In Trans American Rally the object is to cover as large a distance as possible with the available fuel. As the name implies, the rally crosses the U.S.A., from the west coast to the east coast. The game has three stages:
From Los Angeles to Denver, in straight highways through desert country.
From Denver to Chicago, driving during the night, with lots of bends.
From Chicago to New York, driving in daytime over ice covered roads.
On the road, green cars are oncoming ones and blue cars are going ones. Any collision makes the player lose fuel. The car gets refueled in the stops at Denver, Chicago and New York; when the player reaches New York, the game starts over at a higher difficulty level, with heavier traffic and increased speeds. The game is over when the player runs out of fuel. The game is played using the action button to accelerate, the directional stick to steer right and left and holding back to brake.