Kinsenka Kyō Ezara Satsujin Jiken is based on a series on a series of novels by the Japanese detective fiction author Misa Yamamura. The popular protagonist of the novels, inspector Sōsuke Kariya, appears in the game as one of the characters; but the main heroine and the player character is Yuko Kobayakawa, a journalist working for a gourmet magazine. During a trip to Kyoto she attends a party and witnesses a mysterious murder of a wealthy man's estranged wife. Yoko decides to stay and help the authorities investigate the crime.
The game plays like a puzzle-less Japanese-style adventure. Most of the time the player chooses a location to travel to and interrogates characters, selecting various topics from a list. Such scenes are presented in first-person view. A few segments, however, feature third-person navigation with point-and-click interaction, similar to Western adventures. Other instances require the player to move a cursor on a zoomed object to interact with it in a detailed way.