The player must use a 4-directional joystick to take control of a yellow racer car (the "Van-Van Car"), which is on a mission to burst balloons with its front-mounted spike while watching out for the three killer cars.
Balloon : 200 points.
Jumping Enemy Car : 100 points.
Destroying Enemy Car : 1000 points.
Bonus Balloon : 500 points for each remaining balloon.
End of level bonus : Extra points awarded for time remaining.
TIPS AND TRICKS
* Van Van Car is not a hard game, but it will have you pounding walls, the controls, or younger siblings in frustration. Be prepared to die a lot of very stupid deaths, particularly when you're learning the game. The game is about minimalist control - try to avoid making sudden movements or jerky motions, as you'll generally end up accidentally switching tracks or losing speed and being rammed. Also try to avoid twitch jumping when enemy cars are close - while in the air, you have no control over your car, so enemies will run right underneath you, and they do not make for a soft landing. Try to plan a path and move smoothly through the maze, avoid sharp turns, and jump cars coming head on only. If you're being pursued closely, look for a break in the maze that you can jump over and gain an extra second or two on your pursuer. DO NOT try to turn and jump. You're asking for a crash.
* The bonus balloon appears when there are eight balloons left on screen. Try to collect it without bursting any more balloons as they are worth a total of 3,500 points when you collect the bonus.
* Try to save your missiles to fire them in a long straight line picking off as many balloons as possible, and hopefully destroying more than one car.
* Don't collect another energy balloon until you have fired the missile awarded by the last one, otherwise the second missile will be wasted because you can only carry one at a time.
* Enemy cars cannot pass through balloons; they have to go around them. This can be used to the player's advantage as the player can jump on a balloon while being pursued by an enemy, and the enemy has to back off and go around.
* When you fire a missile, and an enemy car is turning near the axis you fired on (but is not actually on the axis) the missile will destroy the car, even though it technically does not hit it!
* Enemy cars do not beeline for you automatically. Only after popping a certain quota of balloons (or perhaps by taking a certain amount of time) do they start coming directly for you. Therefore, for the first little while in a level, you have time to plan out which balloons you need to go for immediately and which you can save for later. You also want to save your missiles for when enemy cars are actually chasing you - not merely idling around the maze.
* It's important to note that some tracks can be deceptive - balloons will cover up key turning points, making it appear that there is straight road where there are actually curves. These are good balloons to take out early on in the maze when you aren't being heavily pursued.
* Oil slicks are a useful item in the game. Since you speed up by running over one (although you can't jump, you gain about 2x your normal speed while spinning), they allow you to make a quick escape from enemies, particularly when said enemy is right on your tail.
* The game repeats itself after 12 or 14 levels, starting back on level 1 and slowing down considerably.