For the most part, traditional board games make fun and entertaining ports to the app store as well as any other os. They bring a lot of the nostalgia back that the user is familiar with, which makes for a great experience.The bigger publishers have the rights to exclusive ports of better known puzzle and board games, but that doesn’t stop smaller developers from making interesting and unique spinoffs. The latest of these puzzle games comes from NEONFIVE STUDIO, entitled 4 In A 3D Row ($1.99, App Store Link), which takes the traditional Connect 4 game to a whole new level.
4 In A Row 3D is a puzzle game, which takes the rules of Connect 4 and multiplies the board by 4 to bring whole new possibilities and scenarios to winning a match. If you’re not familiar with the traditional game, there is a short tutorial you go through before you can start single player or multiplayer modes. You basically have to get four gems in a row and at the same time, block your opponent from doing the same before you.
The board is laid out in 4 levels. You have the ability to place your gems either vertically down all four levels, horizontally on the same level, or diagonally throughout the whole board or the same stack. There are plenty of combinations that you can use to your advantage, but of course, that means even greater chance for your opponent to win if you’re not careful.
From the first time you launch the game, you are greeted with a registration screen. This is used to play against other people online in multiplayer mode. You can skip this and just play as a guest in multiplayer, but you won’t get the benefits of data sharing between your devices, worldwide ranking highscore between iOS, Android and Mac, and a username. I would highly recommend creating an account and registering. It just takes a few seconds, and of course the added features are well worth it.
Through multiplayer, you can play either against a random opponent or by creating a password and setting up a private room if you want to play against a friend. 4 In A 3D Row does connect to Game Center for leader boards. The only difference between Game Center and the in-game ranking system that’s used is the ranking system is used for an overall score from any device, while Game Center’s scores only rank iOS and Mac users.
The majority of the people that end up playing this game will undoubtedly recognize not only a familiar style of gameplay, but simple free flowing controls. All you have to do is turn the cube in any direction by swiping across the screen.
If you want to zoom, you have to choose it from the options menu. I’m not sure why they decided to put this in the options, because especially if you’re playing on the iPhone, it’s kind of hard to tell which tier you’re putting your gem on unless you move the cube around with ‘zoom’ turned off. Instinctively, the first few times I started playing 4 In A 3D Row I tried using ‘pinch to zoom’, but it didn’t work so I thought there wasn’t a ‘zoom’ option at all until I randomly went in the options menu and saw it there.
4 In A 3D Row is a solid take on a well known traditional title. It offers a fresh, visual style, which takes advantage of the retina display of the iPhone and new iPad to give the game smooth HD graphics. They’re fairly simple, but for a puzzle game such as this, it gets the job done. I didn’t experience any lag in gameplay in either mode I played in. 4 In A 3D Row also has a leveling system, which you use to be able to unlock a higher difficulty of gameplay.
The only thing I had trouble with in the game was when I was trying to connect in multiplayer. Since the game is fairly new, it took a little bit of time to find an opponent. 4 In A 3D Row is a challenging puzzle with plenty to offer if you’re looking for change of pace from the original puzzle game.
Price: $1.99, App Store Link
- Simple controls
- Fun leveling system
- Gameplay is simple, yet challenging
- Takes a little time to find an opponent in multiplayer
- Not a big advantage of having Game Center and Worldwide ranking system if you’re logged in to both simultaneously