Mean Arenas is a game show where you have to navigate different Pac-Man-like arenas to collect all gold coins scattered throughout the level in order to enter the next one. There are four types of arenas: "Robo Zones", "Dungeon Zones", "Rainbow Zones", and "Starship Zones". Each arena is filled with monsters, hazards, and weapons which can kill you. You have a map to find where the remaining coins are, and where the monsters are.
Each next arena gets more difficult: there are multi-level arenas, locked doors and passages, slippery surfaces, monorails and much more. You can also collect letter "B"s, which will award you a letter that make up the word CREDIT. When you have formed this word, you will be awarded an extra life. Besides the standard arenas, there are also speed arenas, which are more difficult than the others. The object of these arenas is to gather as many coins as you can before the timer runs out.
In each arena, you will find messages with tips, as well as a password, which you can enter to resume the game from that arena.
(User summary, reworded from descriptions found on the internet)