Joysticks. Button-mashing. Five on five battles. Collect the berries. Ride the snail. Kill the queen. Get the power-up and win the game. Can Killer Queen return the video game arcade to it’s former glory? Lets find out.
Killer Queen is an arcade game that pits two teams of five players against each other. Here’s a look at the monstrous 10-player arcade setup:
Here’s a shot of the game map:
There’s a lot going on here so I’ll to break it down. First, each five player team is made up of a Queen and four Workers:
Here we see that each team is identical with a Queen in the center, flanked by four Workers who look different but all have the same abilities. The Queen can fly and kill (more on that later). The Workers can jump and collect berries (more on that later). That sounds simple enough until the game begins and chaos ensues. Part of the chaos (and fun) is caused by the three different victory conditions:
The economic victory is achieved by having your Workers collect 12 berries and return them to the hive. Berries are carried on-at-a-time and are dropped if the Worker is killed. Queens and Warriors cannot carry berries.
The military victory is achieved by killing the enemy Queen three times. Combat is very similar to the classic arcade game Joust. If you’ve never played Joust, the basic concept is that when the characters collide, the character with the higher elevation wins and kills the other. Queens and Warriors can kill other characters. A Worker can’t kill anything but can become a Warrior by carrying a berry into a winged gate:
Yes, Snail Victory. The Snail Victory is achieved when a Worker rides the snail into their colored basket.
That’s the snail in the center. It doesn’t move until a Worker saddles up and then it slowly creeps towards the appropriate basket. The snail will eat other Workers in it’s path but the rider is very vulnerable to attacks from Queens and Warriors.
That’s the crash course in Killer Queen. Is it simple? Stupid? Brilliant?
I think the peak fun will occur when you’re at a Dave & Busters type place with four of your buddies and you’ve all had a few too many beers and you’re locked in a heated battle with a similar party of drunkards. Taunts will fly. Trash will be talked; not only at your opponents but also at your friends’ weak snail-riding skills. I want to do that. Right now.
The only problem is that a Killer Queen arcade machine isn’t easy to find. There are currently about 40 locations across the United States where you can play: Killer Queen Locations
If you’ve got money to burn, you can also purchase your own machine for $12,995.00.
If you haven’t been convinced, watch this clip from a Killer Queen tournament and I hope you’ll be inspired by the epic last-second victories and cheers from the the crowd (just listen to the reaction to the upset at 19:45).
Finally, Nintendo recently announced at E3 that Killer Queen Black will be coming to the Nintendo Switch. From what I’ve seen, Killer Queen Black will be taking the basics of Killer Queen and adding new maps, weapons and character abilities. On top of that, Nintendo plans to continually live-stream the top-ranked Killer Queen Black team as they are constantly challenged and either emerge victorious, or get replaced by the new reigning team. That’s a pretty cool incentive if you ask me. Here’s a look:
Maybe it’s time to get a Switch.
Until Next Time,