The game loosely follows the plot of the show. The player controls the protagonist Goliath as he seeks to put an end to the Eye of Odin, a corrupted magical talisman which can transform whoever comes to possess it. Demona, the most recent owner of the Eye, ultimately becomes the main antagonist. The game contains 11 levels bookended by short cinematics which explain the story thus far, each level concluding with a boss encounter.
Throughout the game, Goliath would contend with the Vikings who ransacked Castle Wyvern in the past, as well as new, robotic foes who attack him in the present era across various venues, such as Manhattan rooftops and a subway. His arsenal of attacks to defend himself include various strikes with his fists, grapples, throws, and leaping maneuvers. He is also able to pump his wings once to increase his jumping distance, as well as climb along walls and ceilings with his claws. Gargoyles boasts a hand-drawn appearance to Goliath, Demona and the Viking enemies (not unlike Virgin Interactive‘s Aladdin also for the Genesis), but also a CGI-modeled look for the robot enemies.
The game was intended to be released exclusively for the Sega Genesis on May 15, 1995, however it ended up being released in November 1995, and received reviews late in the year. A Super NES version planned for a Christmas 1995 release was cancelled. In December 2012, Chris Shrigley, who programmed the game, released the source code for educational purposes to the public.