It is becoming more and more common for console games to receive a companion app for mobile devices. These companion apps unlock usable items for the console game, giving you a reason to suffer through their menial existence while on the toilet. With the next-generation of video games now upon us, it was only natural that the PlayStation 4 would get a companion app for one of its exclusives. Instead of focusing on a more established franchise to pimp out on iOS, Sony opted to create a Bejeweled rip-off featuring one of the most unlikeable characters to ever stumble onto one of Sony’s consoles – Knack.
I love Bejeweled, so I don’t necessarily loathe the idea of a rip-off featuring likable Sony characters – but the problem is Knack is about as unlikable as they come, but I’ll cover that more in my Knack review. In short, Knack is essentially an emotionless robot made up of different shapes – however, in Knack’s Quest you wouldn’t know any of this, as his image is just slapped on. The story-less Knack’s Quest is broken up into three chapters, which are all the same – minus some different shape variations and backdrops. Chapter 1 is “The Basics,” Chapter 2 is “Icy Caves,” and Chapter 3 is “Stealth Knack.” As you can imagine, they are exactly like they sound – only much worse.
Knack’s Quest (iOS)
Developer: Sony Japan Studio
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Released: November 6, 2013
MSRP: Your soul.
Each chapter has three levels, equaling a total of nine. These levels are played precisely like Bejeweled. You match at least three colored gems in a roll to remove them from the game and rack up points and combos. Yes, all the basic functionality of Bejeweled is there – but without any of the charm. There are some special abilities like being able to delete all of a certain color from the screen or deleting rolls of matching shapes by tracing your finger across them, but it’s much more effective to just ignore these special abilities and play the game like the watered-down Bejeweled rip-off it is. There’s no reason to prolong your suffering.
Knack’s Quest’s attempt to throw its unlikeable character into your face is done in the form of a static image popping up on the screen once you “level up” by progressing through the level. Leveling up does absolutely nothing but make Knack impair your vision. He pops up and then he’s gone. After a couple more seconds of playing the game he’ll pop up again. This happens until he gets big and ugly enough to end the level, which should take under a minute. If you suffer through the game enough, you’re somehow able to unlock “endless mode.” Despite completing all nine levels, I was unable to unlock this mode – then again I wouldn’t want to. An endless mode in Knack’s Quest would be my personal hell.
I imagine that the main reason why you would play Knack’s Quest is to unlock gadget parts that can then be claimed and used on Knack for the PS4. But honestly, downloading and suffering through the nine levels and the overall lackluster presentation of Knack’s Quest is not worth the “perk” of claiming these items in the console game, especially when the console game isn’t worth the purchase itself.
Knack’s Quest is not worth the price of admission – even when that price is free. Sony has managed to create the next-generation version of Bubsy the Bobcat and in their attempt to run that mascot into the ground they created a monster so horrible, it’ll make even the most devout pro-lifer reach for the coat hanger.