Head Buster is a so-called ”future sports” game about robots. On a top-down, horizontally scrolling playfield, armed robots are moved around in a manner similar to Super Robot Taisen strategy games, albeit without many of the refinements of that series.
Each game starts at the shop, where robots on your team are bought and equipped according to your tastes and finances. After that, the game begins in the robot arena, blue team against red team in one corner each. The goal is not explicitly to destroy the robots of the opposing team, but to destroy their base. In order to reach their base, and to prevent them from reaching yours, a certain amount of fighting is required. Each turn is split into a movement phase and a combat phase, and since actions of both sides are only executed when a phase is over, you cannot know when moving how close you will get to your opponents.
Robots are available in three basic classes, from light to heavy, but can be modified with new movement units (different terrain squares have different movement properties), better armour and new weapons. Different weapons have both different strength and different ranges, as well as a limited supply of bullets. Reloading is done during the combat phase, but requires that your robot stays out of combat during that turn. Different sensors and command units can also be added, giving the robots better aim or particular abilities such as dodging, shielding and healing.