In Scorched Planet the player takes the role of Commander Alex Gibson who has to defend the earth colony Dator 5 from alien invaders. He uses a combat vehicle which is a hybrid between a heavy armed aircraft and a heavy armed tank. It can always drive but needs fuel for flying.
But the main aspect isn't just to kill the aliens. On every continent are settlers who have to be evacuated. The locations of these people are marked on the map, and when landing near them the player takes them in his vehicle and flies to a dimension gate to rescue them. But there is a maximum of five people per ride. The aliens aren't very happy about Gibson's efforts and so they try to kidnap the humans with their big freighters. Additionally they use giant spiders which infect the humans and transform them into willingness creatures. These zombies infect other humans by contact and explode after two minutes. But there is a antidote which the player gets by destroying a spider. It is used by throwing it into a crowd of infected people. Other aliens give other extras when destroyed, e.g. weapons, shield energy or invulnerability.
A tactical component comes into place with the city emblem which is used by the humans as an orientation point. This means when it is picked up and placed in another place, all people go to this point. On the way they pick up fuel. On the planets are soldiers which fight the aliens without the player's intervention. They also have a emblem the player can use. In the levels are additional tasks which have to be carried out to end the level, e.g. repairing chain bridges or deactivating cannons by cutting their power supply. Every three levels the player has to fight a boss.