One of the Playstation 4's launch titles, Knack is a 3D action/platform game that casts you in the role of the titular robot, Knack. Made out of a number of ancient artefacts, known as relics, Knack is a robot with a special power - the ability to collect, and absorb relics as he progresses through the levels, becoming bigger, and more powerful as he goes.
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Set in the midst of a war between the goblins and the humans, Knack is the secret weapon, accompanying a scientist and his son to some mysterious dig sites in a story that has plenty of twists and turns. When you're not admiring the scenery, most of your time will be spent beating up the game's numerous enemies - and dodging the projectiles they throw your way. With no real ranged attacks, getting close to your enemies and actually hitting them is easier said than done - especially as you can only take two hits before losing a life.
While it will undoubtedly have a lot of appeal to younger players, Knack is also a game that has a rather challenging difficulty level. Relying on your reflexes to dodge the game's incredibly strong enemies, it's a game that may be frustrating to some younger players, but which can be conquered with persistence, thanks to the regular checkpoints that mean you're only ever set back a short way. Fully voiced bar a few tutorial scenes, there's no real demand to be a strong reader here - but your child will need a lot of patience if they're to see this one through. As a bonus tip, playing in co-op makes the game a lot easier - just turn on a second controller, and a parent or sibling can start playing as robo-Knack, who can be used to distract (and defeat) enemies, along with being able to heal proper Knack at the touch of a button. It's rather useful - especially in some of the trickier sections.
Although you'll beat up plenty of enemies during your time with Knack, there's nothing for parents to be too concerned about here. Enemies don't take realistic damage, instead recoiling slightly when hit, before collapsing and fading away when defeated. There's no blood, no swearing, and no gore, making this family friendly - if they can take the difficulty.
Format Reviewed: Playstation 4