The Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, have received a large inheritance, but have also been left in the care of their uncle, Count Olaf. Olaf doesn't care much for children but he sure cares about their inheritance. After learning of Olaf's plans to get rid of the kids, the children have to make their escape before some unfortunate events happen to them.
Players take control of Klaus, Violet, and Sunny as they fight through Olaf's cohorts during their escape. A gameplay element is the creation of gadgets which are put together by items the children find lying around. These gadgets include a smasher, lobber, lever yanker, and sprayer.