Queen by Midnight lets up to six players compete to be the last one standing in a vicious battle royale before the clock strikes 12. Clearly meant to be visually impressive, the game’s centerpiece is a rotating clock that acts as a round timer, dice tower, and card market. The full bleed art on the player boards is also gorgeous.
Once you get past the visuals, the gameplay needs to be able to impress as well. Queen by Midnight is mechanically a deck builder, but there is a lot that feels different from most. Your starting deck is very economy focused. Since this is a game where players are expected to be attacking each other in order to be the last queen remaining, you’ll need to figure out how to get those combat cards into your deck.
Your starting deck has built in deck thinning options and many cards reward you for culling them. You can buy new cards from the market, which evolves multiple times throughout the game. You can also buy cards from your personal vault. Each character is very unique and their personal cards are dedicated towards their playstyle, culminating with their ultimate ability. Each character has two of the three attributes in the game, which has a large impact on what cards in the market are valuable to each character.
The currency used, clout, is also victory points at the end, should more than one queen remain. This requires you to decide how much you are willing to spend for each card you want to purchase. Will you build your deck strong in an attempt to slay all of the other players or buy defensive cards and attempt to have the most clout at the end?
There is also some intricate player diplomacy in the game. You can play cards on other players that are mutually beneficial, as long as neither queen breaks the truce. Part way through the game you’ll choose another player to secretly ally with. If you are knocked out, then you will team up with them and try to claim victory together.
GamingTrend gave Queen by Midnight a Best of Gen Con award and will be posting a full review in the future. Watch closely to find out if this game has what it takes to keep the crown!