By Steve Baltimore / February 1st, 2022
|Release Date||January 18th, 2022|
|Platform||Switch, PS4, PS5|
Sometimes when I see a retro style game I think looks fun, I’ll take it on for a review. That is exactly what happened with Queeny Army from EastAsiaSoft. It looked like one of the fun scrolling shooters I grew up with, but with a huge arsenal of different weapons to use. I’ve spent a few hours with this one, and now it’s time to share my thoughts. Did this bring back sweet memories from my childhood, or remind me of how frustrating old school games are? Let’s find out.
The story here follows a group of 12 women that have escaped from a foster home/college. This place has been taken over by corrupt cops who murdered their classmates and principal. They meet up with a former commander of armed forces that offers to train them, so they can overthrow the corrupt government. The women set out on this quest to put an end to this injustice, and take revenge for the their fallen friends.
While the story here isn’t that deep, I thought it was interesting enough to push the game forward. Each of the 12 women’s stories are very different and you will get different scenes throughout the game depending on which one you choose. Each of the ladies has their own unique weapons and some other interesting passive abilities as well. This does give Queeny Army quite a bit of replay value.
The graphics here are what you would expect from a retro style shooter like this. The stages are nicely detailed with some multilayered scrolling that looks nice. There are not a lot of enemy models, but they get the job done, and each of the girls in the game have a unique look. The weapons all look a bit different as well, and of course there are some badass bosses to fight as well. The cutscenes before, and after, each stage have some nice pixel art that helps the story of Queeny Army.
I have to say, I really enjoyed the music here. I’m always a sucker for some good retro style chiptunes, and that’s exactly what I got here. The sound effects are nothing special, but they get the job done nicely. There are plenty of nice gun sounds, explosions and other sounds that really add to the overall aesthetics here, giving the game that great old school feel. Get used to the little ditty that plays when you die as well. You will hear it a lot, A LOT!
Now let’s talk about the gameplay, this is where this falls apart a bit. The objective of most of the stages is very simple. Get to the end of the stage while slaying all the foes in your path with the variety of weapons you find on each stage. These guns can vary from Machine Guns, Grenade Launchers, and even Sniper Rifles. You can hold up to two weapons at a time, so if you pick up a new one while holding two, it will change out the one you don’t have in use. It is important to keep track of which weapons you have since they all have different ranges, fire rates, and some do less damage than others.
I played the game on easy, and there are four different difficulty levels, each one adding more challenges than the last. For example, on easy if you fall in a pit, it isn’t an instant death like on the higher difficulty levels. That being said, even on easy I still have to say this game is a bit broken because of stage 5. There are some computers hidden throughout this stage, and you have to destroy them all to unlock the door to the boss. Each stage will have flags on it that serve as checkpoints if you die, so dying isn’t that big of a deal. However, on this stage if you die, all of the computers you previously destroyed respawn with enemies. This means if you are at the checkpoint closest to the end, you will have to backtrack all the way back to the front of this level, making all the jumps, and killing all the enemies to blow up all those same computers again. Then you have to go back to the end where you started, and do the same things without dying once. This is an exercise in frustration that shouldn’t be here on the lower difficulty levels. If I were playing this on hard or expert I would expect that, but not on easy.
At the end of the day, Queeny Army is a decent retro style shooter held back by a few design choices. The game is still a decent value at just $4.99 on the Switch, and if you can overlook some of the frustrating design choices here, there is some fun to be had. Each of the ladies having their own story adds quite a bit of replay value, so if this is your type of game, there is plenty of bang for your buck here. I just feel like the frustration level outweighs the fun for me, but to each their own. I’m sure some of you out there will quite enjoy this.
Game was provided by the publisher for review.