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This game recreates the toughest raid in the world, in which the skill as a pilot wields the same importance as the ability of wilderness survival in the African dunes. The game shows an isometric perspective, which allows watching in full detail the daring performances of the 4x4 vehicle you are driving: long skids, leaps over cracks, overturns, two-wheel driving...
The game includes 4 long stages, where you run over dusty trails, sometimes sparkled with stones and other obstacles like cracks, dunes where you will leap amazingly, etc. The tracks where you run, branch out at crossroads, where you will have to decide the right road to follow. There is a time limit of 90 seconds to reach the end of each stage, though you can increase it by picking "time icons", which will give you some extra seconds. Each stage has three "optimal routes" which are the fastest to get to the finishing line, and you start randomly one of these routes each time you play. To find your way around and keep on the optimal route each time you get to a crossroad, you should always choose the branch where you can see an icon you can pick up. There are several kinds of these icons and have different uses that we'll review later.
There are two game modes, individual and two-player game. In the former, you struggle to get to Dakar in the least possible time, and there is a record to beat in each stage, as well as a global record for the raid. In two-player mode, you compete with a friend and run each stage in turns, though if one of you reaches the goal out of time, you will be disqualified for the rest of the raid.