FBI agent Damon Sundey and veteran cop Jack Saver team up to investigate the Lonely Star hotel, after several of its tenants disappeared mysteriously, never to be seen again.
Haunted Hotel: Lonely Dream is the third entry in a series of hidden object games taking place on the haunted building of a cold and isolated hotel. The player assumes the role of both investigators, seeing the world from their perspective. Most of the time, the gameplay follows the standards of the point-and-click adventure genre, where the main objective is to collect a series of inventory objects and use them to solve puzzles. The inventory at the bottom slides upwards when the cursor is over it, receding back down when the mouse pointer is moved away. The inventory tools have to be dragged and dropped from their slots to appropriate and logical places to perform an action or complete a pending task.
Some locations have shimmering hotspots for a hidden object scene taking place on a separate screen, where all the items from a list at the bottom have to be found amongst the scattered paraphernalia cluttering the scenery. After the scene is completed, one of the objects is added to the inventory. The hint button at the bottom-right corner shows the position of one of the required items when activated, but takes some time to recharge after use.
The occasional mini-games are self-contained puzzles where the player has to use a series of mirrors to deflect a light beam towards a sensor, complete a circuit with connecting wires of the same color, and manipulate all sorts of mechanisms to solve them.