Cavern Cobra is a shoot 'em up that is similar to Scramble but with no scrolling. A dangerous terrorist has built his base in a underground network of caverns in Tibet and it is the player's task to infiltrate his facilities and defeat the terrorist.
The player flies an advanced helicopter called the Cavern Cobra which is used to navigate through the caverns, one screen at a time. The helicopter is equipped with four different weapons: a machine gun that shoots regular bullets, bombs that are dropped on enemies, grenades that are launched in an arc and fire fragmentation bombs which when activated splits into fragments. Like in Defender it's possible to turn the helicopter around and fly in the opposite direction. Based on how many enemies are destroyed the player earns points and bonuses. Bonuses include ammunition that is given for destroyed trucks, armor that is given for destroyed towers and fuel that is given for destroyed fuel tanks. Enemy kinds include bunkers, gun balloons, gunners, radars and different variants of mines and missiles.