kNOW! does away with justified prejudices against knowledge games and dares to do new things. The integration and use of the Google Assistant in the board game ensures that questions are never out of date.


General information about the game

know! is a quiz game that can be played both offline and online. For the board game, Ravensburger has the Toy Awards in the “Teenager & Adults” category. In addition to the question cards, the primary game element is the Google Assistant, an intelligent personal assistant. The game can be played with 3 to 6 players, but teams can also be formed with more players. A minimum age of 10 years is recommended in offline mode, but 16 years for online mode. In addition to the question cards, the primary game element is the Google Assistant, an intelligent personal assistant.

The principle of the game that questions don't run low and get old, not in itself, is completely new, because there are already publishers who rely on online support. For example, rudy games has released some games with app support, including the knowledge and activity game “Interaction”. However, a digital assistant is being integrated for the first time.

The Google Assistant as a game guide

The Google Assistant is a personal electronic assistant developed by Google that uses voice input to carry out queries for its user on the smartphone or specially manufactured devices. The assistant researches for him in the Google search engine or carries out simple functions. For example, it is known and often used to read or create appointments from the appointment calendar. Many people know Amazon's own Alexa system from television advertising.

Anyone support in the game know! by the Google Assistant, you have to install the corresponding app, which is available on both Android and iOS. A Google account is also required. The relevant information regarding data protection is included with the game. Thanks to my Gmail address, I have had a Google account for a long time and a few months ago I started to deal with the Google Assistant and to test it. So I'm very curious about the integration of this service into a board game.

Goal of the game

The goal of the game know! is to answer as many questions as possible and thereby move forward on the board. Either the game ends with a lap - the winner is then the one who arrives first at the starting field - or after a predetermined time. In that case, the player who has covered the furthest way wins. Here you can have a timer set very practically using the Google Assistant:

"OK Google - set a timer for 30 minutes"

Excerpt from the rules booklet - SUCCESSFULLY tested

Game content and material

The game includes a custom inlay made of plastic, into which the playing figures, a buzzer and the playing cards of the four subject areas fit.

The wrapped material to kNOW
There is not much to unpack after opening the game box. Photo: Melanie Dürbeck

There are two compartments for the cards per subject area. You can use it in two different ways. Either when playing offline in order to be able to distinguish the cards for the two modes, or, for example, to separate cards that have already been used from those that are not.

Inlay from kNOW!
A sorting compartment for the division into the four subject areas is included, which is actually unnecessary, but embellishes the inlay. Photo: Melanie Dürbeck

The buzzer is the size of a palm and is intended for questions that call for speed. It has an on / off switch on the back. The buzzer enclosed with our review copy is fully functional.

The back of the buzzer from game kNOW! has an on and off button
The buzzer should be switched off after the game to save the battery. Photo: Melanie Dürbeck

The game box contains basic game instructions and an explanation of the categories that can be played online. Since data is processed with the Google Assistant, a note on data protection is included. Unfortunately, the paper is a bit thin in case it is picked up a lot.

The three enclosed instructions and information
The game comes with two instructions and information on data protection.
Photo: Melanie Dürbeck

A piece of paper and a pen are needed for each player as some categories require players to write something down at the same time. While I don't find it deplorable, I would like to mention that a pen and paper are not included with the game.

A total of 220 question cards are included, some of which, especially all offline cards, actually contain questions and answers. On the other hand, some have “only” printed the rules because the Google Assistant has the relevant tasks ready. A total of 1.500 pieces are currently available online and offline.

All question variants in the "Fun" category
The topic “Fun” has the most categories. Three of them can only be played offline. The online categories can be recognized by the WLAN symbol. Photo: Melanie Dürbeck
All online cards in the categories intuition, knowledge and creativity
These are other categories that can be played online. Photo: Melanie Dürbeck

Always a different starting player

The funny gimmick is that the Google Assistant also includes a function for finding a starting player.

"OK Google - Ask Professer kNOW who starts today."

Excerpt from the rules booklet - SUCCESSFULLY tested

In the offline game, the youngest player simply begins.

Rules and game play

The rules are very simple. In turn, each player becomes the moderator of a question. He looks at which subject area he is standing on and draws a corresponding card. He either reads the question aloud or, if indicated on the card, asks the Google Assistant for a task. Whoever solves the task fastest or best is allowed to advance fields.

Course of the game to kNOW! The pawns have advanced a few spaces and some cards have already been used.
Used cards may then be placed in the box after use.
Photo: Melanie Dürbeck

The rules can either be read in the instructions or simply asked for by the hard-working Google Assistant. I read the instructions first and then tested the Google Assistant:

"OK Google - Ask Professor kNOW about the basic rules."

Excerpt from the rules booklet - SUCCESSFULLY tested
I ask the Google Assistant about the rules for kNOW!
Photo: Melanie Dürbeck
The rule explanation from the Google Assistant for kNOW!
After the query, a jingle sounds and a male computer voice then explains the rules. Photo: Melanie Dürbeck

The query for the basic rules works smoothly. The only drawback is that the text does not appear completely on the smartphone screen for reading. So if something is unclear, the players have to look in the rulebook or have the text read out to them again.

Answer to question "Who is the King of Pop" in the category "Quick knowledge" in kNOW!
Answering a question in the online category “quick knowledge” goes smoothly. Photo: Melanie Dürbeck

Each subject area has questions from several different categories. Each is handled differently in terms of the rules, for example there are simple question-answer categories or guessing questions.

Google Assistant reliability

The rules for the individual categories are either looked up in the separate rules booklet or the Google Assistant is asked for them again.

“OK Google - ask Professor KNOW! according to the rules of quick knowledge ”

Excerpt from the rulebook - tested WITHOUT success

This is where I had problems for the first time. Because the assistant did not want to recognize the term "quick-witted" because of the peril. No matter how clearly, quickly or slowly I spoke. It happened again in another category. For this reason, it is important and proactive that the rules for the categories are included on paper.

Disadvantages - Two individual players look into the tube

I think it's a shame that the game can only be played with three or more players. Otherwise, other knowledge games can often be played with two or more players. In addition, I find the cards simply too few for pure and excessive offline play. But I also think that the main focus and added value of this game is the use of Google's personal assistant. So personally I would only buy it if I wanted to use the assistant. I think the number of offline maps included is ideal in the event that the internet should fail.


Images of kNOW!

Infobox

Number of players: 3 to 6+ players
Age: from 10 years offline / from 16 years online
Duration: any
Difficulty: easy
Long-term motivation: high

Publisher: Ravensburger Spieleverlag
Year of publication: 2018
Language: German
Cost: 25 Euro

Summary

The gameplay of kNOW! I think it's awesome. How many knowledge games did I have in the collection that I gave away because they were out of date. No more obsolete and uninteresting questions!
Unfortunately, the Google Assistant itself currently has some teething problems when it comes to understanding questions, so that the players cannot have all the rules explained to them.

Nevertheless, I find the idea and integration well implemented, and I also strongly assume that the assistant can only get better. I don't feel that the number of cards that can be used for purely offline games is too small. However, if you prefer to play the game online and have no problems with your data being processed by Google, you will enjoy the game a lot and, above all, for a long time.