Following the success of Wish Studios’ first PlayLink game, That’s You, the studio has delivered another smartphone-controlled board game, Knowledge is Power, just in time for Christmas.
Each participating player will have to download the Knowledge is Power app to their phone or tablet. This saves you having to purchase multiple Dual Shock 4’s just so you and your friends can indulge in the quiz, and it also keeps your answers secret. After snapping a selfie and creating an avatar of your likeness (even this bit is tremendous fun) you’ll be teleported to the base of the Pyramid of Knowledge. And this is where the real game starts.
With vivid flashing lights and upbeat party music, the game interface feels straight out of a 70’s TV quiz show, cheesy, wise-cracking host Max included. Knowledge is Power is played by completing three rounds of trivia questions, each separated by a bonus round and eventually the final round of the game where the winner will be announced.
Alongside answering questions, players will be able to slow down their opponents by using Power Plays. You can choose to burden your opponents with these abilities by freezing answers on their phone screens, covering their screen in green goop or by removing letters from answers to slow down their reaction times. If you want to be less mean you can use Power Plays to multiply your scores, meaning that correct answers will earn all players big points for one round. Questions come in categories (film titles, famous landmarks, pot luck etc) and players vote on which one to go for in any given round. Another type of Power Play means that this democratic system is thrown out of the window and one player alone gets to make the category choice. Knowledge is Power isn’t just a trivia game, it’s also highly strategic.
Once the first lot of questions have been asked and answered you’ll reach a bonus round. With this temporary change in format (essentially into a trivia-based mini-game) you’ll be faced with joining the correct character to the correct film, pairing words together or maybe matching cooking ingredients to meals. These levels are fun, intense and are all very different to one another.
Knowledge is Power does have some downsides, however. Categories that you pick at the start of each round consist of just one single question. This means that Knowledge is Power feels quite fast and I was left wanting more rounds and many more trivia questions after my initial play through. Because you can’t extend the quiz length some players may feel the need to reconnect their smartphones and play the game once again to gain the satisfaction that naturally comes from games played around a traditional board. The questions themselves aren’t as challenging as questions from Trivial Pursuit or other intellectual board games (addition of a further difficulty setting would have been nice), but the wide range of categories does mean that everyone has a fair shot at getting the answers correct.
Ultimately, though, Knowledge is Power is a great addition to the PlayLink library. It’s unique, fun and intuitive enough for all the family to enjoy. If you fancy moving your annual Trivial Pursuit game onto a modern platform, then Knowledge is Power is a must-have addition to your PS4 library.