Video Game / Knack

Knack is a platform game developed by SCE Japan Studio exclusively for the PlayStation 4, and is a launch title for the system. Mark Cerny, executive producer of classic PlayStation games like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon, serves as director.

It stars a small, mysterious creature named Knack, who was created by a doctor from ancient relics as a way to fight against Gundahar and his goblin army. Knack can bind even more relics that he finds to transform into a much bigger, more powerful creature. Knack can even incorporate different elemental powers such as metal and ice later on, yielding different abilities.

At Playstation Experience 2016, a sequel was announced.

Not to be confused with the New Wave Music band The Knack. Or the Dilbert episode.

This game contains examples of:

  • Bag of Spilling: The game has several ways of forcing Knack to divest himself of relics in his body. The most common one is the fact that Vargas' personal plane is an itty-bitty two-seater, which Knack can only fit in by reverting to his smallest form.
  • Bookends: At the beginning of the game, Vargas calls Knack "his greatest creation" (the very first level is also called "His greatest creation"). As the end, as Knack goes to confront the Final Boss:
    Vargas: "Good luck."
    Knack: "It'll be okay. After all, as you like to say: I'm your greatest creation."
    • It serves to show Knack's Character Development from Vargas' pet project to a loyal but independent being who is his own master.
  • Convection Schmonvection: A particularly egregious example is when Knack finally beats Katrina's Humongous Mecha, sending her plunging into the lava lake below. She just so happens to land on a small piece of rock, and when Ryder goes to save her, the two of them are then standing on two small pieces of rocks without ill effects.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The credits consist of Knack in his various sizes dancing around to How You Like Me Now? by The Heavy.
  • Cyber Cyclops: Some of Viktor's robots. The rest have two eyes arranged vertically instead, so they still look weird anyway.
  • Expy: Some of the robot enemies early in the game carry large glowing blue nets, similar to the ones used by characters in Ape Escape, another game from Sony Japan.
  • Genre Throwback: This seems to be a throwback to cartoony Fifth Generation platform games from the '90s such as the aforementioned Crash and Spyro.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The Gadgest pieces and the crystal pieces to unlock Knack's other forms.
  • Harder Than Hard: Beating the game at Hard difficulty unlocks Very Hard mode.
  • Humongous Mecha: Knack has to fight a fairly agile robot when both of them are the same size as a skyscraper.
  • Meaningful Name: "Knack" is slang for skill, hence the name he gives himself.
    • Alternatively, in old times, knack is shortform of knick-knack, which is what his body structure is.
  • Monogender Monsters: You never ever see a female goblin.
  • Monster Arena: The Coliseum Attack and Time Attack side modes.
  • New Game+: Inevitable to achieve 100% Completion. See Random Drop.
  • One-Word Title
  • Our Goblins Are Different: Interestingly, despite being called goblins, the majority of them bear more likeness to Orcs, with them being tall, buff and with tusks (which goblins don't usually have). The ones that fit the description are the smallest ones.
  • Protagonist Title
  • Random Drop: The gadget parts (to build gadgets to help you in-game) and the crystal relics (to unlock Knack's alternate forms). They can be found in treasure chests in hidden rooms, but these chests only respawn during New Game+. At least each gadget part needs to be collected just once; You need multiple crystal relics to unlock a new form, each crystal has distinct rarity, and even after getting enough of one crystal type to unlock a new form you may still get redundant pieces.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Knack shares The Heavy's "How You Like Me Now?" as it's credits song with Borderlands 2.
    • The trailer for Knack 2 uses Junior Senior's "Move Your Feet".
  • Self-Deprecation: One of the main criticisms of the first game was that the combat was repetitive. The sequel expands upon the combat, and a character makes reference to the criticisms.
    "It's hard to believe you saved the world. All you know are three punches and a kick."
  • Sequel Hook: Gundahar is still at large. The trailer for the sequel shows that goblins are indeed still a problem.
    • Look closely during the ending, and you'll see that Knack still has one of the endgame "Super Relics" within him (the purple cone / "hair").
  • Shows Damage: Most enemies, and even Knack himself, will lose pieces/armor once they start taking damage.
  • Tech Demo Game: Part of the purpose of the game is to demonstrate the PS4's ability to handle a large number of discrete objects on screen - Knack in his largest forms is made up of hundreds of independently rendered relics.
  • Took a Level in Badass: As said in Self-Deprecation, Knack's abilities in battle in the first game are limited to a three punch combo. The sequel's trailer shows him pulling off a much more diverse array of moves, including Belly Flop Crushing, Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs, Spontaneous Weapon Creation using swords and spears, a shield to deflect projectiles, and he can now shift sizes whenever he wants.
    • Based on what type of relics he's absorbed, Knack gains new abilities, such as ice giving him freezing breath.
    • Additionally, there and also special co-op techniques, such as using the aforementioned Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs on your co-op partner, causing relics to come flying out of their body like a spray of machine gun bullets that hurt enemies.