④ in a Row (Free) by Finger Arts The classic game of Connect Four is being slightly reinvented by the new game 4 in a Row from Finger Arts who have brought Sudoku 2, Hangman RSS, and Guess the News. The biggest addition to Connect Four is a new point system with each tile dropped worth a certain number of points based upon the multiplier, and the number of tiles on the board. Also consecutively won games count as runs, which are also contributed to the scores.
There are four levels of AI difficulty, and you unlock each additional one by making a run of three on the previous difficulty. During single player you get access to hints, and there is Pass n Play local multiplayer included. Game Center and OpenFeint are included to compare your scores online from the new point system, plus achievements are included too.
The game doesn’t revolutionize Connect Four, but it offers a nice new mechanic for you not to only beat an opponent, but score points while doing it. The most challenging aspect of the game is forming runs to unlock later levels as well as achievements. The AI is pretty competitive for each difficulty, and plays with multiple methods.
The AI may be too challenging on the later difficulties as it is very difficult to form a run on hard mode to unlock expert mode. The game is super easy to control as you simply tap a column you want to drop your tile. 4 in a Row offers a very nice art style and design with a smooth wood background, and a sheen to every single pixel.
Sadly no soundtrack is included, and you’re left with some basic sound effects. When you drop in a new tile the same colored tiles that make any kind of connection all spin and sparkle. This can point out some things to an opponent in pass n play so be careful in passing it back too quickly.
Speaking of multiplayer it would be great to see some online multiplayer further extending the Game Center inclusion which is great for online high scores and achievements. This is one of the best Connect Four games out there, though that’s not saying that much. If you want to play a quality game of Connect Four though, 4 in a row has you covered.
4 in a Row has launched for free, and it’s a title you don’t want to miss for free as you’ll get all the free updates even after the game reverts to being paid. The game is worth picking up even when paid, and especially with online multiplayer which is in the works.