Digital Comic Patlabor is based on the anime series Patlabor. In the near future, officers of Tokyo Metropolitan Police pilot giant robots called "Labors" to combat criminals. Like most installments of the anime and manga, the game focuses on characters from Special Vehicle Section 2, Division 2, and the playable character is Noa Izumi. More specifically, the game follows the so-called "TV timeline", involving the Labor Griffon.
The gameplay is that of a traditional Japanese-style adventure. Three commands — Look, Talk, and Move — appear on every screen. The player selects these commands (there are no sub-menus with objects) to move between locations, examine rooms, talk to characters, and ultimately advance the storyline. The game also contains a variety of features (robot database, interviews with voice actors, etc.) accessible from the main menu, as well as a rock-paper-scissors mini-game starring various Labors.