Total Recall for the Amiga and Atari ST has players controlling Quaid as he fights through seven levels on Earth and Mars. The game alternates between platforming levels and driving levels. Platforming levels require Quaid to fight guards and find the exit. The player can duck to avoid bullets, and fight back with both captured weapons and meaty Schwarzenegger fists. The first level requires the player to locate items to open the exit, and a later level has the player switching control between Quaid and resistance fighter Melina to solve a puzzle.
Driving levels are high-speed side-scrolling runs, with the player's vehicle moving at a fixed speed. The player must dodge passing traffic, or blow them apart with weapons. If they survive to the end, they must defeat a mobile "boss" vehicle to end the level. Cutscenes appear between certain levels that tell the plot of the movie and set up the next scene.