(シェンムー or 莎木) is a series of games by Yu Suzuki
, united by an overarching plot that follows the adventures of a modern-day Japanese teenager Ryo Hazuki as he travels from Japan to China to find answers regarding his father's killer.
According to Suzuki himself, the games belong to a hybrid genre dubbed "FREE" (Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment). In essence, these games are puzzle-less adventures with a fair amount of action sequences. The games feature physical navigation with free camera rotation and zooming in a comparatively large playing area, and allow multi-topic conversations with all the characters populating the game world. They also have an internal clock that keeps track of day and night changes, with characters following their own schedules. The player can collect various items that have no direct impact on the gameplay, earn money by doing part-time jobs, and participate in various mini-games.
Most action sequences involve hand-to-hand fighting (Ryo can learn and execute various moves and train with martial artists) or the so-called "Quick-Time Events" (QTE), which the series popularized. The Quick-Time Events require the player to press the correct button within a short time limit when prompted during action-oriented scenes.