Developer: eastasiasoft, AI-link
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Platformer, Shooter, Side Scroller
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5)
Age Rating: PEGI 18
Release Date: 18/01/2022
A code was provided for review purposes.
Queeny Army is set in the war-torn city of San Romero, and tells the story of a group of young women who have escaped an adoption house. After escaping, the group goes on a revenge rampage against the corrupt enforcers who murdered their classmates and school director. Playing as one of the twelve escapees, all of whom trained under the armed forces’ former commander and each have their own quirks and abilities, you’re tasked with overthrowing the syndicate leader who seized control of the government.
Queeny Army is a 2D run ‘n’ gun game akin to Konami’s famed Contra series or SNK’s Metal Slug franchise. The premise is quite simple: go from point A to point B, killing everything that wants you dead, and then take on an evil boss before progressing. Similar to Contra, you can pick up extra firepower, but whereas in Konami’s games you can use the different weapons until you die, here new weapons have limited ammo. You can hold and switch between two at a time. If you pick something else accidentally, the icon of the previous weapons remains on the floor so you can just pick it back up.
A small army to take on the corrupted government
Along with your firepower, you can also have a melee attack. This will trigger automatically if an enemy is too close for comfort; if you try to shoot, the protagonist will use a melee weapon to slice and dice enemies. Another perk compared to other run ‘n’ gun games, Queeny Army has a health bar, so thankfully it’s not one-hit death and you can also find at times food items that replenish your health. Wall jumping and dodge & roll will help you avoid enemies and their projectiles. Thankfully, the controls feel tight and solid so it feels like a fair challenge. While the game does offer 12 different characters to choose from, the experience of playing them all is largely the same, aside from the fact that their starting weapon differs. Given these minimal differences between the 12 characters, players can only dream of the wasted potential in terms of gameplay variety and replay value. If each of the 12 characters had unique skills, this would spice up the gameplay and force players to play differently each time. Rather than feeling stale and repetitive, the game would’ve felt fresh and engaging in each new playthrough.
The game’s main nuisance is the level design. While most of the game’s six levels will feature a simplistic go from point A to point B design, other levels will require a bit more exploration. For example, halfway through the game, you’re tasked in destroying computers peppered through the level; first, the computers are not easy to spot, they look like background decoration making them easy to miss. and second off all there’s a chance you’ll miss a few so you’ll be required to backtrack and without the help of a map, it can become frustrating not only to find the missed computers or also trying to find your way around and once again killing the respawned enemies.
Classic 90s experience… Today!
Queeny Army features an 8-bit aesthetic that is somewhat reminiscent of classic PC games such as the Police Quest or Commander Keen series in all their blocky goodness. While Queeny Army can’t give new releases a run for their money, and though more and more 8-bit/16-bit games release each year, the retro pixel art visuals give it a certain uniqueness to it that we don’t often see. Conversely, the soundtrack is nothing special; it is a chiptune score that is easily forgettable and fades into the background as you focus on the on-screen action.
Queeny Army is a fun, albeit quite challenging, game. Even on easier difficulty settings, you may struggle at times, as some levels bombard you with enemies and projectiles. While Level 4 can be a pure nuisance — as it’s probably the worst gaming level since the water level in the first TMNT NES game — the game is a worthy addition to the run ‘n’ gun genre. And given how bad Konami screwed up Contra, if you’re itching for a similar game to sink your teeth into, Queeny Army deserves your time and money.
Rapid Reviews Rating
3 out of 5
Queeny Army can be purchased on the Nintendo eShop.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.