Introduction to Killer Queen


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To start, I want to thank our community (colony) for playing this wonderful and addictive game! Whether you play with our regulars, you are a regular, you've never played before but your friend won't shut up about "that bee game", or you join in during the daylight hours instead of Ground Kontrol's crowded evenings. I just want you all to know how much I personally appreciate your presence, your play, and the fun you bring to the cabinet!

Yes,  you !!

Yes, you!!


If you've never ever seen this game before, I'd recommend checking out a minute or two of the video at the bottom of this post before reading through the text to get an idea of what the game looks like first. You can jump down to that video here:


Now that that's out of the way - HOLY CRAP KILLER QUEEN YOU GUYS!!! :allthethings:

Here are the basic things you need to know in order to play this game:

  • This is a 10 player arcade game split into 2 teams: Blue & Gold.
  • Each character has 1 stick and 1 button to play with.
  • There are currently 2 different maps to play on: Day & Night.
  • Each team has a "queen" that plays in the center position, and the queen is the only character with a limited number of lives. She's also the only character that can always fly around the map, and has the unique ability to quickly dive straight down. The queen is the one that controls the map by changing the color of the "gates", but we'll get to that later.
  • In addition to the queen, each team also has 4 worker bees (they're little bumblebears, it's adorable).
  • Every time your character dies it spawns back in your team's hive, which is the same color as the cabinet you're playing on (Blue or Gold).
  • There are 5 "gates" on the map, 3 with wings and 2 with lightning bolts. The gates with wings will turn you into a "warrior", and the gates with lightning bolts gives you a speed bonus.
  • There are 3 ways to win: Economic, Snail, & Military.

Simple enough, right? Well, you'd be surprised how many little nuances this game has as you progress and get better at the game. But don't fret! We'll go over most of the basic ones here, so you'll be playing like a champ in no time!

The 4 workers have 3 different functions: carrying berries into the hive for an Economic victory, riding the pink snail to the goal on your side for a Snail victory, or taking a berry to a winged-gate and becoming a warrior either in pursuit of a Military victory or to prevent the other team from accomplishing their victories.

The queen's role is to support her workers, control the color of the gates on the map, and above all else - DON'T DIE. Well, no more than 2 times at least. The queen has 3 lives total in each game, and she is the only character with a limited number of lives, as I mentioned before. She also has an additional direction that she can move: swiftly downwards. She can dive straight down to kill anything below her, and this gives her an edge when it comes to defeating other military presence on the map. There are a lot of different strategies for playing queen, and more develop within our scene all the time, but in general rule #1 for playing queen is to keep your lives above all other duties. If the queen dies 3 times, her entire team loses the match.


Economic Victory

Economic Victory

Let's go over each type of victory that you can achieve now. The first, and most popular in the PDX scene is Economic. This victory is achieved when all 12 holes (beeholes, if you will) are filled with the purple berries or pollen scattered across the map. This victory can only be achieved by the worker bees moving around the map to collect the berries and bringing them back to the hive with your team color. Worker bees will automatically pick up these berries on their back when the worker walks in front of a berry, and the berries are dropped in place when the worker is killed.

The worker bees need to collect the berries, bring them back to the correct hive, and jump into one of the empty holes without dying to work towards this victory. Once the berry has been carried into one of the holes, there's no way to remove or steal it from the hole. Once all 12 holes are filled, YOUR TEAM WINS!


Snail Victory

Snail Victory

The next victory is a popular one amongst some of the newer players in particular, and why not? Riding a giant pink and red snail is always entertaining! As you can probably guess, the next victory is a Snail victory. The way you pursue this victory as a worker is to walk in front of the snail, and push your stick in the direction of the goal with your team color. The worker will automatically start riding the snail if they walk in front of it, but you can hold down your jump button to leap off of the snail as well. There's no way to move the snail in the wrong direction, so if you're moving then you're doing it right!

The upside of the snail is that you can go to one of the gates with lightning bolts to get speed, and it will move even faster towards your goal. The downside of the snail is that the other team can kill you and ride it back towards their goal. Unlike the Economic victory, the Snail victory can be reversed and taken away last second. This victory is most viable when you either have dedicated and skilled military support, or you're able to ride it without anyone noticing (which can happen, though not very often). If you're able to ride the snail collaboratively with your team all the way inside your team's goal, YOUR TEAM WINS!


Military Victory

Military Victory

The last, and probably the most complicated victory is Military. Remember when I mentioned that the queen had a limited number of lives? Great memory! This is where that comes into play! The final victory in this game involves killing the opponent's queen 3 times. Similar to the Economic victory, once the queen has been killed there's no way to reverse it or generate more lives for her during that game.

The queen can be killed by other queens, or workers that have formed into "warriors". Do you also remember those winged gates I mentioned before? Wonderful! Those winged gates are how worker bees can form into warriors and become a military presence on the map. To form into a warrior, a worker needs to pick up a berry and take it to one of the 3 winged gates on the map - but there's a catch! The gate needs to be either white (which is neutral, and both teams can utilize), or it needs to be your team's color (Blue or Gold).

Now I'm sure you're wondering, "how do these gates change color?". Do you also also remember when I mentioned that the queen controls the map? You're such a pro, look at you! The queen on your team is the only one that can change the color of the 5 gates on the map, 2 "speed gates" shaped like lightning bolts, and 3 "warrior gates" shaped like a set of feathery wings. The queen changes the color of these gates by flying directly in front of the gate, and both queens on the map can change this color back and forth throughout the game. Any gate not touched by a queen at all remains white, and can be used by both teams.

Now that we know how to get military presence, it's a question of how to kill the opponent's queen. The only way to kill the opponent's queen is for a military character (queen or warrior) to touch her from above while facing her. If she or any of her warriors touch you from above instead, your character dies and respawns in your team's hive. All characters on the map, including the characters running berries or snail, can be killed by military characters.

There are 3 yellow eggs in each team's hive at the beginning of the game, and you'll notice that when both queens start the game that they will then hatch out of one egg in their hive. These yellow eggs represent the number of lives the queen has left during this game, so if you don't see any eggs in your opponent's hive it means that she's on her last life, and if you kill her one more time, YOUR TEAM WINS.

Hopefully at this point you're not stuck feeling like:

I can't even

So raise your hand if you went from the those mental stairs to feeling like:

That is genius

Tech Tips

Now that we've gone over the different roles and victories in Killer Queen, I have a few additional tips and info that will help with your game play:

  • The controls for the workers in this game are just like old school Mario, so if you tap the button lightly you'll do a short jump, and if you hold the button down longer you'll jump much higher. This is especially helpful for maneuvering around the map and getting berries into the hive.
  • There are "screen wraps" on both maps, so if there's no wall in your way going all the way to the right side of the map will take you over to the left side of the map and vice versa. The Day map only has horizontal screen wraps, but the Night map has both horizontal and vertical screen wraps. The vertical screen wraps allow workers to drop down and fall from the top of the map, and also allows queens and warriors to fly upwards to reach the bottom of the map.
  • Military characters can be bumped back without killing your character if they're lower than you when you make contact, or they aren't facing your character. This is especially helpful for workers attempting to get around their opponent's military presence.

I know this is a lot of information at once for those of you that haven't played much or ever, so I'd recommend watching one of our mixer tournaments here for a few minutes while looking through this post to get a better idea of these concepts in action:


PDX Mixer Tournament

December 2015


I do hope you got something out of this post, and happy gaming bees! :D

Honey Bee