Bad Ice Cream is a multiplayer arcade game that features scoops of anthropomorphic ice cream as the main characters. A single player's only goal is to collect various fruits, such as bananas, grapes and watermelons, in mazes on ice- and snow-covered playfields across 40 levels. The ice blocks that form each maze often prevent access to the fruits. Monsters and other types of enemies roam the open areas between blocks.
The player chooses 1 Player or 2 Players mode. They also select a flavor of ice cream (chocolate, vanilla or strawberry). The player must direct their scoop to navigate the ice blocks on the playfield. The game makes this easy by allowing the player to destroy blocks. They merely direct the ice cream scoop to blow cold air at the blocks. If the player needs to close off an area because of an enemy, they can use the same maneuver to create new ice blocks.
Bad Ice Cream also features a timer, which means the player must collect all the fruits before the clock runs out. If they perform well, the game unlocks the next level.