Hangly-Man was typically in a Pac-Man cabinet, implying that it was a regular Pac-Man game. When a coin was inserted, the Hangly-Man name would appear on the screen instead of Pac-Man, along with the company name Nittoh. A 1981 date appeared on the screen, but there was no copyright notice.
Hangly-Man used the original Japanese Pac-Man's ghost names:
- The red ghost was Oikake, nicknamed Akabei
- The pink ghost was Machibuse, nicknamed Pinky
- The light blue ghost was Kimagure, nicknamed Aosuke
- The orange ghost was Otoboke, nicknamed Guzuta
The major difference from the original Pac-Man game is that the first two boards and every even-numbered board after that are slightly altered versions of the original maze. The third board and every odd-numbered board after that are not mazes at all, but contain only the ghost house, the board's boundary outline, and the pills, arranged in straight vertical and horizontal lines. To access these levels, the player must eat four ghosts after eating a power pellet on level one. After that, every power pellet eaten turns the maze black until the power pellet wears off. And then the odd maze appears at level three. On these levels, in addition to the horizontal sideways left–right escape passage, there is also a vertical one connecting the top of the screen and the bottom, which the ghosts cannot enter. If the player moves Pac-Man to anywhere in this passage, and then pushes the joystick to the left or right and holds it; the Pac-Man will become stuck in that position, and the monsters cannot catch him, even if he is far enough out that they can touch him. But as releasing the joystick frees him, one cannot leave the game running with this method. Also, there are no walls anywhere in the maze, so Pac-Man can go anywhere, but the monsters are restricted by the walls depicted in the other levels.
Otherwise, the game-play, sound and graphics are exactly like Pac-Man, except that the original patterns are not possible because the mazes are different. In many copies of the game, an added feature on the even numbered boards was that when an energizer was eaten, the entire maze turned invisible until the energizer wore off. In some, it would remain invisible until the player lost a life.
In addition to this game, there was an older hack version with a different altered maze, sometimes called Scandal, and sometimes called simply Puck-Man, the Japanese name for the original game.
There was also a version where Hangly-Man was replaced by a Popeye head.