Crash Bandicoot is a platform game in which the player controls Crash Bandicoot, who must traverse the three islands of the game, defeat his creator Doctor Neo Cortex and rescue his girlfriend Tawna. The game is split up into levels, which the player must progess through one at a time to proceed in the game. The player is given a certain amount of lives, which are lost when Crash is attacked by an enemy or falls into water or a pit. If all lives are lost at any point in the game, the "Game Over" screen will appear, in which the player can continue from the last level played by selecting "Yes".
Crash has the ability to jump into the air and land on an enemy character, as well as the ability to spin in a tornado-like fashion to knock enemies off-screen. An enemy that is attacked by Crash's spin attack can be launched into another enemy that is on-screen at the same time. These same techniques can be used to open the numerous boxes found in each stage. Most boxes in the game contain Wumpa Fruit, which give the player an extra life if 100 of them are collected. Another item found inside crates is the Witch Doctor's Mask, which shields Crash from one enemy attack. Collecting three of these masks in a row grants Crash temporary invulnerability from all minor dangers. Arrow boxes (marked with arrows pointing up) propel Crash further than his ordinary jump can, while TNT boxes explode after a three-second fuse when jumped on. Boxes with an exclamation mark (!) on them cause previously intangible objects in the area to solidify. Check Point boxes allow Crash to return to the point where the first Check Point box has been opened upon losing a life. If more than one Check Point box has been opened in a stage, Crash returns to the last Check Point box that has been opened.
Source: Wikipedia, "Crash Bandicoot," available under the CC-BY-SA License.