Based on the feature film of the same name Cutthroat Island the game casts players in the role of renegade treasure hunters. The player is able to choose between two characters: Morgan Adams, a female character who wields a rapier; or William Shaw, a buccaneer who is armed with a sword. The game features single player and two player action mode. During single player mode, the player's character must battle through 10 levels, encountering various foes such as pirates, redcoats and harbour masters. The game features two different gameplay styles to choose from: Swordplay, which offers standard sword-fighting action; or Brawling, which adopts a more traditional fighting-game style. In addition to all the swordplay, level two requires players to flee from prison guards in a quarry cart, and level five puts player atop a runaway horse-drawn carriage. As the player progresses through the game several items such as knives, bombs, bottles, torches, hammers, pistols, and other weapons are collectable.
In 1619 a pirate cutter, the Sea Devil, captured a Spanish cargo ship called Santa Susanna. Before reaching its destination the Sea Devil was caught in a storm and wrecked on the uncharted Cutthroat Island. Only one member of the crew managed to get off of the island alive, Fingers Adams. Before dying he made a map and tore it into three pieces which he gave to his legitimate heirs.
In year 1688, as the pirate Morgan Adams who currently has one piece of the map, you have begun a quest for the other pieces of the map in hopes of eventually finding the treasure. Already a wanted woman, Morgan will need to fight the law as well as those who hold the pieces of the map.