Shards is a brick-breaking game that features breakable tiles and shapes instead of classic bricks. The player's primary goal is to break every object on the screen while earning as many points as possible. Their secondary goal is to achieve up to three gold stars per level.
The game offers three difficulty levels based on speed (Slow, Normal and Fast). To play a level, the player must first win the previous one. They clear the screen by using a semi-circular paddle to shoot or bounce a metal ball into a pattern. They initially receive two balls per level. That said, they can earn extra balls and even split a ball into three balls. They can also collect a powerup that briefly turns the paddle into a laser cannon that they can fire at objects.
Shards supplies the player with a lot of boosters. That said, they also face threats. Whenever the ball hits an object, any type of booster or threat icon can drop from it toward the paddle. The player should always collect certain ones, such as icons that allow them to enlarge the size of the paddle, speed up a ball, destroy a higher number of objects with a fireball, or turn the paddle into a shooter with a sticky projectile. They must move the paddle away from threats, such as bombs that explode and destroy the paddle and falling boosters that cause the paddle to shrink or the ball and paddle to freeze and slow down too much.