Both versions of Nuts & Milk involve the player moving through various levels while collecting an assortment of fruit scattered throughout each one. By gathering all the fruit on a particular screen, the player will gain access to a previously unopened house door containing Milk's fiancée. When the player makes contact with the female blob, they are advanced to the next level to start the process anew. Movement through these levels is accomplished by using the directional pad or keyboard to move Milk across the stage while avoiding pitfalls and other obstacles, most notably the character's rival, Nuts. If contact is made at any time during game play with Nuts or other harmful objects such as miniature blimps, the player will lose a life and have to repeat the current level, with all fruit reset back to their initial positions. Once all three of Milk's lives are lost in this fashion, the game ends. In the Famicom version, Milk can jump a short distance vertically or horizontally, allowing him transverse pits or quickly gain access to an adjacent platform. If the player falls from too great a distance, Milk will become momentarily dazed and unable to move until the player joggles him awake with the jump button. Rope bridges are suspended in mid-air on most levels, and by using the directional pad, the player can climb them up or down as well as walk across them once they reach the top. In all, 50 individual levels exist on the Famicom version, and each one can skipped freely by pressing the select button. Once a player has cycled through all fifty, who will return to the first level and restart the sequence until all of Milk's lives are lost. The Famicom version also contains a level editor mode where the player can freely edit the first stage of the game by placing objects or enemies on the screen for Milk to interact with. This stage then takes the place of the first level in normal game play until the console is reset.