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Knack 2 Delivers Frantic Family-Friendly Action

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There aren't many games that we play as a whole family, but back in 2013 Knack was one of them. Since then the boys (who led the charge with this particular game) have grown up somewhat. This month sees the release of the second game in the Knack series that offers a host of new features and a new story for family players.

The first big change is that Knack 2 offers a full co-op mode through the whole campaign. While the first game let you play together, one player had to be in a helper role to the other. In our family this caused the odd argument. Being able to both play as a blue or red Knack works very well.

Another nice touch is that the two players can interact with each other on the screen. For example, if you hit your Knack counterpart you can shoot off parts of their armour as bullets. You can also ground-pound each other to trigger a smart bomb effect.

The story is again very strong with cut scenes feeling like watching a Pixar movie. Characters develop as the game progresses and a knife edge plot keeps players of all ages engaged.

The game is rated PEGI 7 because it "features violence that lacks any apparent harm or injury to fantasy or mythical beings and creatures". The action is hectic but it's non-realistic and in a child-friendly setting.

If you are considering whether this game is suitable for your family, the VSC's additional information may help.

The game features somewhat frantic violence. Fantasy characters and human characters alike always react with an exaggerated reaction (i.e. robots explode and disintegrate, orcs get knocked back a couple of meters, etc.).

Knack has a variety of attacks that can be upgraded later in the game. By default, you have a punch and a kick, as well as a double jump and short hover. The reaction of the characters does not change significantly if you choose a different attack. In this game there are humanlike characters which you need to fight. These humans look very cartoonlike.

When hit, the humans flinch or are knocked back. When they get up, they show no signs of pain, injury or any other signs of damage. When defeated, the humans fall to the floor and are launched into the air short after, as if they all have a wire attached to their back. Because of this there are no human bodies in the game area. You can also not hit these bodies as they quickly disappear.

Knack 2 is well worth checking out if your family enjoys story-driven platform action games. Also, you can probably pick-up the original Knack game for a bargain.

How ever you play it, do note that you can change the difficulty settings on the game. Also the game will offer you tips when you get stuck.

Let us know how you get on with this or other games in your family in the comments.

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Andrew Robertson
Andy Robertson is the editor of AskAboutGames and has written for national press and broadcast about video games and families for over 15 years. He has just published the Taming Gaming book with its Family Video Game Database.