The player controls Arsia, a young girl, wandering around Napple town and levels themed around the four seasons. To restore peace, Arsia and her pet creatures will have to collect six "petals".
Although the game is primarily a platform game, there are many people to talk to and a complete story accompanying the action. Exploration parts mainly develop in Napple with a third person view, while the platformer levels, the four seasons, gets a 2D side-scrolling camera. In side-scrolling levels, Arsia usually has to complete the level and fight against a boss. Several levels requires certain items or people to talk to, meaning that the player might need to revisit some levels several times to go on with the quest.
The game setting is influenced by European fairy tale tradition, with classical cartoon-looking characters (somewhat reminding of Alice in Wonderland) and colored houses. For example, Pierrot the clown, talking trees, and a cow barman appear in the game.
Napple Tale also offers micro-management with pets, items, and a complex process to create new creatures or items by combining several of them in various ways (similar to the store in Power Stone 2 or all games of the Atelier series). The player can also be carried out collecting all cards and be sure that he or she has seen everything in the game.