Along with Chimparty, PlayStation’s PlayLink library has also recently received a new entry in the Knowledge is Power series titled Knowledge is Power: Decades. It retains much of the same structure as last year’s Knowledge is Power but this time around the questions are segmented by a selected decade, allowing you to receive questions focused to either the 80’s, 90’s 00’s or the 10’s. And that’s the 2010’s not the 1910’s for all of you out there dreading having to brush up on your history knowledge.
When I played the original Knowledge is Power last year it quickly rose to be my favourite of the PlayLink titles that had been released so far. I liked it’s quirky game show aesthetic and loved how fun it was to play with a bunch of friends around. Knowledge is Power: Decades is exactly the same in it’s core gameplay structure and setting which is likely how they’ve been able to spin out a sequel in less than a year as it seems to re-use a lot of the framework and assets from the original game.
There are some new additions introduced in Decades though that make it feel fresh and elevate it beyond what we got in the first game. The first being the way questions are themed. The game still consists of three rounds with each round containing three questions and a mini game with the final round ending with the climb to the top of the pyramid of knowledge. The difference here is that at the beginning of each round players select one of four doors, with each of them representing one of the four decades and the winning choice influences that round’s questions.
I liked this approach much better than the algorithm based one that was used in the original game, as I mentioned in my original review “The algorithm that generates the topics each round seems to work based on the previously chosen topics to an extent. Making it quite tiresome at times being presented largely history and war topics after answering a prior history topic.” This is no longer the case and the door choice at the beginning of the round shapes the questions for that whole round.
Wish Studios have also added in brand new Power Plays in Decades too. Power Plays are the options you’re able to hit another player with (or yourself if you want to use the ones that offer bonus points etc) that hinder their ability to answer the question as fast as you. The Plays from the original game like the Goop, Ice, and Bombles are still here but are now accompanied by the Zipper which locks the answers behind a zipper that needs to be swiped on the device to view, the Bug which scrambles the players’ screen until you wipe the bug away, Disco Inferno which uses colourful disco lighting to make the answers quite difficult to read and the Lock which will prevent the opposing player from selecting any of their answers until they have tapped open all of the locks on screen.
The Power Plays were one of the most entertaining parts of the original game and I was so glad to see there were many more available in Decades’ arsenal to throw at my opposition and watch them scream in frustration.
As with the first Knowledge is Power, Decades is designed to be played with 2-6 players. There is a quick mode you can play if you want to answer some questions solo but it’s not at all as fun as the main game. As mentioned in the original review, this game too is a case of the more the merrier. While it can be played with 2 people I would recommend getting a group of at least 3 to add more fun and strategy to the game as it isn’t as fun when just 2 players are hitting each other with Power Plays each round.
Decades also has new mini games at the end of each round too. You’ll still find the Match Up and Sorting One or the Other mini games but along with those there are new ones such as Odd One Out and a game that has you rotating a wheel of answers to match them up with the question that references them.
While I did love the new additions to the game it still looked and felt very much like the original Knowledge is Power. Almost like this was just a themed expansion that could have been added into the original game. I really enjoyed the game but would have loved it more if it had pushed the core design a little further and maybe had numerous different conclusion rounds so that it didn’t always end with having to scale the pyramid or even had took place in varied themed settings. I appreciate the quick turn around of the sequel but if the Knowledge is Power series does continue I’d love to see some bigger changes in the next games.
The Knowledge is Power series continue to be my favourite in the PlayLink library of games and if you enjoyed Knowledge is Power then you’re going to have a great time here with Decades. It expands upon the systems introduced in the first game with new mini games and Power Plays but stays quite safe with the overall framework of the game. If you’re having friends over and want to play a really enjoyable quiz game you can’t look past Knowledge is Power: Decades.
A PS4 review code was provided by PlayStation Australia for the purpose of this review.
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