Quackshot starring Donald Duck is a platformer adventure game starring the main protagonist himself Donald Duck and his three nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie. Donald meets a lot of his old friends along the way who help him out in his adventures, including Goofy, Daisy Duck, Gyro Gearloose, and even Mickey Mouse. But there are a lot of familiar faces who aren't trying to help Donald either like Pete, even Shere Khan and Kaa who appeared in the Jungle Book.
Quackshot starring Donald Duck has a lot of references to the Indiana Jones films. Nods to the series include the telltale jacket and fedora, the title screen's font, and map transition screens. Elements from the finale of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, like the Path of God and the ancient Grail Knight, also find themselves in the game.
Each level sees Donald Duck going from left to right like most 2D side-scrollers. Along the way are enemies like the underlings of Pete, birds, living statues and even cacti. Most levels have an overworld and a dungeon: these dungeons consist of puzzles and traps, but have a big reward at the end. The first the levels have upgrades for weapons while later levels have clues - like scrolls, jewels or keys - all of which are needed to find the location of King Garuzia's treasure.
Donald is equipped with a plunger gun. This has an unlimited supply of yellow plungers, which are used to stun enemies so Donald can walk past them. In Mexico, Goofy gives Donald the red plungers and these can stick to wall for a limited time and can be used to get to unreachable places. Lastly, the Viking Captain gives Donald the green plunger which can be attached to birds; holding onto them will bring Donald along for the ride. Donald is also equipped with another gun with limited ammo and this gun fires popcorn and bubble gum. He can find pieces of corn and gum to refill this weapon. Enemies hit with either will be permanently defeated, rather than just stunned temporarily.
Along the way are different types of food, like burgers and chicken, and these give Donald health. Hats can be found to give Donald a 1-up. Finally, if Donald eats five chili peppers, he will get mad and become invulnerable for a short period. During this time he will move faster and jump higher and wipe out any enemy he comes in contact with.
While Donald is looking through Scrooge McDuck's books, an old piece of paper slips out of one of them. Donald discovers that it is a map that leads to King Garuzia's greatest treasure. Donald is overjoyed and with the help of his three nephews he starts his quest for the legendary treasure.
Unfortunately, Big Bad Pete overheard Donald's plan and is trying to stop Donald and get the treasure for himself. He sets his minions on Donald and later steals the necessary clues for the treasure's location in exchange for his kidnapped nephews.
Throughout the game Donald must travel between several locations to get new weapons and to get parts of the treasure so he can advance further. This involves setting waypoints that allows his nephews to pick him up in their plane, and later returning to the set waypoint once the correct item has been found.
In the end, Donald manages to defeat Pete and get the treasure for himself, however it turns out to be a stone statue. Donald returns home crestfallen, worried about how his girlfriend Daisy will react, until his nephews accidentally break the statue while unloading it from the plane and reveal a priceless gold and jewel necklace within. Donald gives the necklace to Daisy Duck and they fly away into the sunset.