Killer Queen Black - Steam Review

Three ways to win, uncountable hours of fun.

Game Info:

  • System: PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch
  • Publisher: Liquid Bit, LLC
  • Developer: Liquid Bit, LLC, BumbleBear Games
  • Release Date: Oct 11, 2019
  • Price:$ 29 99 (Nintendo Switch)
  • Rating: E 10+
  • Genre: Action, Strategy, Platformer, Indie
  • Specs: 64-bit processor and operating system, OS: Windows 7, Processor: 1GHz, Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Players: 1-8 players
  • Official Website:

Who it Caters to

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Killer Queen Black is an intense, retro-style online, multiplayer action/strategy platformer for up to eight players. We got to play it for a little bit earlier this year at E3 2019 and now, the launch date is upon us! So of course, we had to spend hours on it ASAP.

Starting as a field game (people ran around with foam swords and kickballs), BumbleBear games created a 10-player arcade cabinet as a prototype that premiered in 2013 at NYU’s fourth annual "No Quarter" exhibition for indie arcade games. It has since grown into an arcade phenomenon, with over 100 cabinets in the U.S. and an extremely active fan base of players who travel monthly to different cities to play competitively in tournaments.

Now, adapted for a bigger audience, the cult game will be available for everyone to play! The “Black” part of the title comes from there being a single Black team, clad in special, glowing outfits. Once dethroned by up-and-comers, the usurpers become the new Black team. These nail-biting competitions will be broadcasted at all times, making the ultimate team a coveted, constantly-shifting goal.

Split between two teams of four, there are three ways for one team to emerge victorious—gather berries, beat the opposing queen, or ride the snail. It sounds simple, but Killer Queen Black can get really intense really fast! Being a strategic platformer with a pretty simple game mechanic, it is good for all ages and anyone who enjoys those genres or those looking for an exciting multiplayer online experience.

What to Expect

One of the first things we notice about Killer Queen Black is its retro arcade design. While the levels and the characters look like something out of the early 90s, the mechanics and controls are well-planted in the present, though still classically simple. As a 2D platformer, it’s quick and easy to learn the controls—forward, backward, up, down, jump, and attack. That’s all you really need to know (plus “highlight character” and “talk” if you’re communicating with team members online). It’s easy to understand and pick up but definitely challenging to master.

While the gameplay maps and sprites are 8-bit style, the renders in other parts of the game are modern and have cool/cute designs for every character in the game—The Queens are badasses and the workers can be pretty cute! On top of that, the rock music in each stage goes really well with the game design and premise and really adds to the excitement during heated battles.

Killer Queen Black Release Date Trailer


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While the premise and controls of Killer Queen Black are fairly simple, there is a tutorial section where you get to learn and practice all available roles as well as all the different ways of obtaining victory. We recommend it since, once in battle, things move very quickly and you may not have time to experiment and try things out.

Killer Queen Black is a literal to-the-death match between 2 teams of four—one Queen, and three Workers each. They must battle for the hive and there are three ways to ensure victory: Economic—fill up your hive with berries, Military—kill all 3 of the opponent queens, and Snail—ride the snail through your team’s checkpoint. Gameplay varies GREATLY depending on what character you choose to play as so choose wisely and, if possible, know each teammate's strengths for the most advantage.

The Queen

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The Queen is the only character that starts with both wings and a weapon but she can’t grab berries or ride the snail, and, as killing the Queen is one way to victory, the Queen only has 3 lives—which she must protect at all costs.

By tapping the jump button, the Queen can fly and she can attack in sideways dashes or in a downward dive. Queens also the unique ability to claim gates for their team by simply flying in front of them, changing the gate to the Queen’s color, which means the gates will only be available for her team so only her workers can upgrade.

Maneuvering with the Queen is a dream because she moves at great speed and has jabbing power right off the bat. She can protect workers filling up the hive or keep opposing workers off the snail, but as mentioned earlier, she’s the only one with limited lives so there is a lot of pressure to not get killed. You could cost your team the match! This is part of why this game can get so exciting.

The Workers

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The Workers start off with no wings nor weapons but have infinite lives and can level up during the game, even having the choice to move faster to fill up the hive with berries quickly or to become flying soldiers with a choice of weapon! However, every time a worker/soldier dies, it respawns with no upgrades so you have to go get your weapon or speed boost again.

