Mata Hari is a third-person adventure game based on the life of the exotic dancer of the same name, whose real name is Margaretha Geertruida Zelle. Her dancing attracts influential gentlemen, including Oscar Samsonet, who convinces her to become a spy for the French. In this game, players assume the role of the titular character and take a journey into the risky world of espionage. Players must find ways to pit enemies against each other while keeping their identity hidden from pursuers. There are numerous missions to accomplish and players must solve puzzles by breaking codes and using different gadgets.
Players are tasked to uncover military secrets using intelligence, cunning, and charm while eluding capture by those who seek to subdue them. The game has a point-and-click interface. Players will interact and converse with other characters, and pick up objects needed to accomplish missions. The cursor will change when mousing over a hotspot to show players if an object can be picked up. The bottom of the game screen shows the inventory, topics, and ideas. The ideas must be turned into topics or objects in order to be used in the game.
As Mata Hari, players travel to different European cities to gain vital information and accomplish missions, including Madrid, Paris, Monaco, and Berlin.