Boss Rush Banter: Killer Queen Belongs at Every Third Space

The concept of a third space is simple: After the home and workplace, third spaces are those places we seek out to socialize, relax or collaborate. Usually with community. For gamers, arcades were a default third space. Though they’re mostly gone from our urban landscapes, barcades, and gaming clubs have kept the arcade spirit alive with classic cabinets, tournaments, and in some cases, food and drink.

One of the best fixtures of these businesses over the last decade is Killer Queen. If you are unfamiliar, Killer Queen is an enormous, ten-player arcade game that is found in a custom cabinet. Killer Queen plays like a complicated Joust. Teams of five countrol a small swarm of bee-like bears (or bear-like bees?) out to dominate the playing field. The game has three win conditions: collect all the stage’s fruit, defeat the enemy queen, or ride the snail to the finish line. Hmm. Maybe it’s easier to peak at a quick explanation video. This trailer for the Switch port tells it better.

Killer Queen Black Source: Liquid Bit/IGN

And though Killer Queen Black is an amazing game in its own right, it defeats the argument I’d like to make here: Killer Queen arcade cabinets draw people out of their homes. In a time and place in history where it is so easy to take all your down time at home, scrolling your phone, even when friends, roommates, and family are right there with you, nothing compares to the kind of friendly rivalry and community games like Killer Queen can create.

At my nearest barcade, Pixelated in Fargo, ND, I’ve seen dozens of people crowd the bar while they wait for its sole copy of Killer Queen to open up. It offers a casual night and a competitive night. And yet, any other night of the week you are as likely to see people playing, talking about, and watching the Killer Queen cab. It is seriously cool. And it makes me think that any business or social space could benefit from owning a KQ cab. Sure, they’re hulking beasts, expensive, and dedicated to a single game, but so are pool tables, tournament dart sets, and indoor shuffleboards.

The ace in the hole Killer Queen has when it comes to drawing people out to socialize is the sheer variety of folks I’ve seen on KQ teams. Without just listing stereotypes or descriptors, let’s just say Pixelated’s copy of Killer Queen gets love from a diverse crowd. So, Killer Queen wouldn’t feel out of place to me in clubs, concert venues, restaurants, community centers, YMCAs, or even religious youth group spaces. If you haven’t played Killer Queen, seek it out. You won’t be sorry. If trying it in a social setting is too big a step, cop the Switch port I mentioned above!

Have you played Killer Queen out in the really-real world? What games get you and your people out of the house? Give us your recommendations down in the comments or over at the Boss Rush Discord!

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The Boss Rush Podcast is the flagship podcast of Boss Rush Media and The Boss Rush Network. Each week, Corey, LeRon, Stephanie, Edward, and their friends from around the internet come together to talk their week in games, entertainment, and more while also bringing topics for conversation, answer listener and community questions, and cover major news and events happening in the video game industry. Watch The Boss Rush Podcast Monday mornings at 7AM ET on YouTube and listen on podcast services everywhere. Thanks for listening!

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