Each level in the game involves completing a series of puzzles to gain access to the level's end prize, mostly a treasure chest. Puzzles involve using a variety of movable items, and environmental objects to remove the obstacles that stand in Zack's way. The entire game is played with only the Wiimote. Zack is controlled indirectly by pointing the IR sensor at an item or location that you want Zack to travel to, and he'll walk/run there automatically. Items are picked up by pointing and clicking while Zack is standing next to them.
Mini-games play a predominant role as many of the puzzles are solved by using the Wiimote in a variety of ways. Most of the puzzles involve you using the Wiimote to emulate real world actions, such as casting a fishing line, sawing a tree, or pounding a hammer. After completing a level you will be scored on the time it took, the number of hint tickets you use, and lives you lose - the latter two can be purchased in a lobby between levels. Levels can be replayed to improve your score, but there is no online mode or leader boards of any kind.
The setting takes cues from western pirate themes, and mixes in Capcom's own Japanese mix. Zack finds a golden skull of Captain Barbaros' that instructs him to find the rest of Barbaros' golden skeleton to gain access to his treasure. Zack also meets up with a band of Sea Rabbits that have their own flying air ship.
Character speaking is done similar to the Zelda games where the characters make short grunts while the text of their words is displayed on screen. And similar to Zelda all of the cutscenes are rendered in real-time using the game's cell shaded graphics engine.