Hana Taaka Daka!? is a comedic horizontal shoot 'em up from Natsume and Taito based on creatures from Japanese folklore, such as the tengu, tanooki, kitsune and kappas. The title is a pun on "Hanatakatengu", or "long-nosed tengu", a variant of the tengu that is often seen in Japanese media such as the Japanese version of Zombie Nation or the Dead or Alive series.
The goal of the game is to rescue a kitsune shrine keeper's girlfriend, who is kidnapped by a malicious tanooki. The kitsune prays at the tengu's shrine for help, and he obliges by taking to the skies in pursuit. The enemies and bosses of the game are all youkai and other Japanese creatures depicted in a cartoonish style. The tengu can acquire power-ups and acquire "options", the most significant of which increases the tengu's size. This increases his firepower, but also his hitbox, making it harder to avoid enemy fire and obstacles in the environment.