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In Parasol Stars you again assume the role of Bub and Bob in their human form, now equipped with parasols they can use to balance enemies and water droplets over their heads. The player is able to use the parasols to pick up monsters after either hitting them or waiting for them to walk on top of them, and then launch them to the opposite side of the screen. They can also collect water droplets and drop them, creating a torrent of water that drains off the bottom of the screen, washing away any enemies caught in it - doing this with several enemies at once is how the player creates combos for higher scores. Enemies vary from world to world: The musically-themed World 1, for example, has sentient trumpets, pianos and cymbals.
Like Bubble Bobble, Parasol Stars' most distinctive features are the large, colorful sprites, the cheery music and the single-screen puzzle-platformer action. As always, clearing the screen creates a bunch of point-enhancing pick-ups and will eventually move you to the next screen. There are also boss fights, most of which require flinging water or enemies at the boss to hurt them.