Announcing Queens: a deadly game of hide and seek
December 4, 2020
We’re excited to announce our first new game since creating Quest.
Queens is a competitive guessing game for 2–4 players where rival armies clash in a bitter battle of attrition. Each army fights until their numbers grow thin, exposing their Queen to danger. When a Queen is revealed, they are conquered, and the last Queen standing wins.
Queens combines guessing and strategy with a hint of trading card-style magic. The goal of the game is to reveal all enemy Queens while keeping yours hidden. This means trying to exhaust the armies of your rivals, while keeping plenty of your own allies in reserve.
Each player begins the game with an identical 50-card deck that contains a Queen and their army. At the beginning of the game, each player shuffles their deck and draws nine cards, then secretly places them face-down on the table in a 3-by-3 grid.
When each player has “fielded” their army (secretly created their grid), they draw additional cards, creating a hand that can be used to make special moves and replenish lost allies on the field.
During each round of play, each player simultaneously chooses a card to reveal on a rival’s field, provoking a battle between their armies. When all choices are revealed, the player with the most powerful card revealed on their field wins the round.
Some cards have special abilities that trigger when revealed, or when played directly from a player’s hand.
Each player maintains their army on the field for as long as possible by replacing lost cards on their field. When the cards run out, the field begins to crumble, and the Queen will soon be exposed.
Each player begins with a Queen card in their hand. When a player’s Queen is revealed, they lose the game. Therefore, each player’s main goal is to delay secretly placing their Queen in the field for as long as possible. During the game, players will attempt to exhaust their opponents’ decks as quickly as possible, forcing them to field their Queen and risk losing the game.
The rules of the game are slightly different with more than 2 players, and you can expect even deeper strategy and chaos with larger groups.
Here are some things you’ll need to consider in each game of Queens:
Memory recall: Cards that win a round remain on the field and are put back face-down, making it advantageous to remember where cards are positioned on enemy fields.
Deduction: Many special cards can directly counter others, and it’s useful to save them for the right moments. This means trying to figure out which cards have already been exhausted in a rival’s army, which cards they may be holding, and which cards may be on their field.
Strategy: Choosing how and when to use your most powerful cards will determine whether they are effective. You can lure rivals into overcommitting, or surprise them with a powerful move of your own. Special cards can completely change the course of a game.
Luck: Each player must cope with a high degree of chance. Luck of the draw can help or hurt you, and it’s up to your rivals to decide which cards on your field are revealed. Using memory recall, deduction, and strategy can help each player deal with chance.
Each deck has an identical retinue of specialists who can disrupt normal play and turn the tide of the battle. Some special cards trigger when they are revealed on the field, while others can be played directly from a player’s hand. (Some special cards have abilities that can trigger both ways.)
Because Queens is a favorite card game of characters in the Quest universe, many of these cards are fantasy-themed. (For example, each deck includes a special card representing each of Quest’s eight roles, like the Fighter, Spy, and Wizard.)
Here are some examples of special cards and what they can do:
We’re currently in limited playtesting for Queens and will expand our playtesting group soon. Stay tuned for information about how to join our playtest cohort.
We’ll be working with our usual vendor to manufacture Queens, and you can expect the deck to be made with the same quality and care that we put into Quest’s Core Deck. That means sturdy cards with beautiful gold foil accents and clean, legible design.
We’re hoping to wrap up playtesting in early 2021 and then move quickly to manufacturing. We’ll run a short Kickstarter campaign next year to judge demand and help have the decks printed. (We’ll use the same new method for our Kickstarter campaigns as outlined here; the game will be fully designed and tested by the time the campaign concludes.)
That’s it for now! Be sure to follow Quest on Twitter and subscribe to this blog for future updates.