A lot of people were upset and felt empty over the cliff-hanger ending in Connect 3, but after a long wait, Hasbro and EA have collaborated in bringing us the final iteration in the Connect series, and it’s truly the best of the bunch. I was actually planning on keeping up this shtick of pretending that Connect 4 is some kind of epic title release, under the impression that it’s essentially the board game made for the 360, but I actually managed to get my head out of my ass long enough to notice that it’s actually a little more than that.
To be fair, it’s not a whole lot more than that, but next to the initial absurd idea of merely releasing a game as simple as Connect 4 for 800 MS Points, Connect 4 with extra, vaguely interesting modes seems worlds better, like the way scoring a “1” is infinitely bigger than scoring an iota.
So here’s the breakdown; you can play Connect 4 in three different modes. Regular, Advanced, and Power Chips. Regular is exactly what it sounds like. Advanced is something of a strange beast, though. In Advanced, when you score, the scoring chips are removed (magically, try doing that without hassle on the real game,) and play continues, until the score or time limits are reached. It’s an interesting idea, posing many potential situations where it might be in your best interests to forgo connecting the four pieces, in order to continue blocking your opponent.
Power Chips is arguably the most fun in my book though, although there’s a degree of luck that some might find intolerable. Brian managed to beat me handily in this mode, so the presence of luck is clearly undeniable. In this mode, the odd chip (and by odd, I actually mean “more often than not”) has an icon on it denoting a special property. You actually have two chips on you at any one time, and can play them as you choose. The block chip stops your opponent from playing on that column on the next turn, the newton chip will knock the single bottom chip on that row out of the field of play, the heavy chip will crush all non-heavy chips below it, and the 2x chip doubles the points scored for any connect-4 it’s a part of.
Connect 4 is accessed from within the Hasbro Family Game Night wrapper that houses other 800 point titles like Battleships. If you’re sucked into that, then maybe Connect 4 will be worth the 800 points to kit out your weird virtual apartment with virtual Connect 4 related knick knacks, but my personal instinct would be to stay away, there’s better things you could be spending points on.