Source: Wikipedia, "Higurashi When They Cry", available under the CC-BY-SA License.
Higurashi is a murder mystery game described as a "sound novel" by 07th Expansion. A sound novel is similar to a visual novel in that the gameplay requires relatively little player interaction as most of the game is composed of text dialogues. The original release contained no voice acting for the characters. While a visual novel's basis would be the visual aspect, as the name suggests, a sound novel's basis takes more care in producing an atmosphere via the music, sound effects, and the story itself.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni takes place during June 1983, at a fictional rural village called Hinamizawa, which has a population of approximately 2,000. The main character, Keiichi Maebara, moves to Hinamizawa and befriends his new classmates Rena Ryugu, Mion Sonozaki, Rika Furude, and Satoko Houjou. Keiichi joins their after-school club activities, which consist mostly of card and board games (and punishment games for the loser, usually him.) Hinamizawa appears to be a normal, peaceful, rural village to Keiichi. However, the tranquility abruptly ends after the annual Watanagashi Festival, a celebration to commemorate and give thanks to the local god, Oyashiro. Keiichi learns that every year for the past four years, one person has been murdered and another has gone missing on the day of the Watanagashi Festival. Keiichi himself soon becomes drawn into the strange events surrounding the Watanagashi Festival and Oyashiro. In each story arc, he or one of his friends become paranoid, and a crime is committed. Usually, the crime involves the murder of one of their own friends. While it seems impossible to tell their delusions apart from the mystery of Hinamizawa, slowly the truth is revealed.
While the first four games in the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series are known as question arcs, the games form Kai are known as the answer arcs. The last four games released in the series, were, in contrast to the question arcs, meant to answer all of the questions presented in the first half of the series. These arcs can be considered the "solutions" of the previous arcs. Each answer arc game contains all of the previous answer arcs.
Chapter 3: Minagoroshi-hen ("Massacre Chapter")
On the surface, Minagoroshi-hen is the solution to Tatarigoroshi-hen; however, it answers most of the major common mysteries of the previous arcs. It is told from the perspective of Rika Furude. Most notably, the true identity of the murderer is finally revealed in Minagoroshi-hen. After Minagoroshi-hen, one more effort is needed to seal the story into a happy ending.