One day, as Baloo reads the newspaper, he finds out that Cape Suzette is holding a flying contest, where the winner will receive a lifetime work contract. To win the contest, the competitors have to collect ten cargo crates from different places around the world in the shortest amount of time. It isn't just Higher For Hire who's interested in entering the contest. Shere Khan of Shere Khan Industries also enters the contest. The City Official announces that Shere Khan Industries and Higher For Hire are the two finalists, and as decided by a fair coin toss, Shere Khan Industries will compete first. Even with attacks from Don Karnage and his Air Pirates, Shere Khan Industries makes a seven-day delivery record. In order to win the contest, Baloo and Kit must beat Shere Khan's record, which won't be easy with attacks from Don Karnage and his Air Pirates.
The game is a cross between a 2D sidescroller and a Shoot 'Em Up for up to two players, playing as either Baloo or Kit Cloudkicker. The goal of each level is to find at least ten cargo crates in order to unlock the exit.
Not to be confused with the Nintendo version of the game released by Capcom for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1991, and ported to the Game Boy in 1992, or the TurboGrafx-16 version of the game released by Interactive Designs in 1991.
This game provides examples of:
- Adapted Out: Molly, Wildcat, and Louie do not appear in this game, despite being main characters on the TV series.
- Airborne Aircraft Carrier: The Iron Vulture (which is referred to as the Iron Claw in the game), which serves as the Final Boss.
- Brats with Slingshots: A slingshot is Kit Cloudkicker's basic attack. While it is able to attack enemies at a further distance than Baloo's paddleball, it's only half as powerful.
- Character Select Forcing: If a one-player game is played with Kit, the flight stages are a lot more difficult. The computer controls the Sea Duck, which can sometimes cause it to bypass power-ups necessary to beat the stages, specifically, health power-ups that keep the Sea Duck from taking too much damage. To beat these stages with Kit, the best advice is to play a two-player game so that another player can control the Sea Duck. However, if a second player is unavailable, the best choice you have is to play a one-player game as Baloo. Thankfully, this problem was fixed in the Game Gear port.
- Continue Countdown: The continue screen gives the player ten seconds to decide whether or not they want to continue the game. If the player does not press Start before time runs out, they are sent to the Game Over screen, which depicts Higher For Hire having been bought out by Shere Khan Industries.
- Co-Op Multiplayer: In a two-player game, Player One is always Baloo, and Player Two is always Kit. This feature is notably absent from the Game Gear port.
- Cool Plane: The Sea Duck, especially during the final battle with the Iron Vulture.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Shere Khan. He wants Shere Khan Industries to win the contest so he can acquire Higher For Hire in a hostile takeover.
- Dramatic Thunder: Used in the Game Over screen, when Shere Khan wins the contest and acquires Higher For Hire.
- Evil Overlooker: The game's cover art depicts Don Karnage firing at Baloo and Kit from his plane.
- Improbable Weapon User: Baloo attacks his enemies with a paddle ball. It's twice as powerful as Kit's slingshot, but can only attack enemies at a short distance.
- It's a Wonderful Failure: If you get a Game Over, Shere Khan wins the contest and buys out Higher For Hire, complete with Dramatic Thunder and unfitting music.
- Jungle Japes: The Jungle, which serves as the first level.
- Lethal Lava Land: The Pirate's Hideout, which takes place in a dormant volcano, and serves as the ninth level. Baloo and Kit must fly the Sea Duck through it. This level is entirely omitted from the Game Gear version.
- MacGuffin: Baloo and Kit must collect at least ten cargo crates from each level before unlocking the exit.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: The alligator enemies, which slap Baloo or Kit with their tails.
- Power-Up Food: Hamburgers restore lost health, and ice cream temporarily freezes all enemies.
- Ruins for Ruins' Sake: Italy, Greece, and India, which serve as the third, fourth, and sixth levels, respectively.
- Shifting Sand Land: Egypt, which serves as the fifth level.
- Sky Pirate: Don Karnage and his henchmen, especially Mad Dog, Dump Truck, and Gibber (who are referred to as The Weasel, Brutus, and Blaster, respectively, in the game), all three of whom are fought as bosses. Eventually, Karnage himself becomes a boss.
- Skyscraper City: The Lost City, New York, and San Francisco, which serve as the second, seventh, and eighth levels, respectively.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Surprisingly cheery music plays in the Game Over screen, wherein Higher For Hire is bought out by Shere Khan. The thunder and lightning in the background certainly does not help matters.
- Timed Mission: Kit and Baloo have only seven days to beat Shere Khan's record and win the contract. Collecting clock power-ups turns back time.
- Unexpected Shmup Level: Happens fairly frequently. Baloo and Kit use the Sea Duck to travel from one country to the next, all the while dodging Don Karnage and his Air Pirates.
- The Unfought: Shere Khan. He is only seen in a cutscene at the beginning of the game, but is interested in entering the contest as part of his plan to acquire Higher For Hire.
- Vile Vulture: Vultures serve as enemies in Egypt and India. They attack Baloo or Kit by firing rockets at them.
- A Winner Is You: Your reward for beating the game is a shot of Baloo and Kit in front of Higher For Hire above the words, "Congratulations! You win the city contract" as balloons fly into the sky.
- World Tour: Baloo and Kit travel around the world to collect crates and beat Shere Khan's seven-day record. Among their locations are Italy, Greece, Egypt, India, New York, and San Francisco.
- You Dirty Rat!: Rats serve as enemies in New York and San Francisco. They travel in packs and are some of the harder enemies to kill since they are so low to the ground. When one dies, another one spawns in its place.