Connect 4 Launchers

Date Thu, September 8 2011

I’m a board game fan. It runs in the family, you know. So I figured it’d be a family event when Hasbro put out the word about a new game: Connect 4 Launchers. I took one look at the game when it arrived, and texted Mom. My words were something along the line of “I need your kid” and I’m sure my sister translated that to “OMG I GET TO SPEND THE NIGHT AT COLE’S AND BOTHER HER CATS AND PLAY ON HER COMPUTER AND GET UP AT 6 AND NOT LET HER SLEEP EVER.”

Connect 4 Launchers

Connect 4 Launchers

After some communication Mom-style, I was breaking out the game with my sister. I figured she liked it because, as the name suggestions, you fling pieces all over. As an adult, I wasn’t so sold and figured I’d be giving her a gift (I did). The game is pretty simple and consists of 2 trays with slots that you fit into four supports so one tray sits lower than the other. Each player then gets a launcher and color coordinated pieces. Play consists of launching the pieces into the trays so they land in the spots. Get 4 in a row to win.

Hasbro has upgraded Connect 4 with the tray idea because the slots can handle more than one checkers. So there’s potential that you’ve got three in a row but your opponent covers up your piece (in one type of play) or gets more pieces than you in the same spot and you’re back to square one. It’s entertainingly frustrating.

The instructions details three styles of game play. The first is an all-out, both players launch until they win style. The second encourages you to play in rounds and, you earn two points for Connect 4 on the top tray or 1 on the bottom. You play until 5 points total (the launchers have a little point marker on them). The last style of play, which I think my sister enjoyed best, takes places in turns and rounds. Some of the checkers have special markers that either allow you to go again or remove pieces from specific spots. It’s kind of like Sorry in that you can really be evil to your enemies, I mean friends and family.

In my personal experience, the launchers took some getting used to and I found I was much better at winning with the top tray so I was earning more points. I think that perhaps the bottom tray should be worth more points. My sister varied. I think she had fun holding up the launcher to aim lower. She also experimented by putting multiple checkers on the launcher at once. It really didn’t improve her accuracy but she’s 8 and most kids will want to do that.

Most kids also won’t mind chasing their launchers across the table–or room. My table is small and round and this game is better on a longer table so you can try to keep the pieces on the table. My sister ran around collecting the checkers from my cats, who also found them to be fun. After trying each style of play, I was done picking up all the checkers and listening to the sound of the launchers and the checkers landing on the floor. It’s into a very quiet game at all so I’d keep that in mind.

Although I was a little less than thrilled with Connect 4 Launchers, I am not its target audience. Children around my sisters age (8) will probably love it. In fact, she took it home and played with all her friends and she told me specifically to say this:

Connect 4 Launchers is awesome

So, there you have it.

Thanks for Hasbro for providing this game for my review.

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