Patrick is trapped on surface and SpongeBob must save him before he dries up. SpongeBob is going to have to jump on some on hooks and platforms to reach the surface and save Patrick, who is in a life preserver. The player moves SpongeBob with the arrow keys. The left arrow key makes SpongeBob move left, the right arrow key makes SpongeBob move right, the up arrow key makes SpongeBob jump, and the bottom arrow key makes SpongeBob duck. There are Krabby Patties and Kelp Nougat Crunch bars in the game that the player can collect to earn points.
There are various different platforms. SpongeBob walks normally on a sand platform, but walks slower on a grass platform. Slimy platforms are very slippery, which causes SpongeBob to constantly slip and slide until he gets off that specific platform. SpongeBob can only temporarily stand on bubble platforms before they pop. Certain platforms have spikes on the bottom of them. If the player touches any of the spikes, SpongeBob will freak out and temporarily die. Some platforms are so high that they cannot be reached from a regular jump. In this case, there are treasure chests that are constantly opening and closing. When a treasure chest opens, it creates some air that can help give SpongeBob a boost for higher platforms. The player can jump on hooks, but any of the hooks can pull SpongeBob up if he stands on them for too long. SpongeBob will respond when the hook he was trapped on comes back down. Touching a jellyfish causes SpongeBob to get stung. Touching a clam causes SpongeBob to freak out and temporarily die.
Once the player has reached the surface, SpongeBob can pull a switch that will make Patrick come out of the life preserver and back into the water where he belongs.
There are a total of three levels. Each level has a time limit. After each level, a results screen appears which keeps track of the player's progress. The results screen for each level includes the amount of time spent, how much Krabby Patties and Kelp Nougat Crunch bars that have been collected, the number of times the player got stung by a jellyfish, and the total amount of points overall.
The game ends when the player runs out of time or the player completes the final level.