The game focuses on an object known as the Purple Diary, a book filled with eerie images and words. It is said that some people start seeing words that weren't there before and end up being spirited away, later found dead with their faces cut up.
The game puts the player himself/herself in the role of the protagonist as they attempt to help Maya, a girl said to be cursed by a mysterious woman in black. The built-in camera of 3DS serves as the Camera Obscura which the players will use to exorcise ghosts.
In addition to the game, players receive an actual physical copy of the Purple Diary to be used in Story Mode.
This game provides examples of:
- A Friend in Need: The reason Maya returns to the Old House and the woman in black.
- This can also apply for every occasion you investigate the diary.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: It is a Fatal Frame spin-off, after all.
- Anyone Can Die: The woman in black's victims range from children to adults. Not even you are safe, as a vision from the Diary will show you (your face stitched over).
- Artifact of Death: The Purple Diary of Faces. In a very Ringu fashion, if words appear on the first page and you read them, doom befalls you.
- Augmented Reality: Maya is talking to you as you play, and using the 3DS' cameras as the Camera Obscura, the ghosts are invading your personal life and need to be fought.
- Big Brother Instinct: Kaito's kinda kicked in too late when his sister vanished in the Diary of Faces. Guess what grisly fate awaits him when he looks for her?
- Body Horror: Victims of the Purple Diary have their eyes and mouths sewn shut.
- Bowdlerise: A couple of the more questionable costumes for Maya have been removed, most likely for the same reasons Dead or Alive: Dimensions couldn't be released in Sweden (reasons involving characters of equally questionable age).
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: The woman in black was brought into existence by Maya writing in the Purple Diary, that diary being the only way she could connect with someone else.
- Cute Ghost Girl: Maya.
- Ethereal White Dress: Maya.
- Evil Twin: The woman in black is one of Maya's... Sort of.
- Feelies: Packaged with the game is the Purple Diary of Faces, which you need to take photographs of to advance the story.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You
- Gaiden Game
- Haunted House: The Spirit House mode within the game's Cursed Pages menu has you wandering about the house within the diary of faces all while expelling the residents with the Camera Obscura.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Maya and the woman in black turn out to be this in the end.
- Improbable Weapon User: Your 3DS camera becomes the Camera Obscura.
- Name's the Same: In-Universe; the woman in black's real name is the same as Maya's.
- New Game+: After beating Story Mode, you get Story Mode Extra which has additional information about the woman in black (via the blue fireballs floating about), and alternate outfits for Maya.
- Orphan's Plot Trinket: Koji's brooch with Maya's picture in it.
- The Player Is the Most Important Resource
- Shadow Discretion Shot: As Maya and the player watch through the damaged picture, Shiori's final encounter with the woman in black involves her face being ripped off while behind a screen.