Trippples is played on a 8×8 board as opponents race from one corner to the other. On the board are placed, in a pre-movement round, tiles with three arrows which point to three of the eight surrounding spaces. Each player plays these tiles alternatively until they have all been played. Movement is made by following the arrows, and avoiding the neutral zone in the middle. The game ends when one player reaches his goal or when both players cannot make legal moves.
The key game mechanism is that your move options are determined not by the three arrows on the tile under your (transparent) game piece, but by those under your opponent's piece. Thus, each move is chosen to try and limit your opponent's next as well as to try and guarantee yourself a good selection of choices. This adds an element of bluff and second-guessing to the game.
The rules also include some variations to the two-player game that make the game easier or harder to finish.