The premise of Home Alone is that the player, as Kevin McCallister, needs to collect as much jewelry, gold and silver and drop it off in the safe via laundry chutes. Kevin is armed with a water gun that will, with a few hits, stun the burglars invading his home. There are a few already-set traps like having a bowling ball fall and having a trophy fall on a robber. If the robbers get hold of any jewellery, gold or silver they will run off with it. The NES version is different than all the other versions.
The premise of Home Alone for the NES is to survive 20 minutes against two burglars from the movie - the "Wet Bandits" Harry and Marv. Kevin can do this by hiding behind certain objects, or picking up trap blocks. The trap blocks represent a certain trap via a picture, but they all do the same thing: knock the pursuing burglar out for a short amount of time. Traps can be set anywhere in- or outside the house. After a few uses the traps break. The game also shows the player a map of where they set up traps, however it does not show where the burglars are. After 20 minutes are up the game cuts to an image of the robbers being taken away by the cops.