Where the Dead Lie is the first episode of the episodic adventure game series The Detail. Set in the tradition of the hardboiled fiction genre the player controls the cynical veteran police detective Reginald Moore is a crime-ridden city. He is not the only protagonist as Joseph Miller, a confidential information, is also a playable character as the game alternates between their stories. After a case about a child molester in the opening scenes, this episode largely focuses on the murder of the character Arkany and tracking down the ones responsible through different gangs that are at war. Moore works together with his partner Tyrone and there are also sequences that show Moore's and Miller's family life.
The visuals resemble those of comic books. During conversations the characters' profiles are shown against the background, there are different panels in cut-scene sequences and it uses text balloons for conversations and onomatopoeia for sounds. The gameplay is similar to the Telltale games. There are few puzzles, the focus is on advancing the story through conversations and options that lead to different outcomes. Also similar to many Telltale games there are moral judgements and at the end of the episode an overview of the five important choices is shown.
In the interactive sections the characters can freely be moved around using the mouse or keyboard keys. Important items or characters are highlighted when you move the cursor over them and through the right mouse button it is possible to cycle between actions such as talking or examining. Whenever a new character is encountered it is added to a board accessible in the main menu. During conversations there are often multiple options for different approaches. Pointed arrows show mutually exclusive choices to show which ones really matter. Certain sequences have a time limit or require timing to match symbols and execute an action. In non-interactive scenes a speed can be determined for the scenes to move forward.