Kong Strikes Back! is a single screen platformer inspired by the arcade game Mr. Do's Wild Ride and uses the characters from the game Donkey Kong as you control your hero to rescue a girl in the top right of the screen from a giant ape over various levels. Each level is played on a rollercoaster and you must run along the track until you reach the girl while avoiding bumper cars and other obstacles.
You are armed with a limited supply of bombs (unlimited on the ZX Spectrum) and these can be used to destroy the cars. Ladders are also spread over the tracks and these can be climbed to avoid the cars but get bonuses as well (the C64 version has extra bombs to collect as well) to increase your score. If you hit a car or an obstacle then you lose a life (four on the C64, five on the Amstrad CPC, one on the Zx Spectrum). Once you reach the girl then it's on to the next level.