Keeping an eye on the coin-op gaming scene
Josh Debonis and Nik Mikros’s Killer Queen started life as a physical field game, which was played with foam swords, balls and plastic crowns, but graduated to a fully fledged arcade cabinet thanks to a collaboration with Wisconsin-based Fun Company. The machine became a familiar sight at indie and corporate game events, and found its way into a handful of arcades across North America. Now its creators have signed a deal with Raw Thrills in a rare example of a homegrown arcade project getting picked up by a mainstream manufacturer.
Played on a pair of giant cabinets, two teams of five – each led by a flying, powerful queen – compete to retrieve a giant snail god, fill their hive with nectar, or take down the opposing queen three times. Each cabinet has a 47-inch 1080p screen, a wide bank of joysticks and buttons, and, most importantly, cup holders. It’s a riotous, fast-paced strategic brawler that promotes smacktalking with complete strangers as the advantage ebbs and flows.
The latest version of the cabinet retains earlier builds’ bright blue-and-orange aesthetic, but adds some fantastic-looking retro-styled side art. There’s also now a tutorial to help new players adjust to the relatively complex team-based gameplay, as well as AI teammates. The deal will hopefully mean the game finds its way into many more arcades and sets an encouraging precedent for the introduction of original and outsider ideas to the highly competitive arcade industry.
Game KillerQueen Manufacturer Raw Thrills