Despite using the AGS adventure engine, The Jackyard is actually a third-person platform game based on exploration. Entirely designed in black and white with a typical noir style, the game has no clear goal, although it is possible to finish it. Instead the player is encouraged to explore the different environments, set both indoors and outdoors, with certain surrealistic elements. The game shows points the amount of acquired points in the bottom left corner of the screen.
How can we enjoy the flavor in our mouths, when, already, we're dreaming of the taste of the next bite?
As there are no puzzles, players can move about freely, although some locations are hidden and require precise jumping. Players can choose to dream, read a portion of the novel The Old Oaken Bucket by Samuel Woodworth and use strange devices. The game uses rather complex layers that often scroll at different speeds. Many of the levels are interspersed with quotes integrated into the environment with an unusual amount of attention to the typography, although no meaning or explanation is given at any time. Certain game elements, including the music, vary with each session.