Four in a Row Review (Nintendo Switch)

Game: Four in a Row
Genre: Board Game, Party Game
System: Nintendo Switch
Developer|Publisher: LudosLabs | Ultimate Games
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price: US $5.99 | UK £4.49 | EU €5,99
Release Date: January 14th, 2020

Review code used with many thanks to Ultimate Games.

Does What it Says

If you have clicked on this review, I will start by thanking you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to check out a review on Four in a Row. As the title suggests, Four in a Row is essentially a video game version of the popular board game Connect 4.

When I was a lot younger I used to enjoy playing board games by myself since I could rarely convince my other family members to join in. When video games came along, it kinda helped fill in the game of that invisible friend I needed. But enough about my childhood; let’s talk about Four in a Row.

LadiesGamers 4 in a Row
Hooray, I won!

The aim of the game, as you may be able to predict, is to connect 4 of your coloured counters in a row. You can do this horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Each player takes a turn with a single counter, one after the other. The main difference of Four in a Row, compared to Connect 4, is that you’re able to drop the counters from all 4 sides of the grid.

For example, you can actually drop a counter from the left side and it will fall down to the right side. Or drop a counter from the bottom and it will “fall” to the top. This puts a different spin on the popular game.

You are able to play the game with AI, which has multiple difficulty settings, or of course with another human player. The game is OK, but I felt it was no substitute for playing an actual board game. Mostly because Four in a Row as a video game really doesn’t offer much more to do. It’s also hard to ignore that there are many games like this available for free on mobile or PC.

LadiesGamers 4 in a Row
With every game you win, you earn two gems to spend on new cosmetic counters.

Plain and Simple

You drop counters by moving a cursor around the outside of the grid and selecting a point to drop it. You then get the chance to confirm this choice in case you made a mistake. It feels loose and kinda awkward. Touch controls feel like they should have been present in handheld mode but sadly are absent. 

The graphics are very plain and simple. A blue background with red and yellow counters—that’s about it. You can unlock new counters with pictures on them, but they don’t particularly enhance the experience or offer any real incentive to play the game multiple times to unlock more. There is also a looping chilled-out score in the background which I swear sounds like a score I heard in a Final Fantasy game, but I just could not find it in the small amount of research I did for this review. It all feels like the bare minimum was done, graphically and musically. 

LadiesGamers 4 in a row

Puzzle Mode?

The game does have a puzzle mode for single player. But the term “puzzle” feels like false advertising here. Basically each level has red and yellow counters pre-setup with your goal to simply win. Logic feels absent from this mode—there were two levels I played where it was logically impossible for the AI not to win, due to how the counters were set up. I only managed to win these puzzles because the AI would randomly decide to make a move that would not gain the win. This design really hurt my head.

The thrill here should be using your brain to outwit the AI, much like playing the game against a human. It takes all the thrill out of winning when you are just repeating the level, waiting for the AI to be stupid. 

LadiesGamers 4 in a Row
Puzzle mode feels like the wrong kind of puzzling.

Not Standing Out

Four in a Row isn’t terrible, but it’s not exactly a title that’s going to grab gamers’ attention on the eShop. There are cheaper games that you can spend hours playing, when all Four in a Row has going for it is one mode you may want to play with the AI, or your grandparent, I guess. Though I would suggest calling your relatives instead and just letting them know you’re thinking of them. I felt more compelled to play a real board game than play more of the video game version.  

Final Verdict: I’m Not Sure

LadiesGamers Slide Stars

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