If you thought arcade games were dead, then you’ve obviously not played Killer Queen, which makes sense, seeing as how there are only four tablets in existence and it takes two to play. With that said, if you were fortunate enough to come across the game, then you’d probably agree, Killer Queen is one of the most exciting cooperative experiences to ever hit the arcade room. Its an engaging and pleasant affair for both core and casual gamers alike to enjoy.
Killer Queen is a five-on-five real-time strategy game, taking most of its inspiration from titles like Joust and Starcraft. Each team — blue and gold — has their own tablet, which is usually held either back-to-back or in a V formation against the opposing players machine.
The gameplay is simple, you use a joystick to control your character and the only available button to jump. If you’re controlling either a queen or soldier, then you can fly by repeatedly tapping the jump button.
There are three ways to win in Killer Queen: economic, military and snail victories. Let’s start with the former, shall we? In order to receive an economic victory, players must fill up their base with nectar found across the map — you’ll need 12 in total for a win. Military victories require you to kill the enemy queen three times and the snail victory, well, how can we put this? There’s a snail at the bottom of the map and if a player rides the snail into their team’s goal then the team wins.
However, as you would expect, the snail is slow and snail victories are not seen all that often. Players usually use the snail as a way to distract their opponents from other objectives rather attempting an unlikely victory.
Military victories are the most common, since it only requires one correctly positioned strike to take out the enemy queen. Also, the workers can use nectar to transform into soldiers and assist their queen in taking out the enemy, so the matches usually turn into an all out brawl.
More strategic players, though, work together to include all three elements into a match, which keeps the other team alert and forces them to do the same, otherwise it’s an almost guaranteed loss.
Thanks to a wide variety of objectives, Killer Queen can be simple when playing against beginners and complex once you step up to the big leagues.
One of the best strategies we’ve seen is when one player constantly takes control of the snail while two others collect nectar for the bass and the last worker assists the queen in attacking the enemy. If the opposing team is using a similar tactic, then you can expect an exciting and suspenseful match.
Killer Queen is surely a tough game to get your hands on, but when you do, it’s an experience like no other. It’s bizarre, charming and addictive. Hopefully the game’s creators, Joshua DeBonis and Nikita Mikros, soon add more tablets and maybe even port the game over to home consoles and PC. While the arcade aspect of Killer Queen is what truly makes the game unique, in a way, it’s also what holds it back. There’s real potential in making it more easily accessible to gamers and we hope to one day see it make its way to the living room.