Review of Jumbo 4-in-a-Row Garden Game

 

Big Game Hunters is a one-stop online retailer of large scale outdoor games and outdoor play equipment such as trampolines and accessories, climbing frames and play houses, indoor/outdoor table tennis tables, pools, sandpits and basket ball equipment, as well as large indoor sporting and leisure equipment i.e. snooker and pool, air hockey and football tables.”

We have been given opportunity to review an item that falls under the Garden Games category: A Jumbo sized 4 in a row game priced at £99.99 on the website (as at end of April 2012)
This is a hugely scaled up version of the timeless table top game that promotes logical thinking. Consumers really like to buy familiar items in mini or maxi sizes, and so it is an ongoing trend in manufacturing to copy popular selling items and childhood favourites and produce them in smaller, or, as this case, up-sized versions. It is all down to the novelty factor.
This unique design with the tried and tested concept is regarded as a games classic. A two player game where each player takes charge of 21 counters of one colour (one player red, one player yellow) who will take it in turn to drop a counter, (the bottom bar needs to be in place) from the top into any one of the seven columns down. The counter will fall into the lowest available space each time. The six vertical rows will enable players to build and suspend their counters in either horizontal, vertical, or diagonal rows. To win it is the first to achieve four in a row of the same colour, either by strategic thinking or just plain luck!
The grid is constructed in wood and is gloss painted in bottle green. It arrives boxed and unassembled and consists of 1 x 42 holed grid frame with 42 x plastic counters positioned within – each counter in an individual plastic bag (21 red, 21 yellow), 2 x legs, 1 x bottom bar, plus a small holdall bag (for storing the counters). Our sample did not include games rules or assembling instructions, but this may have simply been an oversight, fortunately this information is available in a PDF file on the website
Assembly time is lengthier than it really needs to be, as the counters (in bags) have to be removed from the main frame one by one. When assembling for the first time the plastic packaging around each counter prevents the counters from falling through and out the bottom end even when the bottom bar is removed. Therefore, we had to manually push and manipulate the counters out from top down with a ruler, and once all 42 counters were out we then unwrapped each counter individually. Just a small inconvenience and we could not see why it would be a problem for the counters to be bagged in the holdall and ready to go, as we think damage to the counters occurring in transit is not likely to happen.

We confirm however, that when the counters are debagged, they do fall straight out of the frame when the bottom bar is not in place, as is intended, and that the action is slick. NB. The removal of the bottom bar would be done as a matter of course to end a game and to retrieve counters in order to start another
Jumbo 4 Connect is a compact version of the Big 4 and the Giant Connect 4 TM also available from Big Game Hunters here. It stands at 74cm tall (29”) x 78cm wide (approx 31”) x 4.5cm deep (approx 1 ¼”). Weight is unconfirmed. Each plastic counter has a circumference of 30cm.
Suitable from 3 years, but the size is an ideal height for children aged 6 years plus to participate without stretching, and is of the appropriate age that a child can begin to engage in the true theory behind the game.

The item is sufficiently solid to undergo outdoor positioning either on grass or hardcore, and is, to a large degree, weather resistant. Disassembling is straightforward and allows easier storage.

Brightens the day for children (and adults), whether playing indoor or outdoor.
****

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