The game is an arcade shooter in which either one or two players play as medieval fantasy knights who use modern firearms to kill monsters. Player characters move left and right and can shoot only straight up - which isn’t that much of a problem since most enemies spend most of their time in the air.
The game features almost 150 short levels in the Campaign mode (including boss levels and optional side levels) as well as 9 levels in the Endless mode.
All game modes can be played with either one or two players using local coop.
In a fantasy world a Brotherhood of Knights is led by the Captain and his two commanders. They use a mysterious arcane power, which gives them access to guns, to wage wars against the enemies of the kingdom they serve.
During a battle in the capital city the Captain betrays and kills the entire order taking most of the power for himself. His two commanders survive and embark on a journey throughout the world to find their former lord and defeat him. On the way they are helped by the Wanderer, a mysterious man who runs the ingame shop.
Knights and Guns has two main game modes: Campaign and Endless.
There are close to 150 levels on the grid-based world map in the “Campaign” game mode. The players begin on one end of the map and they unlock levels as they move forward.
- The map is divided into 12 acts, each consisting of 9 levels placed on a 3x3 grid - the players can choose his or her path through and skip some levels he or she wants to avoid.
- Between the acts are the “portal” levels in which the players fight a boss or some mini-bosses.
- On the edges of the map the players will find side levels, which are optional.
- Each level has an unique background (with about ⅔ of the levels having an original background and ⅓ being modified versions of the previous backgrounds).
- Each level has an objective: kill all enemies, survive for a set amount of time or destroy special crystal enemies within a time limit.
- Beating a level gets the players a reward of gold.
- Each level has a set of available weapons assigned to it. At least one of them is always free, and others can be purchased and thus permanently unlocked for that level.
- Beating a level multiple times with different weapons gives the players golden bullets for that level - after getting 3 of those (or 1 or 2 if the level has less than 3 weapons) the background of the level can be viewed without launching the level.
Some fields on the map may contain objects and items which can be interacted with.
- Chests. They can contain gold, lives or armor fragments. They require a key to open.
- Keys for the chests.
- Gates: can be opened with gold or by beating the required amount of levels. (Depending on the gate.)
- Scrolls: contain a picture revealing some of the world’s history.
Gates have to be opened before the level can be accessed.
Other items can be picked up after the level has been beaten.
This game mode allows for continuous play on one of the 9 special levels. Monsters won’t stop spawning and only when the players are dead does the game stop.
A highscore for each level is kept - individually for each of the available weapons. Passing certain score thresholds also awards the players with a trophy - bronze, silver or gold.
Endless levels are unlocked with gold. Other than that there are no restrictions - this mode can be played regardless of the progress in the Campaign.
The store and gold
Gold is the main currency in the game.
It’s gained by completing levels, from chests and collected during gameplay itself.
It is spent on opening gates on the campaign map and, most importantly, in the store.
- Consumables: extra lives, full special attack gauge and golden keys for opening golden chests.
- Armor: new armor for the knights. They change how the characters look and increase their stats. The players unlock new sets of armor by completing acts - then they can be purchased with gold and equipped.
- Gossip: The only thing players can get in the store for free - the shopkeeper can give them some vague information on various topics.
- Scrolls: scrolls collected from the world map as well as all the video cutscenes players have seen so far - all of which can be viewed again here.
- Books: appear in the store for completing acts or found in chests, can be bought with gold. They contain art and names of the enemies.
- Music: unlocked for completing acts and bought with gold. The players can listen to the entirety of the game’s soundtrack here.
Hall of Fame
A Hall of Fame with achievements and all kinds of stats can be accessed from the main menu.
Player characters can:
- Move left and right, jump.
- Dash, moving fast and dealing damage to the enemies. It costs Energy.
- Use the Special Attack. It requires the special attack gauge to be full - players do that by killing enemies.
Touching enemies or their projectiles damages player characters. If health drops to 0, the character dies. It can be revived if the players have any extra lives (which can be bought in the store or found in chests on the world map). If that’s not the case and both players are dead, the level ends in failure.
Aside from the monsters the levels might also contain:
- Retractable spikes.
- Cannons and rocket launcher turrets.
- Stalactites, icicles or spiked metal blocks - all of which fall down on the player when he or she is under them.
- Pools of acid.
Various items can be gathered from the defeated foes:
- Gold. Dropped by most enemies.