Workers can upgrade by picking up a berry and standing in front of an available gate—either grey (unclaimed) or their own team’s color. Each gate will have two symbols on it depicting what powers can be obtained there. There’s a lightning bolt for the speed boost (great for picking berries and riding the snail faster) and there are various options to become a Soldier—sword, shield, mace, and laser rifle—all of which come with the ability to fly!

Soldiers are fun because they maneuver kind of like the Queen—flying by tapping the jump button, using weapons with the attack button—but they aren’t usually getting attacked as aggressively so they get to cause more havoc. They can’t pick up berries or ride the snail, what with the weapons and all, but they are great for stopping the other team from filling their hive or getting a snail victory. The mace was our favorite soldier weapon because once you start it, it keeps going around the soldier in circles for a short while, hitting whatever it comes across.

Communication Is Key

While one could probably play the game without talking to their teammates, the “strategy” part of the game is pretty dependent on every part of the team knowing what they should be doing to win. When you’re all in the same room, it’s easy; simply call out moves or “soldier behind you!”, “they’re about to fill the hive!”, or the always fun and unexpected “The snaaaail! Get the snaaaaaail!!!”. But if you’re playing with teammates online, the “talk” option is very useful. Just try not to scream in their ear… There is also a “highlight” option to make yourself visible as a way of communicating.

Edge-Of-Your-Seat Excitement

And whether you’re playing as the Queen, a Worker or a Soldier, solo at home, playing online, or next to your team in your living room, the adrenaline will kick in when you feel the pressure of almost winning or being in a sudden-death match between the last Queen in each team and two almost-full hives. It will have you at the edge, clicking away frantically, or holding your breath. It’s especially exciting with people in the room or being able to hear your teammates get all excited too. It’s also a great spectator game!

3 Modes of Online Play

Quick Play: Hop in solo or with your friends and play against other teams in exhibition matches that don't affect your overall score.

Ranked mode: This goes on your record. Get matched with players of your skill level, or join in with three friends and compete against other online teams to increase your score, rise in the leaderboards, or face the Black Team!

Custom Match: Create a private game and invite up to eight players online to battle for bragging rights—or just because!

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

Easy to play with simple controls and 3 ways to win, Killer Queen Black is a strategy platformer that can and will keep you playing for hours! No two matches are the same and, it’s kind of addictive! With its retro design, cool history as a cult arcade game, and badass music, Killer Queen Black is likely to become an even more popular tournament game as well as a party game that anyone can play.

It’s also great that the game can be played solo, in local co-op, or online, and the tutorial and spectator matches are a great way to learn some useful strategies. Also, while most games are played with the gold and blue teams, there will be one black team in the ranks, which will keep its title, so long as it is never defeated. The honor also comes with a unique opportunity: The black team’s matches will constantly be streamed online!

Honey's Pros:

  • Easy to pick up and learn
  • Can be played solo, locally, or online
  • Great party game
  • Challenging but fun and exciting
  • Cross-platform (PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox coming soon)

Honey's Cons:

  • There are only 6 stages for now (this will change, more will be added)
  • No PlayStation release mentioned

Honey's Final Verdict:

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We have high expectations for Killer Queen Black and we can’t stop thinking about playing again as we write this! Even more exciting; there is more on the horizon with the above mentioned Black Team matches streaming, new character looks (cosmetic only), cross-platform party support and enhanced party permissions, spectating friends’ games, achievements, additional maps, and custom match modifiers!

Check out the Killer Queen Black official site at the top for more info and to get yours! See you in the hive!

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Author: Lizzy Nyanko

An otaku as far as I can remember. I grew up playing video games, watching anime in Spanish in Mexico where I grew up, and then was a member of both anime clubs at UTEP for my entire university life when I moved to Texas. I love going to cons, I used to cosplay (always hoping to get back into it), and I got to live in Japan for 2 years and be an otaku there! It was literally a dream come true! Now back in the US, I love being a writer and editor for Honey’s. It’s a great chance to keep up with all the latest anime each season and up to date with all otaku news. And without our readers, that wouldn’t be possible so, thank you for being a part of our hive!!

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