In a realm of feudal Japanese folklore the eponymous Ninja Jajamaru-kun must rescue his beloved Princess Sakura from the clutches of a fiendish catfish-faced pirate.
Jajamaru-kun begins on the bottom of a three tiered horizontal field. On each level of this field there are two enemies on each tier. The tiers have weak brick ceilings that Jajamaru-kun can break by jumping into them. Once a passage is made Jajamaru-kun can move through them as can enemies. To clear a level all enemies must be defeated, most enemies can be killed by having a shuriken thrown at them, the only weapon available without a power-up, some need to be stunned either by falling through a hole in a tier or by being jumped on. Enemy projectiles can also be canceled out by the shuriken. Being touched by an enemy projectile, or in a few cases an enemies body, will instantly kill Jajamaru-kun. After an enemy has been killed its spirit will ascend, you can grab this for extra points.