In Barnstorming, players control an airplane through barns. The object is to fly through a set number of barns as fast as possible in the time allotted, while avoiding ducks and windmills. Gameplay ends when time runs out; the plane never crashes, but is only slowed down by obstacles. The joystick button grants a boost of speed.
In each of the first three difficulty levels, there is a pattern of barns, windmills, and ducks. In the fourth difficulty level, there is no pattern, and the player must clear 25 barns.
Barnstorming was Steve Cartwright's first game.