The goal of the game is to reach the checkered flag at the end of the level, and use your grappling hook to swing across ledges to reach it. Use the left and right buttons to move your penguin, press B to jump, and press B while in mid-air to launch the grappling hook. A grappling hook will hook on to any solid surface you can waddle on, and certain parts that can be held on to by the hook, but are unable to be waddled on. If you fall from too long of a distance, you will lose a grappling hook. If you lose all grappling hooks, the game ends.
There are a total of eight levels, three of which are bonuses. Completing a level with a certain amount of coins or higher will give you a medal. If you collect at least one medal from every level, you will obtain a trophy.