A side-scrolling action-strategy game. The player controls a helicopter and tries to shepherd waves of friendly units across the map to destroy the enemy base.
The player and their computer opponent are able to order the following types of ground units from their home base:
- Vans -- these have no offensive abilities and very little health, but they are the only unit that can capture the enemy base, thereby winning the game. They jam the "radar" (the game minimap) when they are below the player's helicopter.
- Tanks -- these powerful combat units can destroy all other ground units but have no surface-to-air attack and are therefore vulnerable to enemy helicopters
- Missile Launchers -- these trucks are able to launch a single homing missile when an enemy helicopter approaches. They have no defense against ground units.
- Infantry -- soldiers can be ordered in groups of five at a time. They can destroy defenseless ground units such as vans and missile launchers but only cause minimal damage to tanks. Soldiers can capture bunkers and relaunch blimps. Up to five soldiers will enter a helicopter if it lands on the ground in front of them and they can be deployed in a different location. If they are deployed while the helicopter is on the ground, they will proceed on foot as normal. If dropped in midair at a high enough altitude, they will usually deploy a parachute, but some will occasionally fall to their death.
- Engineers -- these are specialist soldiers that are ordered in groups of two at a time. They have all the same capabilities as normal soldiers, but they are also able to repair damaged bunkers and anti-aircraft guns. They can also replenish helicopters' ammo and fuel if a helicopter lands and allows them to board; they then become normal soldiers/paratroopers when released from the helicopter.
Helicopters have the following weapons at their disposal:
- 10 bombs
- 2 missiles
- a chaingun with 64 rounds of ammo
- the helicopter itself -- if the player ejects, the pilot becomes a paratrooper and the falling helicopter causes severe damage to any object it lands on
Ammo and fuel can be replenished at helicopters' home base landing pad or by engineers in the field.
The game map also includes a variety of fixed emplacements which can be captured by either side:
- Anti-aircraft guns, which fire bullets at nearby enemy helicopters
- Small bunkers, which attack passing infantry and also launch a blimp directly above the bunker which represents a hazard to helicopters. If a helicopter flies below a blimp, the line connecting it to the bunker is severed and it will randomly float across the map.
- Large bunkers, which attack passing ground units but do not have a blimp.