Atomic driver is an exploration and shooting game, with puzzle elements. The player drives a car armed with a laser and must explore cities in top-down view. Hazards include other cars, monsters (only some of which are destructible) and road blocks. Key elements of the gameplay is mastering the player's laser reflections (a shot hitting a flat surface is deflected at a right angle), and figuring out the movement pattern of the enemy cars and monsters. Several power-ups can help, freezing enemies for several seconds or destroying them.
The player has only one life, any hit on the car and the game is over.