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Connect Four

Posted by Big Boo on October 3rd, 2008

Connect Four is a game whose roots lie within the old pen and paper game of Naughts and Crosses (better known as Tic Tac Toe in the US).  It is a game for two people played on a 7×6 grid and as the name suggests the idea is to try to connect four of your playing pieces in a straight line.

Players take it in turns to drop counters into one of the seven columns, gravity doing what it does best and dropping it down to rest at the bottom of the board, or on top of any other counters that may have already been placed in that column.  Whoever gets four of their counters in a line either horizontally, vertically or diagonally is the winner.  If the board is filled and no line of four is generated, then a draw is declared.

Connect Four was first published by Milton Bradley Games in 1974, and has proven to be a simple to learn, popular game for young and old alike.  This version of the game consisted of a blue plastic playing board and a number of thick red and yellow circular counters.  The playing board had a little flap at the bottom to keep the counters in place during play, and to allow then all to be released with a rattle and a crash at the end of a game.  For many kids this was the most fun part, as it made a great noise and a great mess as all the pieces tumbled out onto the table.

There have been many imitators of the MB Games version, all basically the same but being called things like Four In A Row or Join 4, although apparently before Connect 4 itself arrived the game was somewhat peculiarly known as The Captain’s Mistress.  No, I don’t understand why either!  The original version is still available today from Seven Again for less than a fiver, but also available are mini travel versions for playing on long car and plane journeys and also giant versions for playing in the back garden.

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