Cutthroat Island

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a game by Acclaim, and Software Creations
Genres: Action, Adventure/RPG, Fighting Games
Platforms: Sega GenesisGenesis, SNESSNES, GameGear, GameBoy
Editor Rating: 7.5/10, based on 7 reviews, 8 reviews are shown
User Rating: 6.0/10 - 3 votes
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See also: Pirates Games
Cutthroat Island
Cutthroat Island
Cutthroat Island
Cutthroat Island

Anyone ever have a dream of being a swashbuckling, sword-wielding heroine? Well, this game is the closest you will ever get without actually going back in time. In Cutthroat Island, play as the swashbuckling, sword-wielding heroine in search of the legendary Cutthroat Island and battle all others who want the secret treasure as well.

Cutthroat Island is a unique, well-rounded game that takes place in many different areas, both linear and nonlinear.

One of the more innovative features of the game is that the player is able to start at any point in the game from the very beginning by choosing the level from a map.

The moves in the game are just a simple punch, kick and attack with the sword, but using a combination of the buttons pulls off multiple hit combos.

Although much of the game may seem like just a punch-and-kick style fighter, Cutthroat Island contains levels in which you must use your agility as well. Fighting on top of a carriage alongside a castle while dodging banner rods is a prime example of the many original areas found in Cutthroat Island.

Your journey to find Cutthroat Island will take you through many towns and jungles. fighting various enemies of differing strength and fighting styles. On your quest, you will occasionally run across items, such as knives that can be picked up. but don't use them hastily because they can only be used once. You will eventually come across recurring enemies, so learn their attack patterns and counter them.

Super NES owners looking for a good action title look no further, because Cutthroat Island is it.

  • MANUFACTURER - Acclaim
  • DIFFICULTY - Moderate
  • THEME - Action

Download Cutthroat Island


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Game modes: Single game mode

Player controls:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
  • Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
  • "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
  • "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
  • "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)

Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

There's nothing Cutthroat about this island. A sword tight through monotonous levels with no finale and no fireworks? No thanks!

The stiff controls make no amends in this island tragedy. In addition to your ever-present sword, you're armed with daggers, bombs, guns, and bottles, as you fight a barrage of repetitive bad guys. Although you have ten moves, you'll be lucky to pull off two when it counts.

The graphics are sketchy and indistinct, offering little detail. The repetitive sound effects are glitchy, but the variety of tunes will keep your mind off the mindless gameplay. In the end, you'll want to desert this Island.


  • In the Carriage stage, move to the front of the coach to fight and then move to the back to watch for warning arrows.
  • Once you grab the rope In the Treasure Cave you cant use your sword, so kill the bats first.

Journey back to a time where black flags bearing skulls and crossbones were flown over pirate ships. These swashbucklers were forever searching for adventure, gold and maps to hidden treasure. One of the world's most dangerous pirates, Dawg Brown, terrorized the Caribbean in search of the three map pieces of the legendary Cutthroat Island. Morgan Adams, the notorious female pirate, was given a piece of the map by her dying father. She was told that Dawg Brown would stop at nothing to get his hands on that piece. However, Morgan was also seeking the map to the treasure. In Cutthroat Island, play as the lady pirate, captain of the ship Morning Star, Morgan Adams. Begin your journey to locate the three map pieces in a prison on Jamaica.

Cl is a standard slash-and-kick. side-scrolling adventure game. Battle your way through stages of evil swashbucklers on your search for the three map pieces. Cl is not the standard Game Gear action game, however. Besides using your rapier, pick up throwing knives and pistols to reach enemies that are farther away. These can only be used once to inflict some quick damage. Afterward, you must resort to the blade. You can also jump on tables in the tavern and fight like the pirates in the movies.

Besides sword slashing, the stages force you to ride on top of vehicles and other unexpected actions. The cart stage has you racing a wooden cart downhill while jumping over rocks and into enemies. You can also ride atop a horse-drawn carriage while jumping and ducking to avoid the flagpoles extending from buildings.

As a whole. Cutthroat Island is a remarkable Game Gear title that is more than just a walk-and-swing adventure. Get a tight grip on your cutlass and prepare to battle as you search for maps and treasure in a pirate's world.

  • MANUFACTURER - Acclaim
  • DIFFICULTY - Moderate
  • THEME - Action

People say:


Cutthroat Island is a decent title for the Game Gear. The graphics are clear and the control isn't all that bad. There are plenty of special moves at your disposal, but using them can seem like a hassle. The audio Is average. The diversity in the levels makes Cutthroat Island really fun to play, even over an extended period of time. This cart looks and plays like a game that's on the TV. If you are considering a new game for your GG. this one would make a fine choice.


