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Game Review

We described the first Knack game's titular hero as a "walking, talking, 3-D collection of 'relics'—energy-infused cubes, triangles, spheres and various doodads that spin and rotate in the air while maintaining a humanoid form." And that colorful, golem-like guy, held together by a mixture of science savvy and something like unexplained magic, remains the deep-voiced protagonist in this sequel, Knack II.

This story is set a couple of years after the events of the first game, in which Knack and a human named Lucas (a budding young archeologist) put a halt to a rampaging goblin army. Now they're back to save the world again. I mean, it's the least they can do since they were the ones who discovered and accidentally unleashed this story's super-powered artifact. A nefarious human nemesis named Xander has grabbed said artifact, and now he's using it to control a horde of bigger, more powerful goblin robots.

(Cue the bombastic underscore and maniacal cackling.)

The truth is, though, this game is much more kid-minded and slightly cartoony fun than anything dark and dangerous.

Action, Big and Small

Through 15 multistage chapters, gamers guide Knack through leap-from-ledge-to-ledge-and-duck-under-slashing-blade environments that offer up lots of platforming and puzzle-solving challenges. One of the odd-looking hero's cool attributes is his ability to attract or shed the various bits and pieces that make up his form. Thus, he can grow or shrink at your command.

Do you want him to slip through that tiny crawlspace you just discovered in the upper corner of a stony room you're trapped in? Just drop some bits and hop on through. Do you need a little girth so you can heave a car or two, or give battle to the 20-foot-tall automaton that's threatening the city? Then you'd better be looking for a couple chests full of add-on relics.

Along the way, there are traps and tricks to spot, moving platforms to maneuver, blocks to shove, switches to push, doohickies to flip and all manner of kid-friendly conundrums to figure out.

And Lots of Bash-'Em-Up Battles

Of course, Knack faces plenty of battles with metal, rock and fleshy foes as well. In the heat of battle, he can instantly form a shield to deflect thrown objects and energy blasts. Sometimes he's given the ability to absorb different materials and put on an icy or metal outer shell. And as he progresses, Knack picks up new skills that center on defensive moves or new offensive capacities such as rapid-fire punches, spinning throws, body slams and jumping kicks.##

Thankfully, all that thumping and pounding action never gets graphic or gory. Oh, sure, Knack's battles chew up plenty of scenery, with plenty o' stuff getting smashed or blown up around him. But there's nothing here that'll make young players (or parents) wince. And if you misjudge a perilous sky-high jump or stumble into a well-aimed barrage of missiles, Knack's pieces simply fall asunder, and he reforms at the last checkpoint you recently passed.

Knack and Lucas' tale also offers some light-but-positive lessons for younger gamers. When Lucas is lamenting how his well-meaning choices had an unexpectedly negative outcome, Knack offers some encouraging words. "We all make mistakes." Then he adds, "What matters is what you do next."

And that's a sentiment that the gamemakers themselves must have taken to heart with Knack II, since this sequel is a solid next step for the franchise itself.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

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Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







Record Label


PlayStation 4


Sony Interactive Entertainment


September 5, 2017

On Video

Year Published



Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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