The player controls Cheese-Man through a white maze, eating Cheese-dots. When all Cheese-dots are eaten, Cheese-Man is taken to the next stage. Between some stages one of three intermission animations plays. Four enemies roam the maze, trying to catch Cheese-Man. If an enemy touches Cheese-Man, a life is lost and the Cheese-Man itself withers and dies. When all lives have been lost, the game ends. Cheese-Man is awarded a single bonus life at 10,000 points by default switches inside the machine can change the required points or disable the bonus life altogether.
Near the corners of the maze are four larger, flashing dots known as power pellets that provide Cheese-Man with the temporary ability to eat the enemies. The enemies turn deep grey, reverse direction and usually move more slowly. When an enemy is eaten, its eyes remain and return to the center box where it is regenerated in its normal color.