Four in the Row is Connect-4, the popular board game everyone has played, but with a twist. Instead of only having the ability to drop pieces from the top of the board, the player can drop pieces from any side. The goal is still to connect four pieces in a row but being able to send pieces from all four directions increases the amount of strategy.
Besides the obvious two-player local only support, there are a couple modes for solo players against an AI opponent. The first option is plainly Connect-4 from an empty board but the second option has a little more of a puzzle game approach. Here, the board is preset with pieces for both you and your opponent. Connect-4 was always a speedy game but this secondary puzzle option usually only takes a minute or less. Each win rewards the player with points that are used to unlock different skins for the colored pieces. The overall presentation is bare bones and unlocking 4th grader MS Paint doodles for your pieces isn’t really a worthwhile incentive but at least there was an attempt to increase replay value.
Believe it or not, there is actually a small learning curve as a direct result from the “drop a piece from any side” gameplay element as the player cannot simply move a cursor left or right. Instead, the player points the analog stick like a radial hub to highlight a selected slot, then tap A to drop the piece. Since there are no instructions, I initially didn’t understand what was happening but then quickly realized this is a much more intuitive way to control the falling pieces.
At the end of the day, this is still Connect-4 and it is totally fine to play in very short bursts. The added depth to the tried-and-true formula and thoughtful control scheme does add some quality flare to the overall package but the barebones presentation and lack of options leaves this low cost Switch digital download for the die hards only.
Also Try: the free demo of Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics that has the full version of Four In A Row with multiplayer support
Better Than: Stacking and collecting physical pieces on a physical gameboard
Wait For It: a digital version of Kerplunk