23 November 2019
kNOW! uses the Google assistant to generate a series of mini-games for the players
Tech enabled games are a bit of a sore spot amongst the tabletop community. They require something that’s not in the box, and there’s a running fear of a game being updated out of playability in the future. Luckily however kNOW! at least uses something free and standard (namely the Google assistant, downloadable to the majority of smartphones) which is likely to be supported for some time to come.
kNOW! uses the Google assistant to generate a series of mini-games for the players. These games come in the form of add-something-to-a-word tasks to generate the most search hits, simple questions about dates and numbers, or tongue-twisters to be repeated three times. All of these mini-games are fun enough and provide a kind of Family Fortunes feel, rather than the expected Trivial Pursuit. It has a gentle family fun vibe that can work across multiple generations, and in that it’s very safe.
The point of the game being search orientated is that the answers will “never be out of date”. You can see the appeal, and if this is something that tickles you kNOW! might maintain its fun over additional play sessions. It is refreshing to see a game that tries to use technology in a way that really effects the gameplay itself. For those without an internet connection, you can play offline with a deck exactly for this purpose.
The issue is that it’s not all that fun to google something in a group. Knowing something in similar games can feel impressive, whereas here, the fact that the game revolves around asking the internet somewhat cheapens the reveal. After all, anyone could have googled that.
CHRISTOPHER JOHN EGGETT
PLAY IT? MAYBE