Myself, along with the other members of Irrational Passions got to talk with some of the developers from the console and PC version port of the popular arcade hit, Killer Queen Black.
Let me tell you right now, this game is buckwild and an incredibly enjoyable multiplayer game to play with your buds. The action is fast paced and chaotic but in the best possible way. The four of us that attended PAX, Alex, Logan, Mike, and I were able to be on a team and take on show goers that stopped by the LiquidBit booth, and I am happy to say we beat all contenders!
If you aren’t familiar with Killer Queen, teams of four battle it out with another team to win a best of five matches. There are three possible routes to victory each round. You can go for the slow but hilarious route of riding a snail to a location, killing the opposing queen three times, or filling your nest with berries, sometimes you will be forced to adjust on the fly, depending on the strategy your opponents are vying for. Our Irrational team was particularly adept at taking advantage of the snail victories and having our queen slaughter the other. Saying that we had a good time is a gross understatement. There is a hidden layer of strategy and complexity to this game that is not immediately apparent when you first start playing. Yes, you can just go wild and have a good time, but a team that communicates and has a plan of attack will take the win more often than not.
The central unit of each team is the queen, the only character that by default can attack and kill the opposing team’s characters. Workers, however, are able to power-up and get weapons as well from little equipment stations scattered around the map. By using a berry and walking into one of these stations, the worker is able to get either a sword, morning star, laser, lance, or stinger that will allow them to bring the pain to the other team, fighting right alongside their queen. They get cute little armors and can fly too! I have a particularly fond memory of defending our snail rider as he slowly slid his way into the goal, winning the round for our team. Snail victories are best victories, after all.
When the game releases, you will be able to connect and play with your friends any way you like, in any mixture of online and couch co-op fashion. Have three friends playing on one tv and another friend at his house, no problem! Everyone online, yep, easy as pie. All your friends are over hanging out having drinks and you want to school some fools online? Go get em champ!
Visually, Black maintains the same pixel aesthetic that the arcade machine has, with bright colors, detailed backgrounds, and interesting character designs. The animations are wacky and fun, a personal favorite being the snail eating a poor worker in its path. The upgraded workers with their weapons stand out, and it is easy to tell at a glance what weapon they are wielding. At launch, players will be treated to a handful of different levels, all with unique looks and layouts that only adds to the addictive replayability factor of the game.
One of the main questions I had was why they had made the decision to go from being a 5v5 setup on the arcade to the 4v4 system that will be present in the console version. They explained that it was simply due to the difference in screen sizes, that the screen on the arcade version was much larger so it was easier to see and keep track of all the players, while on the smaller screens of the Switch and monitors, it became too problematic to see. They did try the 5v5, but it just wasn’t clear enough, with this version they have reduced the size of the maps by roughly 20% and increased the size of the sprites slightly so that it reads fine with the 4v4 setup.
Before I go, let me hit you with some interesting tidbits about Killer Queen I learned while talking with the developers. Did you know that the Queen and other characters in Killer Queen and the upcoming Killer Queen Black are actually ants and not bees? The idea to use ants actually came from one of the developers watching a documentary one night about the little critters and going into work the next day and sharing what he learned. Also, the team at LiquidBit would love to have some Killer Queen Black representation in Smash Brothers Ultimate, and after playing this game, I have to agree with them. The queen would make for a fantastic assist trophy I think!
There isn’t a firm release date set but Killer Queen Black will be coming to Nintendo Switch and PC this winter! I highly recommend you and a few friends pick up this fantastic party game, you won’t regret it! I know the guys here at Irrational Passions are looking forward to snagging it and having some great game nights with it.