Club Dead is a full-motion-video based adventure game. The player character is a maintenance worker for a luxurious hotel and resort of the future, where many influential, over-the-top characters are seemingly trapped after a series of murders. The hotel's popularity is based around a virtual reality simulator that enacts its users' fondest dreams and wishes. When guests and staff of the hotel start dying in mysterious ways, it falls to the game's protagonist to figure out exactly what's going on.
The game utilizes a few basic elements. Usually, the gamer is faced with a static screen and an inventory bar. The protagonist can wear or hold only one inventory item at a time, and these may influence the events of the game. The protagonist can move to different rooms or points in the hotel. At certain times in the game and at certain places, FMV events will take place, progressing the story through various branching points. These events are occasionally missable, meaning the gamer has to keep careful track of where to be and at what time. There are multiple endings for the game.