In Alternate Reality: The City, you are one of many people who have been abducted from earth by aliens and transported to an alternate dimension where you are dumped in a strange, yet familiar city. Your quest is to explore the city, and find the clues that will lead you to your captors and help you get back home.
In addition to standard first-person RPG features of that era, like skills, stats, experience points and a repertoire of shops and places to visit, the game offers moral evaluation of your character, and depending on your actions you become good or evil, and that affects how the environment reacts to you. Encounters are not necessarily just resolved with the turn-based combat system, but you can also try to trick, charm or bribe opponents. The storyline is non-linear, for example allowing you to take a job in order to enhance a particular skill or just to pass away time.