Dreamside Maroon is an exploration game about Aster who wants to travel to the moon after seeing its reflection in water. In a 3D free-roaming environment players can guide Aster as he grows a vine with his lantern, creating a long-winding path into the sky for him to travel on. The environment consists of different kinds of floating islands that often expand when Aster comes near them. Aster can grow the vine in any direction, pull it back and jump off to explore the islands on foot.
There are different wells that can be activated and they display short lines of poetry. They also unleash fireflies Aster can collect, providing a temporary boost in speed. The main goal is to reach the moon, and even though it is possible to travel there directly, the player is encouraged to explore the environment, activate wells and collect fireflies. The path never vanishes and through swift movement complex shapes and structures can be created. When Aster falls down, the game continues from the last point. There are no hazards or enemies, and parts of the story are furthered through still, storybook-like sequences. Movement is done through the keyboard and the mouse can be used to rotate the camera.