- Joystick: Venture's joystick is special. Like most games, if you press it all of the way, you can use it to direct where Winky will travel to. You can direct Winky to run in 8 different directions. However, if you press the joystick lightly, Winky will simply turn in that direction and not move from his location.
- Fire: Press the fire button to shoot an arrow in the direction that Winky is currently facing. You can only fire one arrow on the screen at a time.
- 1-2 Players: Press either button to start a 1 or 2 player game.
Winky's position in the dungeon is represented by his face when the view is zoomed in to a single room, and by a dot when the view is zoomed out. He can move throughout the dungeon, and fire his arrows, in any one of eight directions. Winky must avoid contact with every enemy throughout the dungeon, or he will lose one life. Winky's goal is to collect every treasure from every room on every floor. Each floor contains four treasures that are guarded by monsters and traps. Other than being able to run around and fire, Winky doesn't have many more abilities at his disposal other than his speed. Use it at all times to your advantage. Avoid conflict and focus on quick getaways.
Throughout the floors of the abandoned dungeon, giant invincible monsters roam the hallways in search of intruders who duck in and out of rooms. Hallmonsters are mindless bent on seeking out the source of footsteps that they hear, and will chase Winky down at every opportunity. They are rather big, and as such, have a difficult time looking into the rooms, much less making their way inside. But if Winky spends a long time in a room, one will eventually discover him, and float into the room, bypassing any walls, and hunt Winky down. When you see one of these monsters trying to get in, start thinking about getting out of the room as soon as possible. Hallmonsters can never be destroyed by anything.
Not every room contains monsters, but a majority of them do. Most monsters, regardless of shape and form, jump around the room they patrol quite randomly. Few seem to actively seek Winky out, but the ones that do, do so with deadly precision. One thing all monsters seem quite good at, is dodging arrows. They have an uncanny ability to jump out of the way at just the right time, so it's difficult to take them down. They must either be pinned against a wall or in a corner so that they can't get out of the way, or you may try to shoot them diagonally, which they seem to have a harder time dodging. One thing to note about room monsters: They are almost as deadly defeated as they are alive. Winky will still lose a life if he touches the disappearing corpse. And if he fires an arrow too soon at an enemy he just defeated, it will "die" again, taking even longer to leave the screen.
To collect every treasure is Winky's one and only goal. Every room contains one treasure. Until a treasure is collected, Winky can pass in or out of the room as much as he pleases. Once the treasure is collected from the room, the room is closed off to Winky. In some rooms, collecting the treasure affects a change in the shape of the room, or the monsters it contains.
Points are awarded for both individual monster kills, and treasure collection. A timer is shown at the top of the screen, counting from 9 down to 0, approximately once every minute. When you complete a floor, your total tally for that floor is multiplied by the amount remaining in the timer.