Electronic Arts’ partnership with Nokia has resulted in some wonderfully enjoyable titles being made available exclusively for the Nokia Lumia range of Windows Phone handsets, and joining them is a virtual adaptation of Connect 4. Unlikely to ever set the world on fire, Connect 4 does exactly what it promises to do: presents a playable virtual Connect 4 on mobile handsets. Nothing more, nothing less.
The basic gameplay is as would be expected: players take it in turns to place a chip on the board attempting to create a run of four in any directions, while preventing their opponent from doing the same. It’s a simple affair that is complicated by the additional gameplay modes offered in this Windows Phone version.
The additional modes add in special chips that change the speed of play with new tactical options, as well as more significant adjustments to the rulesets. Time limits can be implemented or score limits for matches that continue beyond the initial four match.
Challenge Mode is the best single-player gameplay mode, though some of the objectives have clearly not been thought through sufficiently. Presenting dramatic shifts in the rulesets of every included gameplay mode, the Harlequin challenge is arguably the lest entertaining, switching chip colours every four turns to essentially create a version of the game based purely on luck.
Multiplayer gameplay is available when either playing on a single system or via wi-fi, though no 3G option is included. It’s a simple construct on the surface but manages to offer all of the gameplay modes available to the single player in a streamlined interface.
Available now for £2.29 GBP, some may consider Connect 4 to be overpriced. However, Xbox gamers are likely to willingly adopt the videogame thanks to its Xbox LIVE Achievements and leaderboards, while casual gamers would opt for a recognisable brand. The fact that it addresses both of these potential audiences is surely evidence enough that it’s a welcome addition to the Nokia Lumia exclusive line-up, if not an essential one.