The console port of the hit Arcade game, Area 51 is a 2D shooter in which an alien infection has been spread through Area 51. You are a member of S.T.A.A.R., Strategic Tactical Advanced Alien Response Team. Your assignment is to eliminate all life forms who are located inside Area 51 as all of them are assumed to be infected.
Gamers can use either a light gun or a gamepad. The gamepad requires the player to place crosshairs over their target and pressing the button to shoot. For the light gun, players need only fire their weapon at the television screen and periodically reload by firing away from the screen. While players are busy firing at the screen the game scrolls at its own pace.
Visuals are provided by 3D full motion video characters who pop up on 2D rendered backgrounds to attack the player. By shooting these targets players gain points and/or special bonuses and power-up items, such as enhanced weaponry for example.