The gaming market changes from time to time, with developers focusing on a different range of gamers. The family market seems to be the desired target market these days with Nintendo releasing the Wii and Microsoft releasing more and more family friendly games. Well, EA have decided to jump on the cash cow and have teamed up with Hasbro to bring us the Hasbro Family Game Night. You can download the HFGN for free but each individual game costs a staggering 800MS Points. In this review I am going to cover Connect 4.
If you're new to the Connect 4 concept, or have never actually heard of the game, you'll be really glad to know it’s really easy to pick up the idea and play. Connect 4 is a two player puzzle game in which players must take alternate turns to drop coloured chips into a vertical game board that is seven columns wide and six rows high. The object if you hadn't already guessed is to connect 4 of your chips together in a row either by going up, down, left, right or horizontally. It's all about forward planning though and trying to force the opponent into putting a chip somewhere you want them to put it.
Obviously you have your classic connect 4 game mode in which games usually last under 5 minutes depending on how tactical you are approaching the game, but EA have also tried to add a little fire into the game by adding two additional gametypes. Advanced mode is similar to the classic game except instead of having the winner be the player who connects 4 chips first, the winner is produced by connecting 4 chips the most times within the 2 minute time limit. If you manage to obtain a connect 4, those chips are removed and any chips on top fall down having a knock on effect. This often leads to sometimes giving your opponent a line in order that the knock on effect takes place, which allows you to potentially get two lines of 4 chips. It just adds more of a strategic thinking aspect to the game
The other game mode is my favourite. Power chips mode gives specific chips special features like x2 points, the bomb chip blows up chips either side of it, the block chip stops your opponent putting a chip in that column for one shot and more. You get to see your next chip as well so you get the option to swap your current chip for the next chip should you need to. You can also play Connect 4 with custom rules which you apply. Choose the time-limit along with a combination of other rules to suit that particular game.
Visually Connect 4 is bright and oozing with loads of different colours. For you oldies out there those traditional red and black chips have been replaced with red and yellow chips. Mr Potato head, who is the host of HFGN looks as he should, although he doesn’t do much apart from making a weird noise every so often, so I’m puzzled why he’s actually there.
There is an Xbox LIVE aspect to the game, but unfortunately there barely seems to be anyone online to actually play. This could be due to the fact that games are so short and after 4 or 5 games you’ve had your Connect 4 needs satisfied. I also can’t help but think that not many gamers will be happy to pay 800MS Points for a game which in theory can be played by drawing a grid on some paper and using a pen to mark where you are putting your coins.
Overall Connect 4 for me isn’t worth the 800MS Points. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed playing it, but if it was priced at 400MS Points I would be telling you to go and rush to buy it, especially if you enjoy playing Connect 4 with the family, but at 800 I just can’t do that. Definitely try out the trial, and if you feel like you want some more, and have some spare points, by all means purchase Connect 4.