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Friday, November 3, 2017

Knowledge Is Power Review Do You Still Have Friends After This?

Well hello, we're so delighted to see you and so very British. Let us see the world if Rankin/Bass animation was still around and made video games. Games with dumb questions that don't make us angry at our friends...we don't need to talk them still even though it's been a week. You know, they probably cheated. Cheated at what? Pyramid of Knowledge, we mean Knowledge Is Power.

Knowledge Is Power
Needs smart phones or tablet to be played

Just being a bit playful with you on this new PlayLink game coming from Sony Europe and Wish Studios. Knowledge Is Power, which we think at some point was really named, "Pyramid of Knowledge," because you essentially climb that pyramid at the end of the game, has recently come out on PS4. It's a trivia game with twists with it's own distinct look. The game has another big twist with it being playable with only smartphones or tablets for both iOS and Android on your PS4.

Let's get into how you play first. Take out your phones and download a free app for the game in both the Google Play store and iTunes. Then connect to the game. You can play with two people or up to eight people. You all must be on the same wi-fi network. We've had trouble with this and had to make our PS4 a wi-fi hotspot for everyone to connect. The makers of the game foresaw this, so, it isn't that hard.

Next, you'll each choose an avatar from your phone and even take a photo of yourself with an overlay making you look at least partially like your avatar. And here is where the distinct look of the game factors in.

The avatars and game looks like a stop motion wonderland made from Rankin/Bass animation, the same people who made Rudolph, the Red-Noised Reindeer and other stop-motion specials. Each avatar has a fun look that might make you want to collect them or buy their vinyl toy for your desk. One of the avatars looks like a rip-off Yukon Cornelius from Rudolph if he was more of a hipster. It definitely has a European or Canadian vibe with the colors and style of the avatars and the environments. Our favorite is the cowgirl, she's sassy.

With your avatars you'll go on a trivia quest answering a number of questions of recent knowledge and other trivia. It's really a mixed bag and can be on pop culture to history. In certain rounds you and your group will choose from four doors each with a different word or phrase that'll be the subject of the question. Everyone gets a vote and the most people going to the same door choose the question.

Now, you can change this once during gameplay, each person get a one time pick to change what question will be asked. You'll just choose it from your phone and use it, but it was learned someone else can use their one time pick and override yours or another persons.

The game does filter the questions based on the last question that was asked so if you let's say chose something about cars, then the new four categories might be speed, roads, vehicles & wheels. Or one might lead towards a different path.

KiP itself is could use a bit more visuals on screen during these times. It's kind of boring seeing your crew just go through doors, maybe a visual of you being at the bottom of a pyramid going up would make the game more fun. Taking an elevator or stairs, some sort of a going up or traveling visual would have been nice.

Visually fun our the attacks on your friends or other players and here is where the trivia scoring is twisted. You can attack any of your opponents with special problems that hinder them getting the right answers in time or at all. You can do this once per round, before the question is asked. You can freeze them, making the victim have to break ice surrounding the answers on their phone by having to tap them repeatedly, until they break the ice. Bombs, that take time away from answering if detonated while circling answers. Gloop, gosh, do we hate getting glooped. You have to wipe if off you answers. And then there's Nibbler's who eat away letters from answers so you can't fully see the word. Now either add or multiply getting all of those attacks on you at once or the same attack again and again. How much gloop do we have to wipe off?!

Now where strategy comes in, is you get to choose who gets glooped or whatever. You and your opponents choose who gets attacked and if you all choose the same person, well, they're glooped.
The tools to hinder your friends are randomly generated per round. So sometimes you'll get a double damage dealer. So, how about a ice and gloop bomb to stop a friend? There are some multipliers and bets, where you can win more points by betting on someone who gets an answer right, instead of attacking opponents, but those are random too.

And nothing is going to stop that voice of our British host. Just like the last game from Wish, "That's You!," I really wish they changed the game a bit for American audiences. Our host is simply okay, but he is not that entertaining and whoever designed he's swirly hair should go back to art school for a year. It's just so enervating dealing with what we would call a luke-warm host. He's not charming, he's just boring.

What doesn't get boring is gameplay with a few mini-games before the final pyramid. You have two that take place every time you play. You have a matching game on your phone that makes you connect two subjects together. A recent one was, "Match the city to the country." Another mini game is flicking to the left or the right with matching subjects. The game could have a few more of these for fun sake. Both take you out of the four-door question rut.

Then comes the Pyramid of Knowledge and you and your friends must climb it or really be flung up it. The game ask question after question this round and attacks grow more powerful when you reach near the top. When you reach a few steps from the top you'll send attacks to not one, but all your opponents! The winner is who ever gets there first and you'll be higher on the pyramid you do in the main game.

Knowledge Is Power is a very quirky trivia game that can get you having frustratingly fun time with your friends as you're not only battling them at wits, but with tricks. The strange, but colorful stop-motion world  the game is set in should have even more to it. Definitely a game to show off with friends at a party and it's okay for the family. This wasn't made to be for adults only so you can battle kids or old folks, if they're quick enough on there phones. See who will win in your own quest for power, if you have the knowledge to win and the battery life on your phone to keep playing.

Game provided by the publisher for review purposes