Up-Down brings 10-player Killer Queen arcade game to Kansas City, unveils Surge drink menu and celebrates its half anniversary this weekend

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This week, The Pitch released the Best of Kansas City issue, and Up-Down cleaned up. In addition to being named the Best Iowa Import, the barcade scored big in our readers’ choice vote, claiming awards for Best Bar to Meet People, Best New Bar or Club, and Best Place for a Guys Night Out

We’re big fans of Up-Down, which took over the former Hamburger Mary’s space in April, bringing us video games (Crazy Taxi!), giant Jenga and Connect Four, pinball (FIFA!), skeeball, craft beer, and an endless loop of old-school pro wrestling on the monitors. Up-Down is already solidifying a spot in next year’s issue. How? Take a look at the monster above known as Killer Queen.

There are only 10 cabinets of the 10-player — yes, 10 player! — game in the United States (New York; San Francisco; Portland, Oregon; and Chicago all have it). Since late September, Kansas City has had it, too. 

This new-school, old-school video game pits five players against five others in an addictive battle to protect the queen and conquer. This game is the love child of Joust and Super Mario Bros. (and probably a handful of other classic games that I can’t remember). So how do you play?

Here’s how Chicago’s Founders Day Tournament went down at Logan Arcade.

There are three strategies to victory: (1) Collect berries and return them to your base for an economic victory, (2) kill the opposing queen three times for a military victory or (3) ride a snail into a goal. You could also watch this 12-minute tutorial, but I’d recommend grabbing some friends and trying it out for yourself.

Look for leagues in the future.

Kids from the mid-1990s, while you’re protecting or killing the queen, you might want to grab a drink off the Surge menu. The once defunct mid-90s soft drink is back (on a limited basis), and Up-Down has created a cocktail menu to go with the citrus soda. 

“We have been keeping an eye on it since we opened,” Up-Down spokesman David Hayden says. “When they rereleased it, we bought as many cases as we could. The supply is limited until they start producing more. Our bar staff created their favorite combinations, and we picked the favorites. The names are tributes to ’80s and ’90s cocktails and movies.”

On the menu:

* Ecto Cooler: A can of Surge with Absolut Citron and Melon Liqueur 
* Drunk-Hunt: A can of Surge with raspberry vodka and grenadine
* Surge-On the Beach: Surge with peach and apple liqueur and a little pineapple

There won’t be a better time to try Killer Queen and the resurgence (get it) of Surge than Friday and Saturday. That’s when Up-Down celebrates its half-birthday with two-for-one tokens from open to close. That’s in addition to 20 free tokens for the first 100 people in the door Friday at 3 p.m.

With that kind of deal, there’s no better time to try Killer Queen.

Categories: News