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Game Review: ‘Connect 4 & More’

Pattern-racing games like Tic-Tac-Toe and Three Men’s Morris go back to time immemorial, and in more recent times the classic Connect 4 has raised the number of possible moves to a new level. As computer-driven game theory continues to develop, the Connect 4 grid has been cracked, and people end up with cat’s games more often than not. Winning Moves Games, known for its innovation and passion for the classics, updates the immortal concept of pattern-races and gives new ways to play Connect 4 & More. While missing the “brrm–kachink” sound of the Checker piece sliding down the board, Connect…

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Pattern-racing games like Tic-Tac-Toe and Three Men’s Morris go back to time immemorial, and in more recent times the classic Connect 4 has raised the number of possible moves to a new level. As computer-driven game theory continues to develop, the Connect 4 grid has been cracked, and people end up with cat’s games more often than not. Winning Moves Games, known for its innovation and passion for the classics, updates the immortal concept of pattern-races and gives new ways to play Connect 4 & More.

connect4andmoreWhile missing the “brrm–kachink” sound of the Checker piece sliding down the board, Connect 4 & More leaves behind the predictable nature of the grid and replaces it with the freedom of an open tabletop. Each player receives a shuffled stack of yellow or red tiles, like the pieces in the classic, with each tile marked with colored edges of light blue, dark blue, or black. Players must line up the colors on the edges to build out lines of tiles while attempting to be the first to connect four. With the randomized nature of the tiles, predictability is gone, and players must be quick to think on their feet whether to add to their own hopes of winning or move to block an opponent.

The classic Connect 4 version of the game is straightforward, and Connect 4 & More adds five new ways of playing. “Backwards Connect 4” gives the twist of players attempting not to make four in a row. The reversal of strategy is fascinating, and it is an excellent way to practice forcing moves on an opponent. “Connect 4 Teams” is a four-player version following the original rules but with two different sets of heads trying to communicate about building their line of four without giving it away to the opponents listening in and hoping to block. “Connect 4 & More & More & More!” keeps the game going on after the first “4-in-a-row”, using a points system to see how many lines players can connect and allowing tiles to be counted again and again.

Connect Three-4” changes the game entirely. In this version, rather than looking for a single swooping win, players try to build four lines of three. Whenever three tiles of a color line up, they are flipped over to mark a step toward victory. This also means that each time a line is flipped, the person in the lead now has fewer options and must practically start over, creating a unique balancing mechanic for the game.

The most fascinating version of play is the “Connect 4 Any Color.” The first player to create four in a row, whether red or yellow, is the winner. Players share a single draw-pile, and the next tile to be played is shown. Not only must players be lucky and build their own chances for four-in-a-row, they must pay careful attention to each possible move to ensure the opponent cannot win.

Connect 4 & More is a tile-laying game for two or four players aged six and up. Each game is very quick, lasting only a few minutes depending on how long players like to ponder. With its wide variety of ways to play, Connect 4 & More has something for anyone, whether attempting to outwit an opponent, adding up points on intertwining lines, or the classic four-in-a-row.

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About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.