In the far, far future, the world is full of both humans and anthropomorphic animal people called Animalmen. A group of Animalmen known as the Cosmo Keepers seek to keep peace in the galaxy, while another group known as the Zooligans causes trouble. Unfortunately, that's about all the story you'll get from the game itself, since most of its background story was only released in tie-in comics in Japan. The main hero is Blender, a dog/rabbit with radar-powered ears who makes it his mission to stop the evil Zooligans. He has the support of his fellow Cosmo Keepers and a group of adorable beasts called Mini Bros who grant him special powers.
The game is a platformer where Blender must travel across seven different planets to stop the Zooligans in their evil scheme to cause chaos in the galaxy. The game is notable for being one of the earliest platformers to use a mechanic where you can travel between the foreground and background of levels. The levels themselves also utilize a number of different styles, with some entire levels being Racing Minigames and one whole world being a gigantic Timed Mission. You can also customize Blender's abilities with different Mini Bros, which grant him skills such as a more powerful attack, the ability to walk on water, or a powerful dash. Most sidescrolling levels contain a new Mini Bro, and they can even be evolved to unlock even more special skills.
In August 2020, Piko Interactive re-released the game on Steam.
This game contains examples of:
- Auto-Revive: The Mini Bro Yooby offers you one free revival per level. He himself doesn't revive you—he calls on one of your fellow Cosmo Keepers to do it.
- Blackout Basement: Certain areas on Shelltarl are too dark to see inside. You need to have the Mini Bro Neon with you to see in them. These rooms recurr in the final world.
- Boss-Only Level: The final level of most of the worlds is the boss stage.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Getting a game over kicks you out of the level, but few of them are very long. And while you do lose all your bones, you can only hold a maximum of 99 to begin with and they're not too hard to find.
- Disc-One Nuke: If you evolve the Puwape you get in the first level into Cyupy as soon as you can, he'll be an extremely powerful weapon against the bosses for his ability to damage them when it's hard for you to get close AND heal you at the same time.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: You have to stop a meteor from hitting the planet of Shelltarl and causing this to happen.
- Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: The levels themselves are mostly very short and quite easy, but the bosses are extremely challenging, though having the right Mini Bro can help.
- Eternal Engine: The giant underground missile bunkers on Shelltarl, as well as the base on Fog.
- Evolutionary Levels: Some Mini Bros can evolve into new, more powerful forms. Some of them simply get more powerful versions of their base skill—such as the starting Mini Bro, Nuckle, whose attack gets more range as he evolves—while others change skills completely, such as the water-walking Puwape evolving into the health-stealing Cyupy.
- Funny Animal: Here called Animalmen.
- Gimmick Level: Shelltarl. Instead of consisting of three levels with a boss at the end, the whole world is one giant level, which you have to play all at once. The boss is fought in the middle of it. The whole level is also timed, as you have to stop a meteor from hitting the planet.
- Goldfish Poop Gang: The boss of Shelltarl shows up later with his two sidekicks in the final world.
- Graffiti Town: Both Oasis and First Heaven have elements of this.
- Gravity Screw: The first level of Fog is low-G as it's set in a meteor field.
- Green Hill Zone: It's actually not until the second planet, which is also the Jungle Japes level. The first level is Palm Tree Panic mixed with Graffiti Town.
- Interface Spoiler: The fact that Cosmo Heaven is the final level is much less of a surprise given that it's shown as one of the levels on the save screen, and it's the last one to be filled in.
- Invincibility Power-Up: The Dash powerup lets you dash forward at high speed, defeating all enemies in your path. The only downside is that you have to keep moving. The late-game Mini Bro Spish lets you do this as much as you want!
- Jungle Japes: The second planet, Diva. It's even said to be "covered in a vast jungle."
- Kill All Humans: The ultimate goal of the Zooligans.
- Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: Humans are said to exist in this universe as well, and the Zooligans want to exterminate them to make a world only for Animalmen. However, no humans show up in the game themselves; they are only mentioned.
- Mascot with Attitude: A milder example than most, but Blender IS a Funny Animal with a constant smirk on his face and a platform game to his name. The game itself also has a bit of Sonic the Hedgehog influence.
- Minigame Zone: Just called the Minigames area. It's accessible from the home base level at any time.
- Mons: The Mini Bros, though they act more like powerups than monsters.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Most of the Zooligans are these, with their name indicating what they're made of, such as Shartle being a shark and a turtle, Tigerboar being a tiger and a boar, etc...
- Palm Tree Panic: The first world, Oasis, is one of these crossed with a Graffiti Town.
- Pipe Maze: The third level of the first world is one.
- Planet Terra: Zig-Zagged in that Earth is called "First Heaven" in this universe. However, it's still an alternate name for Earth.
- Platform Game: With a fair number of Unexpected Gameplay Change segments thrown in.
- Player Headquarters: Cosmo Heaven, where you can buy items to evolve your Mini Bros, look at your Mini Bros list, and also play minigames at any time.
- Racing Minigame: Certain levels take place on the Cosmo Speeder, which transforms the game into a Super Mario Kart-esque racer. Most of these levels are against the clock, but there is a full-on racing version you can play from the menu.
- Timed Mission: The entire world of Shelltarl breaks from the usual formula of "three levels per world and then a boss" by being one long Timed Mission where you have to stop a meteor from crashing into a planet. It's one long level you have ten minutes to beat, with the boss coming in the middle of it instead of at the end. Also, all of the Cosmo Speeder levels are timed.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: The Cosmo Speeder levels have you racing around a pseudo-3D plane to collect keys to stop a time bomb.
- Video Game Flight: Blender can glide by spinning his ears around. And by picking up a Wing powerup, he can actually fly for a limited time by pressing A repeatedly.
- Where It All Began: The final level of the game is the Cosmo Keepers' base.