Although the story is made of Excuse Plot at best, Puggsy is notable for using a clever physics engine to control the properties of objects - a feature that would be rarely seen until the success of Half-Life 2.
This game provides examples of:
- Boss-Arena Idiocy: Played straight with Polly Pirate and Flour Power. Subverted with The Emperor's Old Clothes, where the buttons necessary to make projectiles fall on the boss leave you open for the boss's attacks as well, and So Pharaoh, So Good, where the buttons that shoot arrows at the boss also shoot them at you if you don't dodge them.
- Cutscene Boss: Downplayed with the guardian of Racrock Forge in the CD version. The fight plays out as an FMV, and you can't actually attack it, but you do need to avoid its attacks until the room floods.
- Digital Piracy Is Evil: When you start the level after your first boss fight, the system searches for SRAM (a 27-digit password is used to store all progress). If you're playing on an Genesis emulator that has SRAM constantly enabled, it prevents you from proceeding. Of course, some emulators allow you to disable SRAM.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Shellfish, monkeys, starfish, witches, grizzly/mining bears, fish, raccoons... all members of the animal kingdom hate you and want to kill you. Except frogs and cabaret dancers. And that doesn't even consider the non-living things.
- Hailfire Peaks: Triple-word score. Fire Heart is a Slippy-Slidey Ice World set on an active volcano, which you eventually enter.
- Haunted Castle: Darkskull Castle, haunted by actual ghosts on one level.
- The Lost Woods: Darkblade Forest, home of extremely tenacious witches and flying candles.
- Minecart Madness: A strange example. In the Diamond Mine levels, minecarts travel back and forth along arbitrary tracks. One is required to solve a puzzle and another helps you reach a secret level, but they mostly just help you get to places quicker. Just watch out for minecart-riding mice.
- Multiple Endings: Some endings require some abstract thinking, and another requires correctly solving a few complicated equations.
- Noob Cave: The Beach is definitely this, despite not being a cave. The first level is literally walk right, pick up a shell if you feel like it, jump, jump again, continue walking.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Puggsy, unless he's wearing sneakers and/or shades, or using a shield.
- Puzzle Boss: Some of the bosses operate as such. For instance, on the Flour Power fight, you have to use levers to control a claw so that you can bring bags of flower up to a conveyor belt and make them fall on the boss's head.
- Recycled Soundtrack: Six tracks in the Sega CD versionnote were reused from the cancelled Super NES version due to lack of production time to make a full soundtrack.
- Tennis Boss: You beat the final boss by making his Reflecting Laser Eye Beams hit the floor and back towards his own face.