Not to be confused with Four in a Row, Four In A Row, Fantastic 4 In A Row, Four-in-a-row free, Wi-Fi Drop Four in a Row, 4_IN_1_ROW, Link4 or Four In A Line, this is 4 in a Row – Deluxe, one of approximately 82,638,157 Connect 4-style games available from the App Store.
I didn’t think there’d be much to write about here, but the AI in particular cries out for a thorough dissection. It’s truly unbelievable.
Right, you all know the deal. Does anyone not have a tattered Connect 4 box stashed away in a cupboard or under a bed somewhere?
The playing area is a 6x7 grid, and the players take turns at dropping coloured (red and yellow) pieces into said grid. The first player to get four in a row – horizontally, vertically or diagonally – wins. Classic.
With 4 in a Row – Deluxe, you can play against a friend, either on the same device or locally via Bluetooth. But playing against your iDevice is a truly extraordinary experience that shouldn’t be missed.
There are three difficulty levels, namely Easy, Medium and Hard. The more I played 4 in a Row – Deluxe, the more I began to suspect that they are, in fact, identical. Great stuff.
Easy, Medium or Hard, Alistair Intelligent sways from incredible moron to unstoppable genius. Regardless of the difficulty level, it’s often possible to beat your iDevice by laying four pieces horizontally from the start. Yes, even on Hard.
Better still, you can often beat the AI in a race to build a vertical column of four, EVEN WHEN IT GOES FIRST. The AI will drop two pieces down the middle then randomly stick one off to the side. And again, this tactic occasionally works on Hard. I really wish I were joking.
Conversely, the AI will occasionally become an absolute bastard, anticipating your every move and doing that cheeky Connect 4 thing where he forces you to set him up for the win. Bah. The best you can hope for here is a draw.
As you’d expect, 4 in a Row – Deluxe is fairly light on the options. Indeed, the Options menu is absolutely (unintentionally) hilarious. Right at the top, against an otherwise barren wooden backdrop, there’s a tick box beside Sound Effect. That’s your lot. Fantastic.
Amusingly, the App Store blurb boasts of an “Optional awesome sound effect”.
- Optional awesome sound effect
- It’s free
- The AI is just… pfft
- Takes minimal to another level
Summary: I toyed with the idea of giving 4 in a Row – Deluxe 0/5 (a Mobot first?), but the two player modes are, well, functional.
Developer: Richard Lee @ Fat Bird Games
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
Price: free @ App Store