The game has players control the titular Poncho, an adorable robot who awakens after an apocalypse has eradicated humanity, leaving only other robots to inhabit the world. Poncho sets out on a quest to determine what exactly happened, and maybe find some way of reversing it.
During the game Poncho can move left or right along with jumping like every other platformer protagonist, but he can also instantly shift between foreground and background layers at will. Jumping momentum is preserved while shifting layers, and since some platforms only exist in certain layers, exploring and navigating through the different layers is the only way to progress through the game.
This game provides examples of:
- 100% Completion: Collecting all of the red cubes, keys, and robot minions, some of which are hidden very well.
- After the End: The game opens with humanity being eradicated through some sort of apocalypse, and the plot centers around Poncho trying to figure out what happened.
- Bottomless Pit: A frequent obstacle. However, they are not very scary due to the unlimited lives.
- Coat Full of Contraband: The robot merchant that sells you keys keeps his wares inside his trenchcoat, although it's decidedly less shady than most instances of this trope.
- Cute Machines: Poncho himself, and basically every NPC in the game.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Dying simply places you at the last safe platform you were on. There is no penalty for dying, short of having to start that particular section over again.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Averted. There are no enemies in the entire game, and the only hazards you face are environmental.
- Ground Pound: The only ability Poncho gains throughout the entire game. It doesn't even do much besides allowing you to find a few secret underground areas.
- Heroic Mime: Poncho never talks throughout the entire game.
- Heroic Sacrifice: One of the two options given in the ending is to sacrifice yourself in order to restore humanity to the world.
- Jump Physics: Jumping while shifting between layers is the main mechanic of the game.
- Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: There are three different colors of keys scattered throughout the world, and any key will open any lock of the corresponding color.
- Meaningful Background Event: Paying attention to the layers in front of and/or behind you is a key element to progressing through the game.
- Meaningful Name: Poncho wears a poncho, and is the only character in the game to wear one. At least until the ending.
- No Antagonist: There are no enemies at all in the game. The only ways to die are to fall into a Bottomless Pit, or to have a moving block shift into you.
- Wrap Around: Some levels connect horizontally, even through multiple screens.