I've played this game through about eight times now. The setup is something of a scavenger/treasure hunt through an old antebellum mansion, grabbing antiques while filmed for a reality show. Most non-passive commands cost you fifteen seconds, and you have half an hour to collect items and pass through the foyer with them (or else put them in their special location, which you must guess based on the item and what rooms you've seen). It doesn't take long to reach the end point, and as you learn more about the value of various items, how to access different parts of the mansion, and other factors, you start working on how to allocate your time best. My first playthrough, I ended with about $6000, whereas my most recent I had almost $18000 (still a far cry from the high scores listed in the links).
I wish there was a way to play without the time limitation, just so I could play through the entire game, but I understand why having that sort of gameplay available would cheapen the timed play, since it would be easier to make choices once you had the entire place mapped out, and more room for trial and error on the special locations was allowed.
Did I mention you're wearing a chicken costume for the TV show? You're wearing a chicken costume for the TV show.