- Joystick: Press the joystick to direct TwinBee and Winbee in any one of eight directions throughout the entire screen. The borders of the screen provide the only limitation to either ship's movements.
- Fire: Press the fire button to shoot unlimited amounts of ammo up towards the top of the screen. If you have the mirror image power-up, all of your ships will fire at the same time with you.
- Bomb: Press the bomb button to lob bombs on the ground. You can only do this as long as you have at least one arm to throw bombs with. Otherwise, you cannot throw bombs unless an ambulance comes to restore your arms.
- 1-2 Players: Press either button to begin a 1 or 2 player game.
TwinBee & Winbee
Player 1 controls the TwinBee jet fighter (on the left), piloted by Annamon, while player 2 controls the Winbee fighter (right), which is piloted by Donnamon. Each ship alone is fairly powerful, with the ability to maneuver in eight different directions, fire an unlimited number of shots towards the top of the screen, and lob bombs with their power arms. The ships were constructed in such a way that if they sustained minor damage, the damage would extend to the arms before the main bodies took any damage themselves. Therefore, you can lose your arms (and the ability to bomb the ground) before you are likely to lose the entire ship.
2 player abilities
In a two player game, TwinBee and Winbee can work together in two particular ways. First, they can grab each others hands and work together to shoot a combined fireball that is much larger than their normal shots. Second, they can push one another from behind, causing a spread shot of stars to be emitted from the ship that was pushed. These stars fan out and can take out large groups of enemies at a time. Used these combined abilities whenever it's safe to do so. Don't allow teaming up to take priority over staying alive.
Throughout the game, TwinBee and Winbee will fly over several clouds. If they shoot at certain clouds that contain bells, the bell will be dislodged from the cloud and fly out over the screen. They will arc up slightly before being pulled down to the bottom of the screen. Each shot that hits the bell pushes the bell up a little more. After every five shots, the bells changes from their usual yellow color to a different color. Just one more shot, however, will revert it back to yellow. When you collect a bell, the color of the bell determines the effect.
In the arcade version of the game, you can shoot the bells indefinitely. However, on some of the home conversions, after the bell is hit approximately 32 times, it will turn to a bee on the Famicom, or a black death bell on the MSX. The Famicom bee dives down in an attempt to kill you, but it can be destroyed with a single shot. The black bell in the MSX behaves like a regular bell, but it will stay black, and it will kill you if you collect it.
On each stage, there are animated enemies located on the ground that can be bombed to reveal bonus items. Refer to the chart below for their effects: