Starquake revolves around BLOB (Bio Logically Operated Being) and his attempts to fix the planet he crash lands his spaceship on. During the crash the core of the planet is destabilized and must be fixed by collecting certain items from around the map. The location of these items and which objects are needed are never the same.
The gameworld consisted of a large grid of single screens which connect to form a network of caverns, similar to classic Metroid. BOB could defend himself with a laser, but combat was not the focus of the game.
Unusual for a platform game, BOB was unable to jump. Moving around the map (other than downwards due to gravity) was acomplished by creating a limited number of platforms underneath him, a primitive version of Super Mario Galaxy 2's cloud suit. He also could use flying platforms that could be picked up and left from certain places but while in this flying state could not pick up any items needed to fix the core of the planet, and elevators allowed for some larger vertical drops to be easily traversed.
The game also had a need for access chips to get through certain doors and there were several teleporters each with their own access code in order to move around the map quickly.