Once the game has begun, the player must choose letters of the alphabet that he or she believes will correspond to a letter of the puzzle. Puzzles are all five-to-fifteen letters in length. The lines located directly above the alphabet are placeholders for whatever specific letters of the alphabet will solve the word or phrase. For example, if the player clicks on the letter "E", an "E" will either appear on one or more of the above lines (revealing that "E" is one of the letters that is necessary to solve the puzzle), or no letter will appear on the board at all. When a correct letter has been chosen, the option to click on that letter of the alphabet becomes obsolete.
On the other hand, when an incorrect letter is chosen, two things will occur (or, depending on one's view, one thing will not occur and another will occur due to this nonoccurrence): First, the letter chosen will not appear on any of the lines above the alphabet. Second, a fire-blast will be fired at Aang. As more incorrect letters are chosen, Aang's attire will become more burned and battered with each fire-blast that Zuko looses until the singe marks even overcome Aang's head (at which point his smile will turn into a sort of grimace). It takes only one more incorrect letter for the player to lose the game when Aang's face has become covered in ash. To be precise, Aang can only take eight fire-blasts (incorrect letters) until he loses the battle against Zuko.
Finally, there is a menu below the alphabet that has four options to choose from: "New Game", "Help", "Solve", and "Quit". "New Game" creates a new puzzle and erases any progress or setbacks that were incurred in the previous puzzle. "Help" leads to the "How To Play" screen. The board that was being played can be resumed by clicking the "Back To Game" icon at the bottom of the how-to-play screen. "Solve" will simply complete the puzzle without any further damage to Aang. "Quit" has an unusual effect: when clicked, "Quit" will remove the player from the Hangman URL and lead him or her to the Nickelodeon website's homepage.
The game's "how-to-play" dictates that for every letter the player guesses wrong, "one Avatar character will be banished!" However, the only consequence of guessing incorrect letters is Aang's clothes and, eventually, his face being singed; Katara and Sokka, who are the only Avatar characters in this game aside from Aang and Zuko, never leave their friend's side. Therefore, they are never "banished."