Claire Ellery is a FBI agent assigned with the investigation of the mysterious disappearance of three girls from a coastal city. After arriving at the place, she starts to receive a series of tarot cards with written clues about the case from a hidden source. She has no alternative but to follow the trail, gathering all the cards left on locations around the town.
Strange Cases: The Tarot Card Mystery is a game with hidden object and adventure elements. As the main character, the objective is to explore several locations for new information about the crime. Most of the screen shows a static picture depicting one of the locations, with the interface at the left side showing the hint button, a stack of cards, a file folder and a blue suitcase. The cards can be found laying around the scenery, from where they can be added to the stack once they are located and collected. They contain the clues left behind by some mysterious informant, with lists of objects that have to be found and collected from the scene. These lists show words or pictures of the required items.
The folder has a series of photos of the available locations as a shortcut buttons, so the player can avoid tedious backtracking and go straight to any of them by clicking on their pictures. Some of the objects are stored inside the suitcase, from where they can be dragged and dropped on logical parts of the screen to solve simple inventory puzzles. For example, a key can be used on a lock to open a door. The hint button shows the position of one of the required items, but takes some time to recharge after use.
Some parts of the scenery open up a zoom window with a close-up view or another angle of the scene, usually containing some of the list objects or an interactive puzzle. In some cases, these windows have mini-games where some mechanism have to be manipulated directly to solve a puzzle, like moving wires to fix a circuit board, or assembling jigsaw puzzles and other similar challenges.