Pastfinder is a vertically scrolling action game which takes place in the year 8878. You are a member of an elite team of explorers known as the Pastfinders. Your goal is to search deadly, radiated planets for various artifacts and time capsules and to deliver them safely to a base.
At the beginning of each level, you will be presented with the map screen and can select which sector you would like to explore next. At first, only a small portion of the map will be visible but as you make your way through the game additional portions become visible. The amount of radiation in each sector may vary, and the map is color coded to indicate just how deadly a particular sector may be. Next you will have an opportunity to equip your ship with supplies; these include heavy metal (slows the rate at which your ship absorbs radiation), beam shields (protects from enemy fire), scramblers (prevent enemies from tracking you), and a deradiator (decreases accumulated radiation). Equipped items will last until your ship crashes or is destroyed, and additional items can be found on the planet surfaces.