The player controls a yellow knight riding a flying ostrich or stork, from a third-person perspective. Using the two-way directional joystick and the button for flapping the ostrich's wings, the player flies the knight amidst the floating rock platforms and above pools of lava; when maneuvering off the screen to either side, the player will continue its path reappearing from the opposite side. The rate at which the player repeatedly presses the button causes the ostrich to fly upward, hover, or slowly descend.
Players navigate the knight to collide with enemies. If the protagonist's jousting lance is higher than that of the enemy, the villain is defeated and vice versa. A collision of equal height results in the two knights bouncing off each other. A defeated enemy will turn into an egg that falls toward the bottom of the screen, which a player can collect for points. An egg that sits on a platform long enough will hatch into a new knight; if the player does not pick him up, he will gain a new mount and must be defeated again.
The objective is to defeat groups of enemy knights riding buzzards that populate each level, referred to as a "wave". Upon completing a wave, a subsequent, more challenging wave begins. The game features three types of enemy knights—Bounder, Hunter, and Shadow Lord—that are worth different quantities of points. An almost indestructible pterodactyl appears after a predetermined time frame to hunt the heroes (up to three at a time depending on wave number and the time taken to complete a specific wave, since there are also Pterodactyl Waves where they appear first), as an incentive to complete the wave, and it must be lanced exactly in the center of the mouth when open to eliminate it for 1000 points.
There is another indestructible enemy, the Lava Troll, who is usually never seen except for its fire. When the player gets too low near the flames, a floating hand will grasp any knight/steed who approaches the lava pools, and will drag them to a fiery demise unless the knight/steed breaks free by flapping rapidly out of the grasp.
A second player, controlling a blue knight on a stork, can join the game. The two players can either cooperatively complete the waves or attack each other while competitively defeating enemies (especially during special Gladiator Waves offering a one-time competitive bonus