For those who are impatient to start playing, here is a short introduction to the gameplay.
S.C.O.U.R.G.E. provides a familiar point-and-click interface, but most of the functionality can also be accessed with the keyboard. In many places you can just hover the mouse over the area of interest and a helpful tooltip will pop up.
Starting a game Edit
When starting the game for the first time, select "New game" from the main menu and customize your starting character. When you are ready, you will start your adventure in the S.C.O.U.R.G.E. Headquarters, where Uzudil the Hand will welcome you.
The headquarters Edit
Walk around a bit and explore the area. You can walk, open doors and chests, talk or attack by left-clicking on the desired target. Right clicking on objects opens an information window. Pick up objects by dragging them onto your onscreen character or his/her portrait.
You can recruit up to three more members to your party. For recruiting, just click on one of the wandering heroes (they can be recognized by their light blue circles).
Take the time to get used to the character window. You can open it by right clicking on a character portrait. This window contains not only the inventory, but also the character stats, abilities and spells. An important feature is that you can store items in the quickslots above the portraits, where they can be quickly accessed using the F keys.
You can start missions by looking at the board in the easternmost room. The purple mission on the top of the list is the current storyline mission. All other missions are provided by customers of S.C.O.U.R.G.E. Inc. and are usually well paid. These secondary missions are randomly generated. You can estimate the difficulty by the entry's color: White missions should be easy, yellow missions are more challenging, and red missions are... well... hard.
When you have progressed a few chapters through the storyline, you will also see cyan colored "excursion" missions appear at the bottom of the list. These are maps you already completed, but you may be interested in visiting them again for shopping or training.
Taking your first mission Edit
As soon as you are on a mission, explore the map and try to find the entry to the next level. The minimap at the upper left shows the position of nearby NPCs and monsters. The dots at the minimap's border point to nearby teleporters and stairs.
You will encounter monsters rather sooner than later. By default, S.C.O.U.R.G.E. uses a turn based combat mode, but you can toggle realtime via the "c" key. Do what you need to do during your combat round, then hit the space key to end your round. In realtime mode and outside of combat, the space key pauses and unpauses the game.
Then go on and fulfill the mission objective. You will be transported back to the headquarters afterwards, where Uzudil will award you experience points.