Do you ever wish you could share the joy of PlayStation 4 with a larger group of friends? Normally firing up a gaming console would be a social blunder at a party or gathering, but not with these engaging party games from Sony Interactive Entertainment. Take your party to the next level with PlayLink Knowledge is Power: Decades and Chimparty!
Playlink Knowledge is Power: Decades and Chimparty Details
Platforms: PlayStation 4
Developer: Wish Studios (Knowledge is Power: Decades), NapNok (Chimparty)
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – T (Teen)
Easy fun for everyone
PlayLink is a series of games from Sony Interactive Entertainment which focuses on simple experiences that everyone can enjoy. One of the most important features of any PlayLink game is the control setup. Every PlayLink title controls via a cell phone, tablet, or similar device.
Dualshock controllers can be pricey, and most gamers don’t have 4 – 6 of them lying around the house. By using mobile devices already in everyone’s pocket, PlayLink ensures that everyone can get in on the action. It’s so convenient to be able to host a 6 player match of Knowledge is Power: Decades without the need for 6 separate traditional controllers.
Moreover, the Dualshock 4 controller and its button layout can be intimidating to a non-gamer. That said, everyone is familiar with a touchscreen device and most have likely even played a game on one before—even if they are not a traditional console gamer.
PlayLink games like Knowledge is Power: Decades and Chimparty are designed to be accessible to everyone. It makes them the perfect party games for a social gathering. Players at any level of gaming experience (even none) can join the fun.
Knowledge is Power: Decades is an enjoyable trivia game that is appropriate for the whole family. It reminds me of games like the You Don’t Know Jack series, but with both younger and older audiences in mind. It features questions pop culture, music, TV and film questions from the 1980’s straight through to today.
The game is mostly made up of simple question formats such as multiple choice, or “this or that”. To spice things up however, players can impede their opponent’s ability to answer with “Power Plays”. These include hilarious hindrances such as covering their answers in slime, or making the letters move around.
No instructions necessary
It’s so easy to set up and play a match of Knowledge is Power: Decades. With its simple touch screen controls and guided gameplay, you’ll have everyone gaming without the hassle of complex rules or inexperience. Trivia is such a popular game genre that you shouldn’t have any trouble assembling a group of eager players at your next social gathering.
Younger gamers may have trouble with some of the content given that questions take root in decades both old and new. That said, the questions I saw in my time with the game gave the impression of trying to stay relevant to as many generations as possible. You also get to choose your decade with each round, so it is easy to simply stick to newer decades when playing with youngsters.
The only real downside to the “all-ages” mantra of Knowledge is Power: Decades is the voice-over work in the game. It really comes across as pandering to much young audiences and at times the tone sounds almost akin to a preschool TV program. Even my 12 year old daughter thinks that the audio tracks are skewing toward the youngest demographic.
That said, the gameplay itself—although somewhat simple—is still enjoyable for kids and adults alike. I really enjoy the trivia battles of Knowledge is Power: Decades. I won’t hesitate to break the game out any time I’m looking to entertain a group of friends.
Get the party started
The other half of this review focuses on Chimparty—another simple but entertaining party game from the PlayLink series. If Knowledge is Power: Decades takes its inspiration from trivia party games, then Chimparty compares aptly to the popular Mario Party series.
In Chimparty up to four players will choose a chimpanzee avatar companion. Everybody’s chimp will then duke it out in mini games between navigating a traditional game board. The goal is to be the first chimp to reach the coveted sofa at the end of the board.
While some skill can help in mini-games, luck is the ultimate equalizer that makes Chimparty accessible to all. Much like a traditional all-ages board game, random events on each space can help or hinder you depending on circumstance. Getting to the end is all about landing on the right space at the right time.
Just tap it (in)
Once again accessibility to all skill levels is the name of the game. Every mini-game controls with a simple tap of the screen on your mobile device. A veteran gamer may be able to eek out a strategy, but ultimately these games have a frantic and madcap design. The concept is simple, but likely difficult to truly master in a few sittings.
This really serves the game for the best though. The idea behind Chimparty isn’t to create a game to master over time. It’s to get everyone at the party laughing and enjoying the crazy antics and zany outcomes. When everyone has a fairly equal chance trying to control these wild chimp games, hilarity will likely ensue.
The limited number of games and simple controls of Chimparty could get stale over time. There certainly isn’t a huge variety here. But again I wouldn’t really expect this to be the sort of game one would play on a daily basis. Like any other board game it can certainly hold its appeal when pulled out strategically at the right time on party night.
PlayLink Knowledge is Power: Decades and Chimparty are perfect party games for the whole family.
PlayLink Knowledge is Power: Decades and Chimparty are great titles to have handy at a party or social gathering. They are specifically tailored to all skill levels and can bring together gamers and non-gamers alike for a hilarious party game experience.
They are generally appropriate for all ages, and although the narrative audio may be a bit too skewed in the direction of youngsters, the gameplay is still great for both kids and adults. These games don’t really hold up as well for 1 – 2 player experiences, but that’s not where they are meant to shine. Get a larger group together and you’re very likely to have a lively party indeed.
+ Fun for any skill level
+ Use mobile devices and tablets instead of controllers
+ Great for social gatherings
– Not ideal for fewer players
– Script/voice-over aimed a bit too much towards the very young
– Limited replay value
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF PLAYLINK KNOWLEDGE IS POWER: DECADES
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5
Overall Rating 3.9/5 (79%)
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF CHIMPARTY
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 3.5/5