The player takes the role of Howard E. Loreid, a policemen serving in the small town of Wellsmoth. Loreid has recently been assigned to a missing person's case in which, apart from a daily routine of paper work, he must locate Loath Nolder, a once well-known private investigator. Nolder's last case, the murder of a wealthy man from Clark Field who had been involved in the occult, had changed Nolver's life. After the case he quit his job and traveled through Africa and Oceania for five years. After his return he became a murder suspect; however due to the condition of his health he was checked into a hospital from which he subsequently managed to escape, despite being under surveillance. It is now Loreid's responsibility to find him.
One of the key features of the game is a "thinking" interaction system in which players can manipulate and utilize ideas and clues. The abstract nature of this system introduces new forms of interactions within the game; for instance, in order to find clues in books or diaries that the player comes across they must underline them in order to bring them to Loreid's attention.
Technical elements of the game are reminiscent of Adventure Game Company titles such as Scratches, although there are more modern effects in Darkness Within and support for things such as higher resolutions.