PAX East 2019: ‘Killer Queen Black’ Offers Party Game Fun

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Killer Queen Black is a fast paced 4v4 party game developed by independent developer Liquid Bit. The gameplay is intuitive, fast paced, and requiring only minutes to learn, but offers an endless amount of strategy to keep people coming back for more.

There are three separate paths to victory a team can take. The first is an economic victory, obtained when one team gets its hive filled with berries. Next is a military victory, obtained when one team kills the opposing queen three times. And the last is a through a snail victory, obtained when one team has ridden the snail to their side’s goal.

In each match, three players will be workers, and one randomly selected player, will play the queen. Both types of players have special aspects that help their team in ways the other cannot. The workers are the only characters that can gather the berries to fill the hive or can ride the snail. They are also very mutable, as there are three stations around the map which, if activated by the queen, can upgrade workers in a number of ways lending them to various specializations.

The queen on the other hand is the only character at the start of the game that can attack. She is also the only flying unit, and the only one that can activate the transformation stations. She is a powerful character, but must be used casually since dying three times with her loses the game. Workers can die an infinite number of times, and the only penalty to that is that their respawning slows your progress.

Two queens performing their forward dash attack

Now, there is a truly sublime beauty to this setup that you could completely miss if not pointed out, and yet it is sheer genius. There is no UI in this game. Everything that needs to be kept track of is right in the playing field. How many lives does the queen have left? Check her egg count. How close is the snail to a goal? Look at his track.

It’s all right in front of you leaving the entire screen to be used to facilitate the onscreen shenanigans. No cluttered screen, just fun. The clutter-free screen feels even bigger with the wrap around movement reminiscent of so many old arcade cabinets. With things falling off the bottom appearing at the top again, and the some for side to side travel, the game utilizes every inch of the screen for play.

The graphical presentation is crisp clean and vibrant. Utilizing plenty of color, keeping the environment in tune with the high energy fun going on within it. Even though things could get hectic with all eight characters jumping, or flying, around, I never lost track of myself in all the commotion. Though keeping track of where all the win conditions currently stand is a very different, though challenging and fun, matter all together.

With Killer Queen Black slated for a Q3 launch on discord and switch, with Q4 releases to Xbox One and Steam, and cross-platform play being available players should have more than enough fun with the six launch maps to warrant the 19.99 price point.

Rating: 9/10 crazy hive fights