The game was released in December 2001 exclusively to Japan and a Performance Pack was released shortly afterward. Following this, a sequel entitled Yoake no Mariko 2nd Act was released on 24 January 2002.
To play Yoake no Mariko, players must provide voice acting to correspond with a movie scene that unfolds before them. There are six levels (or scenes) in the game which include such genres as the western drama, the horror flick, and the Kung Fu action flick. As the background film clip plays, on-screen cues inform the player when to deliver his lines and how to modulate his vocal intonations in a manner similar to karaoke games. The spoken lines are then graded by an in-game algorithm and the player is scored on his performance. Specifically considered are the player's timing, volume and tone.