Sand King is a career simulation game that requires the player to utilize their onscreen driving skills and hand-eye coordination to explore a desert of multicolored sands that cover valuable dinosaur skeletons. The player directs the movement of a stickman paleontologist who drives a green outback vehicle modified with a giant vacuum powerful enough to pull the sands from an unnatural two-tone gray background grid across 20 levels.
The player starts on the first level at the home zone. In this spot, they can access areas to sell sand for cash, upgrade their vehicle and vacuum and visit a map to the other levels. The zone also features archaeological and paleontological symbols.
It's important to note that certain areas of the desert require the player to upgrade the paleontologist's vehicle to continue the work. For example, reddish-tan sands require more power than yellow-tan sands. They can perform upgrades to the suction's power, width and range, as well as the vehicle's speed and capacity, in the upgrade area by watching ads.
Sand King is modeled after a lot of business, career and simulation games that use ground-level outlined cards with text descriptors. Unlike these games, the home zone doesn't initially show any money amounts in these spots.