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The Empire Strikes Back puts you in a snowspeeder and has you fight an endless stream of AT-ATs, which march from left to right on the snow planet Hoth. If the enemy reaches the far right side of the game world, the game ends. The AT-ATs have flashing ports that open up and, if you fire a shot into that port, it explodes in one shot. Otherwise, 64 shots are required to bring one down.
There are several difficulty modifiers which range from changing how fast the walkers move, to a setting that allows the walkers to fire smart bombs. Another difficulty modifier would make the walkers solid which would cause the player to crash and die when hitting them. By default, the player has 5 lives and can only take 3 shots before exploding (unless hit by a smart bomb). As the difficulty increases, the AT-ATs become faster, and the game ends when all 5 speeders are destroyed or when they reach Echo Base and destroy it.