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Knights & Guns review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Baltoro Games
Developer: Baltoro Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: No
ESRB: T

Knights & Guns is, in its own weird way, a shmup — just not in the way you’re probably thinking.

I realize that’s kind of an odd way to classify a game, but it’s fair in this case. See, in Knights & Guns, playing as an eponymous knight (armed with a gun, obviously), you run back and forth across the bottom of a static screen, shooting upwards. And that’s the entire game, across 150 levels.

Of course, when people think shmups — or, at least, when I think of shmups — they think vertical- or horizontal-scrolling shooters, where you’re shooting down enemies coming at you from all directions. Knights & Guns doesn’t have that — but it does have a pretty frenetic pace, that requires lots and lots of shooting.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t really require much else. Right when you start playing the game it advises you that it’s better played with a friend, so maybe I missed out on something crucial by playing it solo, but it didn’t take too long until the levels all started feeling same-y.

In Knights & Guns’ defense, the game does a very good job of keeping your knight well-armed. There are 30+ guns to be found here, and they’re different enough from each other that even if the gist of the game doesn’t change — again, just shoot up, constantly, and wait for the enemy monsters to bounce above you — at the very least, you get to see a bit of variety in how the weapons fire.

I’ll also add that Knights & Guns looks pretty stellar. Each of the levels is vividly coloured, popping off the screen with an impressive amount of detail — though, truthfully, it’s very easy to overlook given you’re spending most of your time here racing back and forth.

All things considered, Knights & Guns feels like it would’ve been an amazing game to play, say, thirty years ago in an arcade — someplace where the action wouldn’t feel quite as repetitive, and where you’d be able to enjoy its fiery action in all its loud, brightly coloured glory. As it stands, it probably doesn’t do enough to stand out among the many shmups that call the Switch home — whether it’s a slight variation on the usual or not.

Baltoro Games provided us with a Knights & Guns Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B-