Pitfall: Beyond the Jungle is a side-scrolling platformer in which the player controls Pitfall Henry Jr. who discovered a portal to another dimension. There he has to beat four worlds with overall 15 levels in order to save the people from the evil Scourge.
As with all Pitfall games, the focus is on skillful platforming and jumping. Harry can perform multiple jumping variants (regular jump, long jump, high jump, and a short but high jump forward) which are performed together with the directional buttons and need to be mastered in order to beat the game. Examples of typical obstacles are vines which need to be grabbed mid-air and floating snags where Harry can hook in his axe in. This axe is also the only weapon which can be used to kill the enemies which drain Harry's life energy when their attacks are successful. The premise is the same as in the PlayStation version, but the rest of the game is unrelated.