Samurai Gunn is primarily a local multiplayer game in which up to four players battle it out to the death using their swords and guns. The developer, Teknopants, had shown off the game at many conventions and trade shows, earning much praise and awards from the press and public alike. Some ways into development, Max Temkin (of Cards Against Humanity fame and huge fan of the game) stepped in to help fund the project so it would see a release. It came out for PC on December 10th, 2013. Just over one year later, on January 29th, 2015, the game received a significant update (new modes, maps, features) and saw its Mac release. PS4 and Vita versions are expected, but no release date has been confirmed.
Players select a samurai to play as (differences are purely cosmetic) and a map on which to battle.
As a samurai, you are both agile and fragile as you move quickly and can kill/be killed in one hit. In addition to your standard running and jumping, you can cling to the side of walls and platforms, slowing your descent, and you can climb upwards by performing a wall jump. You can also hold the down button which poses your character sprite as a dead body, hopefully dodging any attention from your opponents. However, laying down in water for too long will cause your character to drown.
- Sword Slash – Slash your sword in one of the four cardinal directions. You can only slash downward when in the air.
- Stance Change – Hold down the Slash button to change your stance. Changing your sword Stance changes the angle of your slashes.
- Deflect Bullet – Time a slash properly to deflect a bullet. You can reorient bullets in any direction.
- Jump – Standard jumping action. Tap Jump immediately upon hitting a wall to Wall Jump.
- Wall Hang – Hold the jump button while on the while to slow your descent dramatically.
- Super Jump – Slash your sword immediately after jumping to execute a Super Jump in the same direction as your Jump/Slash.
- Shoot – Shoot your gun in any of the four cardinal directions. You can only shoot downward when in the air.
- Play Dead – Hold down on the D-Pad to lie down. You will die if you play dead in water too long.
In terms of offence, you have your sword which reaches about roughly two blocks ahead of you, but has a forced-delay between slashes preventing players from just mashing the attack button. And playing to the second-half of the title's namesake, you have your gun loaded with three bullets. Players can fire their gun in any cardinal direction, however the bullets can also be deflected back or in a different direction with their sword. In addition to this, there is no on-screen indicator of how many bullets a player has left. To wit, players must keep track of how many shots they and their opponents have fired off or recognize when a player dry-fires their gun (a small puff of smoke comes out upon shooting) signaling that they no longer have any ammo. Guns cannot be reloaded and you are only given ammo after dying and respawning (where you are back up to three shots). Stepping into water will cause your gun to be waterlogged, rendering it unusable until you respawn.
There were originally two main modes of play in Samurai Gunn: Deathmatch and Survival. The January 2015 update added Master of the House and Showdown Samurai.
The following options are available in all game modes.
|Mode||Lives - Players have a max number of lives and fight to the last remaining player. Choose from 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 lives. Suicides are -1 life.||Kills - Players fight to reach the maximum number of kills. First to the max wins. Choose from 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 kills. Suicides are -1 life.|
|Blood Mode||Blood Spray||Petals Leafs|
|Teams||On. Will allow players in the same Clan to score team points.||Off. Players in the same Clan fight independently.|
|Team Kills||On. Players in the same Clan cannot hurt each other.||Off. Players in the same Clan can hurt each other.|
In all of Samurai Gunn's game modes, a tie will result in a Showdown. These are matches where bullets are not allowed and every player only has one life. Up to four players can fight in a Showdown. It is extremely rare, but, if a Showdown ends in a tie, there will be a Double Showdown, which takes place on a unique dojo map.
Every one of the four Areas in the game has its own unique Showdown map and with one exception each of those maps has a gameplay feature that is entirely exclusive to that map. You can read more about those Maps in the Areas section of this wiki. The game mode Master of the House also a unique Showdown map which does not appear otherwise.
Game Mode 1: Deathmatch
In Deathmatch, two to four players battle to the death on a map selected from one of the four areas. Based on the selection in the Options menu, the match will end when a player either has reached the maximum number of kills, or there is only one player left alive.
Game Mode 2: Survival
In this mode, one to four players are given a limited number of lives and must work together to defeat four waves of AI enemies on a chosen arena. Clearing a waves on an arena causes it to "level up" making that arena more difficult by giving the players less lives, another wave, more enemies per wave, and harder AI. The last and fifth wave is unlimited, and can never be truly conquered.
Game Mode 3: Master of the House
Play one match in a randomly selected map from each of the four areas. Ties are settled in the unique Moonlit Showdown map.
Game Mode 4: Showdown Samurai
Challenge each other in a series of randomly selected Showdown levels.
There are four main zones in Samurai Gunn: Forest, Fortress, Graveyard and Mountain. Other than being unique aesthetic tile sets, these areas also have unique features which are detailed below. That said, most maps contain one or more of the following features:
- Wraparound Holes - either Up/Down or Left/Right, many maps have holes which allow the player to teleport to the other side of the screen, a feature made famous by the original Mario Bros. For example, drop down into a wraparound hole and you will fall from the top of the screen. Run right through a wraparound hold and you will exit out the left side of the screen.
- Water - Fall in to a water tile and your gun is waterlogged and cannot be fired until you die, thus, take to water when you want to force a sword fight. Fortress and Graveyard maps do not contain any water tiles.
- Spikes - When any terrain tile (wood, ground, snow, rock) is slashed enough times it will break and live a spike tile. Any player who touches a spike tile will die instantly.
This area has many moving platforms which can crush you to death. The shodown map features falling arrows which can kill you or be deflected at an opponent with a well-timed sword slash.
This area has bamboo tiles, some of which will constantly grow back in random directions. Some can simply be cut away. The showdown map in this area is the only one of the standard maps which does not have any gimmicks. It is simply a flat sunset map.
- Forest Fall
- Rock Pit
- Cave Bamboo
This area has funny jiggly green tiles. You can stand upside down or fight along a wall made of these tiles. The showdown map in this area takes place during a lightning storm. Most of the time all the players are invisible save for the dust which appears at their feet when they run or jump. When lightning strikes, everyone can be seen.
This area has a lot of falling ice spikes. If they fall on you, you will die. Slash them with your sword to make them fall faster or too destroy an already felled icicle. The showdown level in this area is the only map in the game to feature the ice tile, which severely increases knock back distance when swords clash. The ice platform is extremely narrow and surround by spikes.
- Ice Cave
There are five main clans to choose from, each with three character variants. All moves, statistics and hitboxes are identical, but different clans have different colors and voice samples. Four clans take their names from Japanese filmakers (Katsuhiro Otomo, Akira Kurosawa, Utagawa Hiroshige and Hayao Miyazaki), while the Kabuki clan references Japanese Theater in general.
There are 5 secret clans with up to three characters each. Each character requires a specific, secret code to be input in order to be unlocked. These characters behave the same way as the standard clans. See the Guide for more information.