In a Medieval kingdom overrun by otherworldly alien bugs, you (optionally alongside a knightly friend) must exterminate the threat with guns (of all things). Knights & Guns is a modern reimagining of a classic arcade genre akin to Bubble Trouble. Boasting picturesque art and a soundtrack that'll get the blood flowing, it's time to strap on your breastplate and lock 'n load!

The Good

While it may be simple, the gameplay is very addictive and consistently gratifying. Moving left to right, holding A to fire upward and strategically using your special attack to take on seemingly impossible hordes, this modern reimagining also provides the ability to jump and dash.

As you fight, you'll want to make sure you're collecting the gold coins that drop from enemies so you can spend it at the store for The Power. The latter is simply the term used for armour, potions and the like; different sets of armour provide alterations to the player'(s) stats (HP, $$$, Dash, D. DMG, SPD & Ammo) whilst the potions provide additional continues and Power refills.

Before each level, you can choose to go with the standard weapon or pay some gold to use more powerful weapons. As I tend to be quite stingy with my currency in games (sometimes to my advantage, sometimes not), I tended to go with the standard weapon for free unless I found the level to be particularly challenging. This system is wonderfully clever and provides variety and strategy to an otherwise simple practice.

While the game's overworld map may be a tad lacklustre in its design, it works well for what it sets out to do, which is to provide the player with a clear understanding of how to follow the main plot whilst also providing easy incentive to deviate from this path to take on side missions for bonus rewards. For both completionists and those who enjoy some of those sweet optional rewards, it's a well executed system which strikes a competent balance.

The charm of the game's art style and setting not only blends wonderfully well with the gameplay but it also sets up a well constructed basis for a story with a surprising amount of intrigue. Couple all of this with a Medieval soundtrack with modern traces of metal and punk rock and it all goes down as smooth as a pint of mead.

TL;DR

  • Addictive and consistently gratifying gameplay
  • Wide variety of armour to choose from
  • Clever economy system
  • Intuitive overworld
  • Incredible visual and audio presentation

The Bad

No matter how much you polish and provide further customisations to it, the crux of this gameplay still remains to be a Bubble Trouble style game. I don't mean to belittle the genre (I personally love the classic Bubble Trouble) but there's only so much you can do with it, despite Baltoro Games's best efforts.

The store is a little tricky to navigate through as the game doesn't do a great job at conveying what some of its offerings do. The armour section is fine as you can pull up a stat table but the books don't have any name or indication as to what they may contain until you buy them. In addition, when you buy music tracks, you can't listen to a sample first (nor does it display the tracks' names).

TL;DR

  • A genre that hasn't aged too well
  • Counterintuitive store

Final Score: 9/10

Knights & Guns is my personal sleeper hit of 2021; I really didn't expect to it enjoy it as much as I did! With its addictive arcade gameplay, Medieval cartoon aesthetic and electrifying music that'll will you on to fight seemingly never-ending hordes of alien bugs, this game does so much right without overcomplicating what makes it fun.

Thank you for checking out our Knights & Guns Switch review and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support:

For more reading, check out our review of Dice Legacy.