Published on November 18th, 2019 | by Chris Ramirez, Editor
Killer Queen Black Review
Note: A review code for the Nintendo Switch was provided for the purpose of review. Review times were designated and all features were not available.
Killer Queen Black is the best co-op multiplayer game I have played in a long time.
Killer Queen Black is an essentially a spiritual successor of Midways classic game Joust. Done in a classic 8-bit style, two teams of four player battle it out for control of the hive. If the name sounds familiar, you might have seen or heard of the game at your local arcade or bar. Killer Queen Black is a port of an arcade cabinet game Killer Queen. The main difference being the arcade cabinet featuring two teams of five.
Adapting an multiplayer cabinet game is difficult to emulate. A main attraction to any popular arcade game is the social aspect. If it’s competitive jabs or on the fly strategy; communication becomes a part of the gameplay. Console ports of arcade games often lose the social experience making the game a lonely experience. Liquid Bit and BumbleBear Games have tried to maintain the social experience by encouraging full couch co-op teams of four playing online against another team of four. If assembling a full team is not possible, you can still play solo or any number of additional player (up to four) to your team. Any additional spots will be filled via online matchmaking with voice chat and emote system to communicate to online teammates. Killer Queen Black does not have an offline option. In order to play local, multiple consoles is needed. If Liquid Bit and Bumble Bear decide to include an fully eight player offline mode , Killer Queen Black will be an essential game to anyone’s collection.
The objective of Killer Queen Black is to take over a hive. Each team is comprised of one queen and three workers. A hive takeover can be accomplished through an Economic, Military and Snail victory. An Economic victory is achieved by collecting berries and bringing them back to your home base. A Military victory is done by slaying the queen three times. The queens are the only ones on the battlefield that start with a weapon. Workers can use berries with team specific chambers to turn into warriors to gain an attack option to play offense and defense. A Snail victory is accomplished by riding a snail back to your home base.
Each victory seems easy to accomplish; however the game is delightfully chaotic. Playing the game without microphones or a couch co-op partner(s) you will lose sight of the other two victories quickly. I had a team where I was a queen going after the opposing queen for the game winning kill well my teammates focused on a Economy victory to only lose by a Snail victory. Adding a couch partner helped ensure a Snail victory did not happen again. Being on a win streak gets you a chance to become the Black Team, the team to beat.
There is a lot of components to keep track of, especially during a battle. To help understand each victory and the mechanics of the game, weapons, and abilities a Tutorial is included and encouraged. The tutorial is a great way to understand each aspect of the game. However, the tutorial does not emulate the chaos that happens in an actual game.
Killer Queen Black should be included into anybody’s multiplayer rotation. Liquid Bat and BumbleBear plans to include more features and content to the game to attract the community that Killer Queen has created. Planned features include Black Team streaming, cross platform play with cross platform local wireless mode available, spectating friends matches, maps, and custom match modifiers.
As it stands, Killer Queen Black is a great game. The inclusion of future features will make this great game to an outstanding one. However to get the full eight party mode in one household, multiple systems and game purchases are needed. With such focus on maintaining a true arcade experience, the omission of a eight player local multiplayer mode is sorely missed.