Based on the movie, Kevin McAllister has been left home alone, and he has to defend the neighborhood from Harry and Marv, A.K.A. the Wet Bandits. He travels from house to house on a motorized sled, and if he beats the Wet Bandits to one of the houses, he can set traps. He can also assemble weapons by collecting items in the houses and in the snowmen he knocks down. The goal of the game is to save as many of the houses from being looted and flooded by the Wet Bandits as Kevin can. Kevin doesn't have any lives, but the game is over if all five houses get flooded. The Wet Bandits have a Pain meter, and if it fills up all the way, they will leave the house and come back later.
A sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, based on the titular second film in the series, followed in 1993.
Home Alone contains examples of:
- Adaptation Expansion: Kevin defends the entire neighborhood in this game, as opposed to just the McAllister house. The Old House, the Ultra Modern House, the Country House, and the Colonial House were all created for the game.
- Bamboo Technology: Kevin can assemble homemade weapons by finding items in the houses and in the snowmen he knocks down. He needs a platform, operator, and ammo for each. They are auto assembled in the Beginner difficulty, but he has to assemble them himself on the Expert difficulty.
- Blinding Camera Flash: One of the weapons Kevin can assemble is a flashbulb shotgun, which provides this effect on Harry and Marv.
- Cats Are Mean: The Country House has a cat in it, that attacks Kevin, Harry, or Marv if they get near it.
- Eternal Engine: The Ultra Modern House, complete with a robot security guard that shocks whoever it catches.
- Floorboard Failure: In the Old house, the floors break if Kevin, Harry, or Marv walk across them. Kevin can use this to his advantage, as he can hit Harry or Marv with one of his weapons as they try to jump across one of the holes, causing them to fall through it and increasing the pain in their Pain meter.
- Human Snowman: One of the homemade weapons Kevin can assemble is a snowball launcher, which temporarily turns Harry and Marv into this if he uses it on them.
- Pepper Sneeze: One of the weapons Kevin can assemble is the Pepper Bazooka, which causes Harry and Marv to go in a sneezing fit if he uses it on them.
- Permanently Missable Content: Once the Wet Bandits flood one of the houses, Kevin cannot return to it.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: If Kevin manages to fill up the Wet Bandits' Pain meter all the way, they will leave the house and come back later.
- Spiders Are Scary: In the Mansion, Buzz's pet spider crawls along the ceiling, occasionally knocking down either Kevin, Harry, or Marv if they get near him.
- Springs, Springs Everywhere: Kevin can bounce on couches to reach items on higher shelves. He can also collect tires from snowmen to drop and use as temporary springboards.
- Sticky Situation: One of the traps Kevin can set in one of the five houses is tar, which can slow Harry and Marv down when they walk across it. He can also assemble a glue gun to use against Harry and Marv and temporarily stun them.
- Timed Mission: How much time you are given to stop the Wet Bandits depends on the difficulty. You get 20 minutes on the Beginner difficulty, and 40 on the Expert Difficulty.
- Video-Game Lives: Averted; The only way Kevin can lose the game is if the Wet Bandits flood all five of the houses. If either Harry or Marv catches Kevin, they will hang him on one of the hooks on the wall, which he can wiggle his way off of.
- X-Ray Sparks: If Kevin, Harry, or Marv get caught by the Robot in the Ultra Modern House or the Ghost in the Colonial House, they will get electrocuted by them, causing this to happen. Kevin can also assemble an electrical grenade weapon to use against Harry and Marv, with the same effect.