- Medkits. They restore health points.
- Elixirs. They fill up the special attack gauge.
- Speed boost: the character moves and fires faster.
- Freeze: all enemies are frozen for a short period of time.
- Special weapons: powerful guns with limited ammo.
There are 31 weapons in the game. Their availability varies from level to level. They can be chosen either free of charge, or they could require unlocking first by paying gold.
(Slow, medium damage)
- Basic pistol
- Auto pistol
- Heavy pistol
(Usually slow, spread fire)
- Shotgun (weak)
- Shotgun (strong)
- Double-barrelled shotgun
- Sawed-off shotgun
- Combat shotgun
- Machine guns
(Fast, small damage from single bullets)
- Basic machine gun
- Heavy machine gun
- Sniper rifles
(Huge damage, very slow)
- Sniper rifle
(Hard to aim, large damage, area of effect)
- Grenade launcher
- Triple Rocket launcher
- Grenade shotgun
- Rocket launcher
- Energy weapons
(Very varied, powerful, rare)
- Proton rifle
- Spread gun
- Hyper blaster
- Slow plasma
- Plasma shotgun
- Plasma minigun
- Plasma cannon
- Super laser
- Stream weapons
(A powerful stream that might be hard to aim)
- Electro stream
- Special weapons
(Weird weapons with very specific types of firing)
- Super forcegun
There are 26 types of enemies in the game:
- Abomination (runs on the ground and places traps)
- Airship (flies horizontally in the air, uses beam attacks)
- Blade Core (moves around the edges of the screen, shoots)
- Bomb (flies in diagonal lines, explodes on death hurting both players and enemies)
- Burster (a spider-like jumper that spits down projectiles while in the air)
- Cannon Core (a flying bunch of cannons)
- Crystal Ghost (spawned by Crystal Skulls, they perform a suicidal charge attack some time after spawning)
- Crystal Jumper (a jumping enemy with no extra attack, on some levels destroying those is the objective)
- Crystal Skull (on some levels the objective is to destroy these)
- Daredevil (a parachuter with a suicide attack)
- Dragonfly (a weak but numerous flying enemy)
- Drake (a small fire-breathing dragon)
- Eldritch Crusher (smashes the players if they run below it)
- Evil Eye (a fast flying enemy that uses beam attacks)
- Gargoyle (a flying enemy that drops “bomb” projectiles)
- Ghost (has the ability to phase-out and become invulnerable, has to be watched out for)
- Incubator (a jumping foe that spawns Dragonflies on death)
- Metal Crusher (an indestructible variant of the Eldritch Crusher)
- Metal Slug (a tank-like enemy that stays on the ground and shoots projectiles horizontally)
- Mole (an enemy that digs out from under the player and jumps into the air)
- Pogo Knight (a heavy jumper that can damage the player with a shockwave when he lands)
- Screecher (a flying bat with a cone-shaped attack)
- Siege Tower (a durable tower which fires at the player with a laser cannon)
- Snail (a slow ground enemy that spawns Splitters)
- Splitters (the “basic” enemy that has no attacks apart from jumping, but is numerous. Larger ones split into smaller ones on death.)
- Splitter Spitter (a jumping enemy that spawn a Splitter every time it is hit)
Few mini-bosses can be found throughout the game, which are larger and more dangerous versions of “normal” enemies. Also, there are bosses - huge enemies on which entire levels are based. The bosses are:
- The Golem: consists of a head and two arms. Each one of these parts can attack separately and is destroyed separately. The head cannot be harmed until at least one hand is alive. The fight with the Golem is also made harder by the presence of “normal” enemies on the level.The Golem also has a darker, stronger variant, which shows up later in the game.
- The Dragon: similarly to the Golem it has a head and two arms. It has some fire-based attack like breathing fire.It also has a stronger variant which shows up later in the game.
- The Captain: The main bad guy of the game, he follows the player and uses many different attacks - some of which the players have seen earlier in the game, and some that are unique to him.The fight with Captain has several phases - between these a set of “normal” enemies have to be fought as well. And with each phase the Captain becomes more and more dangerous, gaining access to faster and stronger attacks.
The game uses hand-drawn, comic book style, 2D art for most of its art.
Some in-game animations are drawn frame by frame while others use 2D rigging and move/scale sprites.
Light sources and particle effects from the Unity Engine are also used throughout the game.