Killer Queen Black is a multiplayer action title that pits insects against each other in a game that's simple to pick up but challenging to master.
Killer Queen Black is a multiplayer action-platformer that started out as an indie arcade game called Killer Black that grew a cult following and its own competitive scene. Killer Queen Black has been released for home systems for the first time and it will have a chance to win a brand new audience with its addictive and intense gameplay.
Killer Queen Black involves matches between two teams of four players, with one taking the role of the Queen and the other three playing as Workers. There are three ways to win a round in Killer Queen Black and each method requires crafty teamwork. The first method is the Economic victory and it requires the Workers to collect berries from bushes around the stage and return them to their home base. The second method is the Military victory which requires the players to kill the other team's Queen three times in a single round. The third method is the Snail victory and this involves a huge snail that can be found in the center of the stage. It's possible for Worker units to ride the Snail, prompting it to head to one of two goalposts. If the player can get the Snail to their goal post, they win the round. The first team to win three rounds is declared the victor of the match.
The units in Killer Queen Black have their own distinct benefits that need to be taken into consideration. The Queen can fly and has both a charging and diving attack, but she is the only unit on the field with limited lives and is the biggest target for the enemy team. Workers are totally defenseless against attacks, but they are the only ones who can fulfill two of the victory conditions. There are gates strewn around the arena that allows Workers to transform into Soldiers, which allows them to fly and use one of four different weapons in combat. Soldiers can attack the enemy Queen and her Workers, but they lose their ability to gather berries and ride the Snail. The gates that create Soldiers can also be affected by the Queen, as she can change their color so that they can only be used by members of her team and only the other Queen can change it back.
All of that information might sound like a lot to pick up, but Killer Queen Black has an excellent tutorial that brings the player up to speed on the different aspects of the game. Once the player has had the chance to experience a few matches, they will come to appreciate the deep strategy that exists within the makeup of Killer Queen Black. The different victory methods ensure that the players cannot rely on a single strategy in order to win.
It will initially seem as if the easiest way to win in Killer Queen Black is through the Military victory method, as it doesn't take long to slay the Queen three times. The problem with this method is that the only guaranteed combat unit on the field is a Queen, which means that a player is risking their own side in a straight Queen vs Queen battle. If the Workers start becoming Soldiers, then their chances of slaying the Queen increase, but they leave themselves wide open for an Economic or Snail victory from a side with lots of Workers. The balance of power is always shifting and the flow of combat allows the tide to turn at a moment's notice.
Killer Queen Black is multiplayer action at its finest and it's a game that doesn't only restrict itself to one machine. The spirit of couch co-op is very much alive in Killer Queen Black and it's possible for several players who are playing locally on one system to hook up with friends who are online. The majority of the modes in Killer Queen Black are played online and it bears mentioning that Nintendo Switch players will need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription in order to play them.
The main problem with Killer Queen Black at launch is its lack of options and content, as there are currently only six maps available in the game. The Custom Match mode is also barebones and is severely lacking in options. The developers have said that they intend to release more maps and add more modifiers to the Custom Match mode in the future, but there is currently no timeframe for these additions. The game will also add cosmetic upgrades in the future and the ability for a group of online players to become the Black Team, whose actions are always being streamed online for as long as they can hold their title, as the mantle of the Black Team will be passed to the next team that defeats them. Killer Queen Black will also receive crossplay support in the future.
Killer Queen Black offers a compelling multiplayer experience for both the lone player seeking glory in the online modes and groups of friends who just want to have fun. The game is easy to pick up, yet challenging to master, as the ways in which the different aspects of the game mesh together means that the player can never be complacent in their methods. Killer Queen Black is an incredible multiplayer title and it has more than earned its shot at the big time.
Killer Queen Black releases for Nintendo Switch and PC on October 11, 2019. A digital copy of the game was provided to Screen Rant for the purposes of this review.