Bedlam is a top-down shooter. The player (or players) battle wave after wave of alien ships, dodging fire and attacking ground targets if possible.
The game includes 17 stages and can be played insingle player, hotseat or coop mode (in coop mode the players' ships bounce off each other). Each wave of enemy ships is designed to have a weakness which allow a cunning player to destroy it without risk. If an entire wave is destroyed, the player gains a temporary invincibility power-up. Power-ups (invincibility shields and extra lives) can also be found by destroying ground structures.