Tilt To Live is a frantic action game. The player controls a space ship in an arena by tilting the device to avoid and kill lots of red dots. If the player touches a red dot his or her space ship explodes and it's game over.
The space ship doesn't have any weapons, but power-ups will appear which can be picked up and used to kill the red dots. Red dots will keep appearing randomly and move towards the ship. Sometimes they move grouped as a vertical line across the screen, take the shape of an arrow that shoots right at the ship or form two paddles that play pong. As the game progresses more and more red dots will appear, and you have to survive for as long as possible to score as much points and combos (consecutive kills) as possible.
There are three original weapon power-ups, and the player can unlock additional weapons by scoring achievements in the form of awards (get a combo of 100, trigger 30 nukes in one game, survive for one minute etc.). The original weapons are a screaming flock of heat-seeking cluster missiles (yellow orb) a large purple plasma blast (purple orb) and a nuke (orange orb). The rest are unlockable weapons. The ice blast (blue orb) freezes nearby enemies in their tracks, then the player can ram into them and shatter them. A bubble shield (green orb) which gives the player a shield that explodes when he or she hits a red dot, killing all red dots in its blast radius. A Vortex pickup (red-purple orb) which will set off a black hole that sucks in red dots and also power-ups. A Spike Shield (dark blue orb) unlike the bubble this shield can hit multiple red dots, it will run out after a certain amount of time. Lightning pickup (black orb) electrocute the red dots by touching them and set off a chain reaction. Burnicade's boost (red orb) will create a trail of burning flames to scorch red dots.
There are 5 game types: Classic, Code Red, Gauntlet, Frostbite and Viva La Turret. In Classic mode the player has to survive the arena as long as possible, Code Red is the same but harder. In Gauntlet mode the player can't kill enemies, groups of rotating dots will scroll from right to left and the player has to avoid them while picking up time extension orbs. In Frostbite mode frozen dots will fall from the top of the screen and the player has to crush them before they reach the bottom, where they will unfreeze and start chasing the player. Viva La Turret is an extra mode the player can buy as an expansion.