Okay, if you don't like Connect 4 then you're a heathen best used for kindling. Uhh… what I mean to say is that Connect 4 is one of the better tabletop games ever brought to our tables by Milton Bradley. Not only is it simple enough for kids to play, and even beat adults, but there is also a higher level of gameplay to be enjoyed by those who have gotten a bit more used to the higher level strategies. While it can get repetitive it's still a very enjoyable game at its core.
Playing Connect 4 is as simple as doing what the games' name suggests. You and your opponent take turns placing colored pieces into a 7x6 board, trying to block the other person so that you can get four of your pieces in a straight row. This row can either be horizontal, vertical or diagonal meaning that you have many options with which to beat your opponent and many different directions to try blocking your opponent. Sometimes you'll feel like a fool, having missed a connect four that your opponent walked you into slowly but steadily. However when the shoe is on the other foot and your arch-nemesis falls for the same thing, you can't help but want to cackle a bit at the situation.
More than any of the other games Connect 4 actually benefits from the transition to an Xbox Live Arcade game simply for the bonus pieces. Unlike in most of the other Hasbro Family Game Night titles where these bonus modes and pieces only add on to the base game the pieces in this game fundamentally change the way that everything plays out. With the ability to destroy all vertical pieces in one row, prevent others from playing a piece in a particular row or just knocking off the bottom piece these have a huge impact on the game as well as the strategies used to win each individual game.
The only thing that hits the game right in the crotch is the issue of the A.I. Frankly the damnable thing is far, far too hard when you're playing the basic game. While this isn't an issue if you've got friends around or just don't mind losing it's the sort of difficulty that will easily frustrate a child. Wins are sudden, planned out far in advance and with little you can do about it most of the time. Playing with the bonuses modes or bonus pieces enabled makes the whole process go a lot more smoothly while simultaneously giving you more options to stop the super computer A.I. just running roughshod all over your face.
If you have friends you can play the game with or children to sit around with as they play then this game is a lot of fun. Since all it takes is one lazy moment where your opponent can place a few solid pieces kids can triumph over adults, adults can have some wild games and things are generally fairly energetic. There are few games that come as highly recommended as Connect 4 if you're remotely interested in these video game adaptations of the popular board games. And should you happen to not be fans please refer to the previous heathen comment.