Hill Climb Driving is a skill-based racing game that challenges a player to direct an SUV up mountainous hills in stunning regions around the world. The player must handle the vehicle well while dealing with steep inclines, drop-off cliffs, sharp curves and a variety of obstacles on the road, including rolling barrels, stationary barrels in the middle of the road, overturned vehicles and large tree branches. The player must successfully navigate these challenges across 10 levels displayed on a world map between each level.
The player starts the game by picking up passengers at a transit shelter. Their first goal is to drive straight onto a rectangular green plate in front of the shelter. Hill Climb Driving also requires that the player beat a clock. They receive slightly more than a minute to complete their mission. They can monitor the time above the playfield. If they fail the mission by driving off the side of the road, for example, or taking too long, they must start over.