Pick Axe Pete is in the Misty Mountain Mine, trying to strike it rich. The player controls Pick Axe Pete in a platformed mine. Three doors leading to deeper parts of the mine are displayed, and from them, gold bearing rocks will burst in random intervals. Pete must strike the rocks with his pick, which will break every once in a while. When it happens, Pete must avoid the falling rocks, by jumping over or crawling under them.
If two rocks collide, they will uncover a new pick for Pete, which will remain onscreen for a limited amount of time. Also, keys to the other levels of the mine will appear flying occasionally. If Pete catches one of them, he'll be able to unlock one of the doors, going to a deeper level. If he tries to get past through a door without a key, he'll get stuck and will be vulnerable. If a rock hits Pete, the game is over.
Pete earns 1 point each rock evaded, 3 points for each piece of gold struck with a pick, 5 points for getting a new pick, 10 points for getting a key and 20 points for going through a door with a key.