The Land Before Time for Game Boy Advance is a side-scrolling platform game based on the cartoon franchise. The dinosaur friends have been lost after running away from a sharptooth. It's now up to Littlefoot to rescue his friends and together they must find a way back home to the Great Valley.
The game consists of five different levels, each made up of four smaller stages. Environments include a desert, a swamp, mountains, a cave and a volcano. In the first level, players can only control Littlefoot, but subsequent stages add the rest of the gang as controllable characters, adding Cera, Spike and Ducky. The difference between the characters is mostly visual, since they have almost the same abilities.
The goal in the first stages of each level is simply to find the exit. The dinosaur heroes can walk, run, jump and double-jump to make their way across platforms, traps, quicksand, water and other obstacles. Enemy dinos can be defeated by jumping on top of them or striking them with a normal attack. Glowing orbs are setback points that allow resuming upon loss of a life. Arrows point the direction to the goal in the first level only. The final stage in every world is a boss battle against a large enemy, including the likes of a huge scorpion, a T. Rex and a spider.
Scattered over the levels are tree stars. Collecting 100 of them in one stage unlocks an arcade mini-game. After every main level, a password is given for resuming at a later date.