Fruit Nibblers is a match-three puzzle game with pieces of fruit. The title refers to Nibblers, a fictional type of fish that have wandered ashore to eat fruits. They are opposed by lizards who want to stop them. The player has to help the fish to get them fruit and to rid levels of lizards. The game uses many classic match-three elements such as the winding path where levels are unlocked one by one, but the goals are different. There is no three-star system based on the score or cleared goals. Instead to complete levels the player usually needs to remove all lizards from the field. Every now and then there are boss fights as well along with levels where fish need to be transported to the bottom of the screen with a limited amount of moves.
On the board pieces of fruit are swapped horizontally or vertically. When three identical pieces are lined up horizontally or vertically without interruption, a match is created, they disappear, new pieces fill up the space and points are scored. Many types of lizards are introduced gradually. Some have fixed positions, while others wander around, warp around mud tiles or stand on platforms. The player has to use matches to first stun them and then match again to get rid of them permanently. If a stunned lizard is left for a while, he recovers and needs to be stunned again first.
Levels sometimes contain objects such as sand blocks, or bush blocks that require two hits to break. Next to lizards there are turtles that hide from fruit matches and can only be taken out with Nibblers. Nibblers appear through large matches and can be used to clear parts of the screen or entire rows and columns. The game is free-to-play with lives as an energy/stamina system. Coins, a premium currency, can be used to get unlimited lives for a certain period or to buy boosters. These boosters are fish types, unlocked gradually, that remove fruits and opponent in a certain radius or clear entire rows and columns. Next to the main level path players can participate in the Grand Tunament for additional rewards.