On the How to Play screen, the player is given these instructions:
Help Spongebob make the correct amount of Krabby Patties before time runs out. Make sure that each machine part doesn't run out of ingredients and stop sneaky Plankton from stealing the precious Krabby Patties.
Along with the controls necessary to follow them:
Up + Space
Then the game starts. Spongebob must supply ingredients to each machine part by hitting them with his spatula. This task is made easier by the bar on the top of the screen that shows which part needs to be refilled. Spongebob may also need to jump over obstacles that will hinder his movement. Plankton will appear at sporadic intervals to steal Krabby Patties, incomplete or not. Spongebob will have to kick Plankton in order to keep his patty-making progress. If Spongebob doesn't make the required amount of Krabby Patties by the time the timer runs out, Squidward will yell at Spongebob, and Spongebob loses a life. When all lives are lost, the game is over. The further the game goes, the machinery gets more advanced, more obstacles start appearing, Plankton appears more often, and more Krabby Patties are required.
Every three levels, Mr. Krab's safe will explode, and the player will have to help him collect all of his money. If everything is collected, the player gets an extra life, but touching a Jellyfish will end the mini-game.