A competitive game doesn’t always need to look fancy with its presentation, it just needs to be fun and addictive to play with others. This is the case with Killer Queen Black on the Nintendo Switch, a game that originally was released for arcade back in 2013. Killer Queen Black is a home console version of the same game, with a few minor changes. But does the transition from the arcade to the home work well for it? Yes, but not without some things lost in the process and certain aspects of the total experience completely ignored.
Killer Queen Black has two teams fighting for dominance in one of three ways. Your team can either collect berries for your base, ride a slow moving snail to a finish line, or take down the opposing team’s queen for a swift victory.This is done on a variety of stages that are designed to make everyone rush through and clash frequently. You work together with each person of the group fulfilling a role, either as the queen or one of her workers. While the queen commands the skies and grabs posts for the team, workers work quickly to grab berries and upgrade their status to assist their queen against the enemy. This can result in everyone scrambling for the nearest berry and post to change their role, as well as clashes between both sides that can get pretty wild.
Controlling your character is straight forward, with running and jumping being the default for everyone playing as a worker. But once you upgrade yourself to a solider with a weapon, you can end up swinging a mace, dashing with a sword, or even firing a laser to battle to other team and secure victory. The sword is probably the quickest most efficient way for taking down enemies, but the other two weapons can be effective as well if used smartly.
Being the queen is the highlight however, as she can immediately attack enemies and claim posts for the team and prevent others from using them, leading to more workers getting upgraded quickly and the other team scrambling for territory. Being careless as the Queen however can be disastrous for the match however, because if she’s taken out three times the match is over. So there’s a good checks & balances for those who play as a queen.
The only major downside to everything is how the game needs to be connected to the internet in order to play. Without an online connection, you’re left without any means to play an offline match. There is local wireless play, but you’ll still need another player with a Switch to create or join a match. Unfortunately, there’s no way to create an offline game with just CPU players for those who are alone. If you’re already connected to the internet, then there’s Ranked matches and Quick Play that can get you into a game pretty fast.
Luckily you’re able to choose your preference of which role you want for the games, which is reasonable when placing you into a match with your desired role. However, matches can sometimes degrade into a real mess if the online connection is less than acceptable. You can end up seeing a lot of stuttering or frame skips if this happens, which makes any match unplayable. This doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does it can be a real problem and force you to exit back into matchmaking.
While the original arcade game allowed for up to 10 players, Killer Queen Black brings the count back to eight instead. While this doesn’t significantly change the flow of matches, it is very noticeable for anyone who has played the game in its arcade form. The objectives and roles of everyone however remains the same. Outside of matchmaking and local wireless, there isn’t much else to do in Killer Queen Black.
The tutorial is a great way to learn about and refresh on all of the mechanics for completing a match, which should be the first place you check out. But once you’re done with that or finished playing with others online, you won’t have anything else to engage with. There’s no single player modes, no challenges, or any other type of content to compliment the online portions of the game. Unless you’re completely focused on matching with others online, then you’re going to be disappointed by everything else.
Killer Queen Black is fun and can get a little chaotic when playing with others online. But that’s all it really has to offer. Without any single player content or other modes, you’ll be out of luck if you aren’t near a Wi-Fi connection or another player with the game on hand. If all you care about is playing with others online, then you’ll be happy to know that Killer Queen Black retains a lot of what made the arcade game so fun to begin with. There might be less players than before, but that doesn’t stop the matches from being over-the-top and suspenseful.
This review was based on a physical review copy of Killer Queen Black for the Nintendo Switch, provided by distributor Nighthawk Interactive.