In many ways, Spaceship Warlock acted as a bridge between the older generation of adventure games like the Zork series, and the fully animated (and occasionally voiced) games by Lucasarts and Sierra. Like its text adventure predecessors, Spaceship Warlock allowed players to type in any command they wanted--some that the game would recognize, and others that it would not. Typing in a vulgar comment toward a space pirate, for example, would almost always end with the pirate pummeling the player to death. After a brief opening, and a pirate raid on a luxury cruise ship, the player would be pressed into service on the titular Spaceship Warlock and travel the galaxy with its nefarious commander, Captain Hammer.
The game shipped on one CD-ROM and included high quality, animated graphics (by the standards of 1991) and fully voiced dialogue.