Reviewed by David Savage
I love board and table top games, I have done since I was a child and one of my favourites was, and still is, Connect 4. As a child I had the table top version as well as a mini travel version, so you can imagine my delight when I was told I would be receiving the official Hasbro giant version, standing at a massive 1.1 metre tall, perfect for playing with family and friends in the garden.
For anyone that doesn’t know what Connect 4 is, and I doubt there is anybody doesn’t, it is a strategy game played by 2 players using red and yellow discs and the object is to get 4 of the same colour in an uninterrupted row, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. By strategically placing your discs you can block your opponent from building their line while trying to build your own line. It involves strategic thinking, skill and luck. If you have ever played noughts and crosses (tic tac toe), this is a bigger, better version (and not on paper!) where much more thinking about your moves is involved.
So I eagerly awaited for the courier to arrive for the fun to begin, and although I knew it was GIANT Connect 4 I got quite a shock when the courier delivered an enormous box weighing over 12kg. So on opening the box I expected to find a lot of needless packaging making the box much bigger than it needed to be. Inside the box is very minimal packaging, but an adequate amount to make sure the pieces are protected from any damage. On seeing this I realised just how massive the game board would be, and no the box wasn’t so big because it came pre- assembled!
So as it was a reasonably sunny, but cold, day I took the box into the garden where I could unpack it and layout all the pieces ready to assemble this fun new toy.
There are 16 pieces needed to assemble the frame, plus 42 counters (21 red and 21 yellow) and 2 counter bags to keep the counters in.
Assembly is reasonably straightforward (without the need for any tools) and there is an instruction leaflet listing the parts with assembly instructions and rules of play. After laying out all the pieces in took around 15 to 20 minutes to assemble as I was reading the instructions, but it is very easy to do and can be put together quicker once you know what all the pieces are and where they go (although as it’s a garden game you would probably wouldn’t want to disassemble, either leaving assembled in the garden or put it as a complete unit in the shed). Once assembled, included are also some Connect 4 stickers to decal the top of the frame, which are easy to attach.
To assemble you insert the small shelves that hold the discs into the bottom leg sections then slot the bottom half of the frame (the frame comes in two pieces) onto the legs (there are holes in the legs that the frame slots into so you can’t go wrong). Then slot the top half of the frame into the guide holes of the top leg sections and then affix the top to the bottom by putting the top leg sections pegs into the holes of the bottom section. You can then use frame holder clips to join the bottom frame to the top to make it more secure. All that’s left to do is put the sliders into the bottom holes on the legs, one each side (these stop the discs for falling out when dropped in). That’s it, all very simple and ready to play.
Now that I had finished assembling the frame I added the 21 yellow discs to the shelf on one side and the 21 red discs on the shelf on the other side. I now had to find someone to play with! So I called a friend and waited game time!
Now as I already explained Connect 4 is a game of strategy so once my friend arrived we played several games over 2 hours of trying to outwit each other with wins on both sides.
To play each player takes it in turns to drop one of their coloured discs into one of the 7 spaces at the top of the frame, trying to create a line of 4 within the 42 spaces on the frame. The first person to get an uninterrupted line (horizontally, vertically or diagonally) has Connect 4 and is the winner!
So what did we think of the Giant Connect 4? It’s absolutely excellent! The sheer size and scale of the game (1.1m high and 1.46m wide) makes it much more interesting and although technically a 2 player game it could be used for team games. So whereas the tabletop version is just for 2, this version is fun for the whole family to join in whether as spectators or as team players, all while sitting in the garden with a drink and enjoying the sunshine.
The frame is quite heavy and sturdy so it won’t fall over easily with a light breeze, but the discs, although quite large and thick, are hollow and light so very easy to use.
Once the game has finished you obviously need to remove the discs which is very easily done by pulling the slider bar at the bottom each leg, the discs then all fall through the frame onto the ground. Put the sliders back in and you are ready to go again.
Overall this Official Hasbro Giant Connect 4 is brilliant and is great fun for the garden but would also be great for schools, birthday parties and any other event. It is very quick and easy to assemble but due to its large size and height is recommended for over 8 years + as you would need to be tall enough to reach the top easily to insert your discs.
We had great fun playing this and although rather expensive it is study, and because it’s a thick, heavy duty plastic it won’t rust and can easily be wiped clean which means it will be very long lasting and with the hours of enjoyment we will get from playing it with family and friends is definitely worth the outlay.
You will need quite a large space to store it, whether you take it apart or leave it complete, unless you decide to leave it permanently in the garden but just think of all the fun you will have on those warm summer nights while maybe enjoying a barbeque while playing the family friendly Giant Connect 4. And if you should happen to lose or damage the playing discs they are available to buy for £3 each.
So overall while I was initially shocked at the price it is definitely worth the money due to the build quality, sturdiness and enjoyment factor.
The Official Hasbro Giant Connect 4 is available to buy from Big Game Hunters here.