Players can take control of Mowgli as he learns the ways of the jungle with the help of his animal friends. Players will run, jump, climb, and crawl their way through 20 side-scrolling levels divided into five distinct areas: the Sunset Jungle, the Rainbow Jungle, the Temple Ruins, Treetops, and the Desolate Jungle.
Each level has Mowgli learning a new technique, such as rolling into a ball or performing a hand-over-hand climb. Since the jungle is filled with dangerous predators, the man-cub will need to defend himself by throwing objects such as coconuts and bananas. Objects can also be used to activate switches needed to advance further into a stage or to solve puzzles, such as using water pots to douse fires.
Other collectibles include diamonds for extra lives, apples to replenish lost energy, and boss head icons to complete each world. All seven icons must be found to access the boss stage on a level, which generally involves racing to keep up with an animal or to avoid danger, such as a burning jungle or a collapsing temple. Throughout his adventure, Mowgli will encounter characters Bagheera, Baloo, King Louie, Kaa, and the deadly Shere Khan.