Mel Brooks once said, "It´s good to be The King," but when he said that perhaps he was not taking into account the long history of abuse, excess, and belligerence that accompanies that title. It took a game to highlight the nuance. Queens is a brief platform game that, in the history of all the other dozens and dozens of genre-bending platform games we review here, uses one of the assumptions of the genre along with a clever coat. In this case, it's replay: every platform game has you trod along until some new thing or a timing issue kills you off, so you start the level over with a slightly refined neural map and maybe get a bit further. Then the next thing pops out and kills you and you keep at it until you get to the next checkpoint. In this game there are no checkpoints and every time you die you´re killing another innocent woman.
The game starts with the King pushing the Queen, apparently a wife he decided to fire for failing to perform her regal duties. You control this woman, being fed a randomly generated name that sounds very queen-like. You can hear the trumpets someone, with the troubadour proclaiming in measured pace: "Queen Anna! Queen Anna! Queeeeeeen Annaaaaaaa!" Splat! On down goes the next one. "Queen Gwenymore! Queen Gwenymore! Queeeen Gwenymoooooore!" Spike! And so on, until like Scheherazad in 1001 Arabian Nights, nimbleness and perseverance lead to a woman´s liberation and the sadistic bastard of a king gets his due. All of this done with four screens of 2d level design and a couple dozen 16x16 pixel art tiles. It's good to be the game designer.