The best Connect 4 game

Board Games

For more fun than usual, take a look at a Connect 4 game that turns the classic vertical strategy game into an arcade game of bouncing balls.

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Which Connect 4 games are best?

Connect 4 is a classic game of strategy that used to be played on sailing ships by explorers. Players take turns dropping colored discs into slots, trying to get four of their discs in a row before their opponent. The game is related to tic-tac-toe, but the goal is to score four in a row, not three, and it is played vertically, not horizontally.

There are many online versions available, but for some players, nothing matches the handling of the discs and the face-to-face interaction playing one-on-one or team vs. team. If you are looking for a large version of Connect 4 game that you can play outdoors, take a close look at the Giant 4 Connect in a Row with Carrying Case

What to know before you buy a Connect 4 game

The game of Connect 4 is played by players on a vertical game board that is seven columns wide and six rows deep. The number of possible combinations that can be played is in the billions, so it is a new game every time.

Players take turns trying to get four of their pawns in a row, either across, down or diagonally. Players play offense and defense at the same time, just as in the game of tic-tac-toe. Players drop their discs into columns, where they drop to the bottom or land atop another player’s pawn, keeping this up until all the discs have been played.

What to look for in a quality Connect 4 game

Variations

While the basic game of Connect 4 is a good one, new twists on the old game show up from time to time. 

The basic game of Connect 4 has seven columns and six rows. There are a few smaller variations, like 6-by-5 and 5-by-4. At the top end are such games as Infinite Connect 4. Some variations allow players to remove discs from the bottom of the columns, which changes the entire complexion of the game and calls for new strategies. One of them is called Pop 10. Others are called Five-in-a-Row and Power Up.

Materials

  • Plastic: Inexpensive Connect 4 games are usually made of plastic that is lightweight and relatively sturdy. Look for ABS plastic to be sturdier than unlabeled plastic.
  • Wood: Inexpensive wood versions are made of engineered woods, while better ones are made of solid hardwoods. Legacy games for passing down from generation to generation are made of top-quality woods that have been well crafted. Top-quality woods are more durable, so they last longer and are more pleasing to the eye too.

How much you can expect to spend on a Connect 4 game

Small Connect 4 games are usually made of plastic and cost from $5-$15. Many good Connect 4 games can be found for $20-$50. Once you get above $50, you are in the world of Connect 4 games made of solid wood and big, outdoor versions of the game.

Connect 4 game FAQ

Do all the Connect 4 games come with the same number of pawns?

A. Almost, but not all. The classic 6-by-7 grid requires a minimum of 42 discs, 21 of each color to fill each vertical column and horizontal row. Occasionally, you will see a set with a few more pawns, so you have extras handy if you lose a piece or two.

Can I win more Connect 4 games if I go first? 

A. If the player who goes first plays the right moves, the first player can win more easily than the player who goes second.

What’s the best Connect 4 game to buy?

Top Connect 4 game 

Giant 4 Connect in a Row with Carrying Case

Giant 4 Connect in a Row with Carrying Case

What you need to know: Take the fun with you with this 31-inch wide Connect 4 indoor and outdoor game.

What you’ll love: Challenge yourself on this giant version of the classic game that is big fun for all ages. The big game board, frame and legs are well crafted solid wood, not MDF. The 42 plastic discs are 3 inches wide and made of plastic. This 12-pound Connect 4 game comes with a heavy-duty nylon carrying case with zippered pockets. 

What you should consider: This is a pricey game, and because it takes up so much space, it is better suited for outdoor play at the beach or lake or indoor play on the floor.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Connect 4 game for the money

IAMGlobal 4 in a Row Travel Size Game

IAMGlobal 4 in a Row Travel Size Game

What you need to know: The affordable price and sturdy ABS construction make this a good choice for people wanting value.

What you’ll love: This all-in-one design of the 8- by 10- by 7-inch Connect 4 game has a convenient base with a built-in tray that holds the inch-wide pawns. The entire game folds easily into itself for storing and transporting.

What you should consider: The classic blue and red discs have been replaced by pink and yellow.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

YEIBOBO ! Connect 4 Bouncing Ball Shots Game

YEIBOBO ! Connect 4 Bouncing Ball Shots Game

What you need to know: Check out this rapid-fire twist on the game of Connect 4 that turns the classic strategy game into an activity game that gets everyone on their feet.

What you’ll love: Reminiscent of Skee-Ball games from the days of the penny arcades, this game has you bouncing 24 pingpong-sized balls off the table or floor into slots to fill one of five different columns. The collapsible grid with a cardboard backboard is 12  by 12 by 2 inches.

What you should consider: For a few more dollars, a sturdy plastic backboard would last longer than a cardboard one.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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