Aside from Chutes and Ladders, one of the go-to games of my childhood was Connect Four – yes, that big hunk of yellow plastic that comes with black and red plastic coins to drop in slots, in the strategic hope of connecting four in a row, straight across or diagonally. I wasn’t the greatest player, I had a knack for losing to my older brother on a consistent basis (curse you, James!), and though endlessly thrown against the wall and crashed down on table tops, with rebel yells and clenched fists, the game is a classic, and will always be one I return to.
HexSet is an app by developer Klogia Inc. that brings the premise of Connect Four to the iPhone. It’s easy enough to explain. The game is set up exactly as the original Connect Four, only now the game stand is clad in a chic slate grey, not unlike some modern art piece popular in loft apartments of the 80s, and the pieces are red and blue. I could do without the bleak, textured grey background – a livelier color would brighten the game: how about green? Blue? Pink, even. Something!).
The objective is the same: connect four in a row, either vertically, horizontally or diagonally before your opponent does. Scores are recorded in the upper left for you, and the upper right for the computer, continuing on ad infinitum until you become ad nauseum. Your default playing color is blue, but you may switch it up to red should you feel the need, and to switch it up even more, you may change the difficulty level from 1 – baby steps – to 5 – really battling a computer now. The default setting for playing is a random allotment for who goes first, but you may adjust this to you always playing first, always playing second, and switching back and forth between games. If you overdose on battling the fail-safe computer logarithm with level 5 difficulty, then opt for two player mode and play with a friend – one, hopefully, less talented at HexSet than you.
While the background may be in some serious need of visual counseling, some much needed drapery and accents, HexSet is entertaining enough to play again and again for $1.99. It’s simple and straightforward, and sometimes that’s all you need in a game. Especially a classic game.