In the game, you play as Keystone Kelly who must chase after Harry Hooligan in a department store and catch him before he escapes through the roof. Along the way, you must avoid obstacles such as radios, shopping carts, and toy planes that either waste your time or cause you to lose a life upon contact. You can also use the elevator to shave off some time in your chase, but be careful because Harry Hooligan knows you're coming after him.
This game provides examples of
- Alliterative Name: Keystone Kelly and Harry Hooligan.
- Alliterative Title: Keystone Kapers.
- Artificial Brilliance: If you use the elevator to get ahead of Harry Hooligan and cut off his route to the roof, he will change direction and run for the front door.
- Flip-Screen Scrolling: The screen flips to the left or right depending on which direction you're traveling in.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Keystone Kelly. Some objects in the department store would kill him outright, while others simply subtracted time from him.
- The Roaring '20s: The game takes place in that time period.
- Scoring Points: Besides getting a bonus for time remaining every time you capture the crook, you also get points for picking up suitcases and bags of money.
- Timed Mission: You must capture the crook before time runs out, or you lose a life. You also lose a life if Harry Hooligan makes it to the top right corner of the roof.