Maria/Friedrich, many CDG wargames (Unhappy King Charles is the most recent I played that was really good) - I prefer them over hex maps (not intended to start an argument).
For non-wargames, I’m not sure how to even define them. Pandemic family is a good choice. What else counts? I wouldn’t consider Merchant of Venus point-to-point - it’s linear paths with branching. Does Crayon Rails count - it’s literally drawing point-to-point? But it’s really a hex map. How about Racetrack?
Point to point movement is a graphic design choice. It is not a mechanism because mechanically, there is no difference between point to point movement and area movement.
Point to point locations that are connected do not need to be physically adjacent to each other like most areas do.
Look at point to point wargame maps, which are much more complex than point to point euro boards.
Right. I haven't played Pandemic in a while, but I recall significant strategy considerations around the point-to-point arrangement that couldn't be recreated with area movement. Same with Ticket to Ride if you consider building train lines movement.
They are all similar, but I consider areas and hexes and grids to fundamentally be subsets of point-to-point. PtP gives a designer the most flexibility in how to limit or expand movement options, at the cost of potentially making a very cluttered-looking map. PtP also lends itself to modifying battles and movement based on the terrain of the connecting line rather than the terrain of where you’re standing, which leads to maps that look more abstract. But I tend to like the look of these abstract maps for gaming purposes over area or hex maps because of the stark contrast between a beautiful terrain map overlain with arbitrary lines.
So for land movement, I like PtP best but it’s more fitting when you are simulating roads or trains. For sea or space movement where direction and distance are more fluid, I think area movement seems more fitting, but in working on a Britannia variant I have been frustrated by how to model sea movement realistically while still forcing historical landings and crossings, which a mixture of adjusting sea areas and PtP straits. The area lines can feel very gamey, where if you’re on a coastal area near a line you can sail far in one direction but not far at all in the other direction. Coastal sea vs open sea areas is probably better but necessitates more complex movement rules.