status window updates the player with what is happening. Any conversation is also displayed in this area.
    • When conversing, the speaker's face is often displayed on the left side of the status window
    • Buttons for Backlog, Skip, Autoplay, Hide Status Window, Save, Load are often embedded into the edge of the status window
  • Upper-body portraits of characters other than the player who are present/talking are often displayed on screen

In the English-speaking communities, the term Visual Novel is often used to describe ADV games, although "Novel" exists as a separate genre. With the development of the industry, most eroge have some degrees of ADV elements in it, even if its primary genre is something else.