A lot of the action games brought out on the portables suffer because of the low hardware capabilities. Cutthroat Island has some of the better-looking graphics that I've seen on the Game Gear. I'm undecided about the special moves. On one hand, for a two-button game, special moves are a plus. They break up the monotony of jump kicking over and over, but most of the moves in Cl are more of a hassle than what they're worth. A decent game, but the control needs some help!


This is one of the most innovative titles that has been released for the Game Gear in a long time. Cutthroat Island pits you (a swashbuckling hero) against sword-wielding enemies while fighting on land, on top of moving carnages and many other areas. The game contains special moves that you can use. along with sword thrusts, all of which are surprisingly easy to pull off considering you only have two buttons. This Is a good title Game Gear owners should check out.


The most diverse Game Gear available to date. It is not only a hack-'em-up sword adventure, but a well-rounded game with different scenery and situations to conquer In each level. The visuals are exceptional. They are clear and detailed enough to allow you to see what is happening even on the small GG screen. The ability to pick up useful weapons and climb on tables is a lot of fun and adds to the game, making it one of the best Game Gear titles yet.

  • Manufacturer: Acclaim
  • Machine: Super NES, Genesis

The Geena Davis movie may have been pushed back to a fall release, but that's good news for the folks at Acclaim - the game is going to come out at roughly the same time. In addition to the side-scrolling movie tie-in action you've come to expect from the marketing juggernaut, the cart also includes a game within a game, a treasure hunt contest wherein players who discover all the hidden treasure icons get a chance to win a trip to the Florida Keys for a second, real-life treasure hunt. Hey, good luck.

Pirate heroes face hordes of enemies in Cutthroat Island, a beat-em-up game based on the movie.

A variety of side-scrolling levels advance the plot, but the gameplay's vigorous and repetitive button pressing slows this game down a couple of knots.


  • Use this pattern for the Mine Cart Quarry level: Up, Down, Down, Down, Up, Down, Up, Down, Up, Down, Up, Up, Up, Down.
  • Simultaneously press Buttons X and A to attack behind you.

The sights and sounds walk the plank. Small sprites and repetitive villains overshadow the fair character artwork. And although the music captures the movie's swashbuckling spirit, stale sound effects sink this ship. It's difficult to tell who gets hit, because friend and foe offer up the same grunt.

If buccaneering action's your bag, you might be able to stand this simple, dull game. If not... abandon ship!

Cutthroat Island does as much to bury the Genesis as Vector-man did to revive it. It's a horrible game adapted from a horrible movie, and has no business in the library of any sane Genesis owner.

Captain Cliché

In this one- or two-player side-scrolling swashbuckler, you must endure ten tiresome levels searching for pieces of a map that leads to a fabled treasure. In some levels you're bored with lots of sword fighting (no finesse needed -- just diligent button pounding), in others you venture forth in a game or carriage. The control is especially frustrating in the game level, where you aren't given time to dodge obstacles in the road, and you can't vary your speed.


  • Line up enemies so you can take out two with one hit
  • Watch out for the fat pirates when you're in the crate. You can't knock them over, and if you hit them you have to start from the beginning of the level.

The graphics will have Sega owners reminiscing about the good old days of the Master system. The sprites look bland -- even Geena Davis! -- and the fights are missing frames of animation.

Sinking with the rest of the ship is the sound, which is so tinny that you can't even hear the clanking of iron during swordplay. No groans or shrieks punctuate stabbings, and you'll strain yourself reaching for the mute button to kill the music.

Yo Ho Ho and A Bottle o' Dumb

Even a patch-eyed, peg-legged pirate would snarl at Cutthroat Island. You'd be better off walking the plank.

Trap the warden in a comer and press Down and attack to strike him repeatedly.

Well kids, it's yet another movie adaptation from Acclaim, and (did you expect anything less) it's not the greatest game ever to be committed to chip, but it's not so bad either. In fact, it's kind of like a good cheese sandwich: fulfilling, but not gourmet.

Cutthroat Island is based on the film of the same name starring Geena Davis and Matthew Modine. I suppose it roughly follows the plot of the film (I wouldn't know; I haven't seen it), because you can take control of either the female captain (who wields a mean cutlass) or the rogue pirate fella (who has a nifty double knife technique). If you're feeling really friendly, a friend can join in on the fun and play the other character.

The game is basically a South Seas version of the proven Acclaim licensing formula. Like Maximum Carnage and a multitude of other titles, Cutthroat Island is a side-scrolling beat-'em-up. Enemies attack, you hit them a few times, they fall down and you continue on your merry way. Not the most original gaming concept, but it gets spiced up by levels in which you have to take control of runway carts and the like. And hey, there's always the concept: pirates. You can't go wrong with pirates. Pirates are the bomb, so even though Cutthroat Island isn't the best game I've ever played in a while, I still must give it some props.

Snapshots and Media

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots

SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots

GameGear Screenshots

GameBoy Screenshots