The coral hills of Bikini Bottom are wilting! SpongeBob can get them blooming again if you help him stay away from stinging creatures. The player controls SpongeBob, who starts at the top of a pyramid made of 21 cubes, and moves by hopping diagonally from cube to cube. To make SpongeBob move, use your mouse by pointing in a certain direction (makes an white arrow appear) and click to make him hop in that direction. Landing on a cube causes it to change color, and changing every cube to the target color allows the player to progress to the next level. The player only has a certain amount of remaining lives.
At the beginning, jumping on every cube once is enough to advance. In later levels, each cube must be touched multiple times to reach the target color. Gary the Snail sometimes appears and if the player steps on him, it freezes the enemies for a short time. Other times, cubes change color every time SpongeBob lands on them, instead of remaining on the target color once they reach it. Both elements are then combined in subsequent stages. Jumping off the pyramid results in the player losing a life. Some sides of the pyramid have whirl pools which allows the player to escape danger and return to the top of the pyramid.
The player is impeded by 3 enemies, introduced gradually to the game:
Jellyfish - Avoid jellyfish as they roam the reefs looking for sponges to sting.
Anemones - These amazons enemy change any tile they touch to its previous color. So if you see one, jump on it to squish it!
Purple Seahorse - Seahorses chase after SpongeBob when their bubble pops. Use whirl pools to trick them into falling off the reef.
The game is over when the player loses all of the remaining lives.
The game itself is a SpongeBob version of the arcade game Q*bert.
Sometimes the player can earn an extra life by earning high points.
The background color changes every few levels.
The anemone is the only enemy in the entire game that the player is allowed to touch.
Jellyfish tend to be the most common enemy of the whole game.