United States, 1953. You are a paranormal investigator and your long-time friend, reporter Helen Hunter, calls you for help. She desperately asks you to come to Serpent Creek, a coastal town famous for the abundance of snakes that live in it. She was there to cover the local "Snake Festival", but she seems to have discovered a horrible secret, the kind "not to be told over the phone". Can you find out what happened to Helen? Why are most town inhabitants so unresponsive, even when successive tremors shake the town? And why does the lighthouse glow so bright?
9 Clues is a hidden object game much like other offerings by publisher Artifex Mundi, with a few logic and inventory puzzles sprinkled around. The main novelty here is the presence of a few hidden object scenes where you do not know a priori what you are looking for -- instead, you are looking for clues (a footprint, a displaced object, etc.), guided by the glow of the cursor. Find the 9 clues in the scene, and your character develops a theory of the sequence of events which has taken place in that room, advancing the story.