Summer Heat follows the basic rules of the sport of beach volleyball. Two teams of two players each face off in a sectioned-off area of sand that serves as the playing area. One player serves the ball, and play begins. The objective is to land the ball on the ground within the play area of the other team's side. Players alternate hitting ("volleying") the ball, up to three volleys per turn, and the ball must travel over the net no later than the third hit. The game supports up to four players, though the use of a multitap accessory is required for three and four player games. Summer Heat is styled similarly to other arcade-style volleyball games of the era, where there is an emphasis on the sex appeal of the bikini-clad female characters as well as having the overall tone and atmosphere of a summer beach party.
In 2006, Canadian game publisher Throwback Entertainment acquired the property rights for Summer Heat Beach Volleyball from Acclaim. Throwback had planned on developing another Summer Heat volleyball game for release on the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, but there is no word on the status of such a game. Summer Heat Volleyball is expected to keep its identity and will not be dissolved or merged.[vague]