You control Tazz in a shoot-em-up game set in a fixed screen playing area, where the basic objective is to destroy all of the stationary little hoppers in each room, before leaving the room to advance to the next level. The room exits do not open until you shoot all of the hoppers on the screen, and there is a nice twist added with the walls of the room closing in on you all the time. This means that time is limited on each screen, as you must kill the hoppers and leave the room before the walls crush you to death! Taz can move and shoot in 8 directions , but cannot move while shooting, so you must find a good compromise between running around the room, and shooting as much as possible from strategic positions.
There is also the added hazard of moving enemies to contend with on each screen. Every level has its own type of adversary which have a pre-determined movement ability - some can move diagonally, others can only move around the outside edge of the room whereas there are those which home in on you all the time, etc. Some enemies cannot be destroyed and shooting them only stuns them for a few vital seconds.
You have the extra weapon of a smart bomb which destroys all mobile enemies on screen as well as pausing the walls for a couple of seconds. Supplies of these are limited though, so use them wisely.
After the completion of every third screen you enter a bonus room, where you can collect numbers for points by running over them as well as two extra smart bombs. In this bonus however, you still have to avoid being crushed by the walls.
An extra life is awarded for every 10,000 points
Face: 50 points
Eyeball: 50 points
Squid: 70 points
Sickle: 60 points
Caterpillar: 50 points
Butterfly: 100 points
Propeller: 40 points
Cyclotron: 60 points
Tazz Man: 100 points
Hopper: 200 points
Little Hopper: .20 points
Bonus Room: 100 points x number collected.
Bootleg version running on Scramble hardware
Starting lives can be set to 3 or 5 (default is 3).
On screens where the enemies move consistently pick them all off in batches when they appear. You will then have a few seconds of clear time in which to shoot more hoppers before more enemies re-appear.
In the caterpillar room, stay away from the edge of the screen as the enemies only move there. Once one complete a full circuit of the room, it will mutate into a butterfly which quickly homes in on you. Try not to let them complete a circuit.
If you are about to be crushed by the walls, use a smart bomb as they are easier to obtain than extra lives. It's worth the price to save a life.
In the bonus room, run over the higher numbers first, especially those to the left and right edges as they are quickly swallowed up by the moving walls.
It's better to shoot the last little hopper near the top or bottom of the screen, as you then have some extra time in which to pick off a few more enemies before the walls close.
The enemies appear opposite to your position. For example if you are at the bottom of the screen, they will appear at the top and move towards you.
Try only to use smart bombs when the maximum number of enemies are on screen to maximise their effect and your points for doing so.