The Alpha Ro solar system is dying. Like a futuristic Noah, it is your job to pilot the Cosmic Ark through intense meteor showers and save two creatures from each planet.
Each level of the game consists of two parts -- a meteor shower and a planetary landing. During the meteor shower, use the Ark's lasers to blast the meteors before they hit your ship. After destroying every meteor, a small recon ship will emerge from the Ark and head down to a planet's surface.
Use the ship's tractor beam to catch two creatures, while avoiding the automatic defense system that will make you drop your cargo. You have a limited amount of time before you must return to the mother ship. A warning alarm will sound when it is time go back.
You start Cosmic Ark with 40 units of fuel and lose ten units for each meteor that hits the Ark and one unit for each time you fire the lasers. You gain one unit of fuel for each meteor you destroy and ten units for each creature you successfully catch. If you are able to capture both creatures and return to the Ark before the warning sounds, your supply of fuel is completely replenished. The game ends when you run out of fuel.
In addition to four one-player game variations, two players can play Cosmic Ark -- one controls the lasers, and the other controls the recon ship.