Game: Killer Queen Black
Genre: Arcade Multiplayer Action Platformer
System: Nintendo Switch (also Steam)
Developers|Publishers: Liquid Bit LLC (adaptation of the original Killer Queen by Bumblebear)|Stride PR
Price: US $19.99 |AU $27.00 |£16.19 |€ 17,99
Age Rating: US E 10+ | AU PG | EU 7+
Release Date: 11th October
Review code used, with many thanks to Stride PR
Killer Queen Black is an arcade multiplayer game. Finally making it off boutique arcade machines and onto a new version for the Switch and PC. You too can be the Killer Queen and make it for Black.
For The Hive
The game play occurs in one of six different single screen maps. Consisting of simple movement, jumping and attacking sideways and/or down.
Matches are played in first to three, in teams of four. Those being three workers and one queen. Then queen can attack from above or the side and fly around, but has only three lives. They can also tag the gates that workers use to power up, so that only their team can use them. While the workers can jump, if they pick up a berry to the gate they get a power up. Which could be a sword, shield, fast speed or mace. Upgrading to soldier also lets them fly. The shield disappears after a hit (but that’s one more than you can usually take), while the others seem to last until you get hit.
Three Ways To Win
These four must cooperate together in order to achieve any of three objectives before the other team. The first possible way being a military victory, which is to take all of the other queen’s three lives. Not only does the queen have to worry about her opponent, but powered up workers as well. I can see some people getting too carried away with queen fights instead of supporting their workers.
The second is that of a snail race. At the start of every match there is a snail in the middle. Workers can jump on and ride it towards their finish flag. However they are completely defenseless, as only a weaponless worker can ride it. The snail will only go the other way if the other team sits on it. So ensuring that you defend the snail or at least not let the others take it too far to their side is important.
Finally, there is an economic victory. Not only are the berries used for power-ups, but they can be taken back to home base for storage. If all the holes are filled, you shall win. This method is also not to be underestimated. With all the snail racing, and bloodshed, the workers might just sneak all those berries from under your nose.
I’m not sure of the term for it, but it’s a single screen game that if you go too far to one side you’ll end up on the other. So while keeping your eye out for different victory/loss possibilities you’ll also have to make sure you aren’t attacked from one of those openings.
There is a tutorial, which you must complete to unlock ranked play. When playing online you can state if your preference is to be a queen, worker or either. In quick play you will join a match that can start 1v1 with extra bots, which can be replaced with added people. While ranked play will record your score, with no bots allowed.
There is a communication option to highlight key locations to teammates, and emotes. The game also has inbuilt voice chat but I haven’t heard anyone else. If you want to play with friends, locally, or by your lonesome you can open up custom play. This allows you to invite friends, and add bots. Up to four people on the one system can play together either in custom match, or in quick and ranked play. There is also multi system local wireless. Cross-play should also be available from launch.
As it’s a multiplayer game they put a large focus on competitiveness. Evident with leader boards, and online spectating. The top undefeated ranked team will have the privilege of being the Black team. Getting a special look as well as the privilege for their matches to be constantly streamed online.
The game is done with pixel graphics. The platforms look rather simple, but the backgrounds are very detailed. This might be an issue for those with very large screens. I like the queen’s designs in particular. The soundtrack is comprised of rock music but is usually soft during game play. Sometimes it matches the tempo of play such as drums start kicking in loud when a queen is on her last life. It’s a bit of a shame that the music, even when turned up the highest, is rarely noticeable.
Online play sorts you into regions but, doesn’t state which. I had only a tiny bit of lag and that was when I was playing with someone in Europe while I’m in Australia. While we both experienced a high level of slowness in the custom match menu, making it difficult to swap around.
For a unique multiplayer only game I think it’s also priced pretty reasonably. There are currently plans for future updates such as new maps and appearances but I can only review it as it is now. The game is designed specially for playing with eight people which you can tell, as competing with bots on isn’t nearly as fun, although good for learning. As such it might be a game I actually prefer to play in ranked.