Walking Dead is not like point and click adventure games of old. It is an extemely stripped down version of them. It is the equivalent of NG becoming a game where you press one or two buttons to instantly kill enemies, the core mechnics that made it what it was is gone. The worst part of the Walking Dead is when it allows you to walk around and use items on stuff, it just becomes a time waster cause you know everything you need is in front of you, there is no thinking involved. They might has well have gone full interative movie and cut that out, instead they leave the zombified corpse of an adventure game around to fill parts of the game.
I agree gameplay is not just shooting people in the face. Gameplay is the empowering of the player to feel like they are an active participant in the games event. Whether that means through shooting, fighting, puzzle solving, jumping, or talking. The game needs to make sure the player is in control, the player needs to feel a necessary a part of the experience, not a bystandard just watching what the director puts in front of you while you do minimal actions, that is more a movie than a game. A game like RE6 which is an action game of course puts the player into the action, yes it does some things poorly and it deserves to be criticized for it. A game like Walking Dead allows the player to make some choices in the story and it does it well but everything else is done poorly. Just cause the actions are not there doesn't mean they should be ignored. I am not a true participant in the story, I am just a guy that in certain points makes a choice to turn to one page or another, that is basically it. Everything else you do is simply move cursors over things and mash buttons when the game tells you, not good gameplay. What if I did have actual control, what if when a zombie attack did happen I could try multiple ways to excape, what if I actually had to use my brain to think my way out of the situation and not do the only possible interaction the game gives you. That is what I am talking about, Walking Dead is a step back in gameplay.
That said WOW does Walking Dead have a fantastic story!! And any fan of the show has to play this.
Challenging puzzles are wonderful, but they should fit. If there isn't a convincing (in the context of the game) reason to do something, developer shouldn't do it. Coming across a door that could be only be opened by solving an elaborate riddle or putting seven cubes into the right holes would perhaps win the praise of puzzle fans but would pull people out of the game. For a game based on the Walking Dead (which is about survivors dealing with each other and zombies) elaborate puzzles don't really make sense. Puzzles of any sort and any difficulty are fine if they fit, but if they don't... To go with your Ninja Gaiden reference, the series has puzzles, but based on my experience with the first game (I skipped the sequels) the tendency to praise it for the action and block out the puzzles is perfectly understandable. Why include something for the sake of it being there if people don't enjoy it?
Your claim that The Walking Dead consists of moving your cursor over something and pressing a button is quite true and is pretty much the definition of a point and click game. Given that you have a deep problem with moving cursors and clicking as opposed to directly controlling a character, point and click adventures are probably not a good genre for you.The core of the point and click is using items on other items, puzzles, that is the core. Its not that you simply point and click, the entire adventure genre is built on puzzles, don't pretend to ignore this. Walking Dead doesn't need to have crazy illogical puzzles, why does every game have to fit into the mold of things before it. Why can't Walking Dead have a natural system of dealing with situations. A zombie is coming through a door, push a cabinet to it or grab a chair to put it into place, let them come in and deal with them with any weapon you find. Give options organically, not with glowy highlighted options that show this is the only way to do something. Have your choices truly effect the course of the game, not just the way people feel about you. Imagine a game where moment to moment your choices really impact the story, people die, entire locations change, not based on whether you choose A or B in a story option but because of what your actions as a player caused. That too me would be amazing, that would be GOTY. But I understand that would come at the expense of the story. A game with those many changes could not tell as strong a narrative as Walking Dead did. Well it could be it would also have a ton of different outcomes so not everyone would experience it the same way. And there comes the issue, story at the expense of gameplay and vice versa. Personally the game I described above is far more compelling to me.