Review: Knack has a knack for being addictive

Knack review: PS4 title is addictive fun.

Knack review: PS4 title is addictive fun.

So you’ve already read my initial thoughts on the PlayStation 4. However, a console is nothing without games. As I bought the PS4 as a bundle, I had to choose a game. I went with Knack, although honestly, I’m not sure I was attracted to the title otherwise. The game itself, though? It proved me wrong. I loved it.

In Knack, war is brewing between mankind and goblins. In order to fight back, a human doctor invents Knack, a creature created from mysterious relics from a long lost civilization. Knack has the ability to transform from a three-foot-tall cute creature to a hulking gigantic wrecking machine. Once Knack is sent to fight the goblins, though, he discovers that mankind’s greatest enemy is mankind itself. Knack must save the world, one relic at a time.

What makes Knack an interesting character is his ability to collect or lose relics to gain mass or shrink down in size. Even better? Knack can use objects like steel, crystal and ice to the same effect, although there are forces that can shrink him down when he uses these items. He can even become invisible with crystals, bypassing security lasers that would otherwise strike him down. During gameplay, the player has to decide which form is best suited for proceeding through a level.

So what is gameplay like? My response would be a question: have you ever played Crash Bandicoot? If, like me, you were utterly addicted to that game, go ahead and schedule hours every day to play Knack. The gameplay (and even the music) are at times so similar that you half expect the bandicoot himself to put in a cameo appearance. This game is a platformer done right, something we don’t see too often anymore. Gameplay is fun and addictive and you’ll find yourself saying those infamous words: “Just one more level.”

Knack also looks fantastic on the PS4. We’ve come a long way with graphics and every detail is beautifully rendered by the machine. Loading times are low – next to non-existent – which is, obviously, a huge improvement over the PS3.

Knack also provides a good amount of game time. I played it for 2-4 hours nearly every day (although I’ll admit that I played it even longer on certain days) and it still took me over a week to complete it. There is opportunity for replay, especially if you didn’t manage to get all the hidden items (I didn’t), and you can change the difficulty to hard for an extra challenge.

Now on to the negatives: as this is a platformer, you can’t save the game whenever you’d like. There are plenty of checkpoints, and if you inevitably die, you won’t have to go too far back to catch up. This isn’t true, however, if you happen to turn the game off. I had a problem figuring out exactly which cut scenes marked a save point (I never did see an icon letting me know the game was saving), and often, I had to go back to the beginning of a level because of that.

I will say this, too: Knack is easy. I played on normal mode and only found it occasionally challenging. Even the bosses seemed super easy to defeat, at least compared to other similar games I’ve played. I actually appreciated this, though, because I’m very rusty on platforms. But if you’re looking for a serious gaming challenge, this might not be the one for you.

However, with all of that being said, this game is great for both adults and kids alike. It’s a good introductory game to get used to the PS4 system and it offers hours of fun entertainment. Most of all, though? It’s addictive. Once you start playing, you won’t want to stop.

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