In Chain: The Lost Footprints the player takes the role of Takeshi Shinonome, a private investigator. One day he accidentally meets a girl whose sister studied with him together in the school. She suspects her husband is unfaithful to her, and asks Takeshi to investigate the affair. What starts as a simple family investigation soon turns into a ghastly murder case involving a mysterious lethal drug that makes people insane.
The game is a Japanese-style adult adventure. The player is given several options at each screen (such as "think", "look", or "talk"); by selecting them repeatedly, the player triggers the advancement of the plot. There is no inventory or puzzles of any kind in the game, as well as no branching storyline: the game proceeds the exact same way regardless of the player's input.