This is a mythologically-themed gladiator game with simple controls, allowing players to move left and right, jump, and attack. Players choose one of two human fighters, who must overcome eight terrifying and monstrous fantastic opponents (eg. dragon, wizard, scorpion-man) in the ring to win a tournament and rule the kingdom for one year. Between bouts, players can visit a store and upgrade their equipment, granting them different health, range and damage bonuses. A second player can join in at any time to challenge the current player, but only the winner can proceed in the tournament.
Several enemy characters (the twin opponents "Charry & Steeve" and the final giant boss "Pon") have their designs liberally lifted (though renamed from Sha & Zhan and Uighur) from the manga Hokuto no Ken (Fist of the North Star).
Each arena is named after one of the Outer Planes described in Dungeons & Dragons cosmology.
In ancient Greece, a hippodrome was a race circuit for horse-drawn chariots, Ben-Hur style. Gladiatorial combat falls more under the domain of an arena, or some grander structure such as the Roman Coliseum which was large enough to host diverse kinds of events. Though the game's Japanese name is Fighting Fantasy, it is unrelated to the gamebook series of the same name.