Do you try to place your four checkers in a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally? What will be your opponent's next move? Wrestle with these and other mind-teasing questions as you play with the Connect Four® Solid State Software™ Command Module. Developed for Texas Instruments by the Milton Bradley Company, Connect Four is a thought-provoking game that allows you to develop your own winning strategy.
The Connect Four module gives you options for one or two players, as well as three different versions for a two-player game. The object of the game is to place four checkers in a row - be it across, up and down, or diagonally. While you're thinking through your next move, the computer keeps track of whose turn it is to play. The first player with four checkers in a row wins.
After you choose the Connect Four module from the selection list, a demonstration game automatically appears on the display. The computer alternates turns between two players and drops the checkers into the slots. When four checkers are placed in a row, the game is over. The demonstration continues from one game to another until you press any key to start your own game.
After you press a key, the Connect Four options display appears. You can choose a one-player game and compete with the computer or select one of three two-player games and play against a friend.
If you press 1 to select a one-player game, a display appears from which you choose one of four skill levels for your opponent - the computer. Starting with Novice, the least challenging, the degree of skill progresses to Master, the most challenging. Press 1, 2, 3, or 4. Next, the keyboard instructions are displayed. To begin the game, press ENTER and the playing board appears.
The Connect Four options display offers you three choices for the type of two-player game you want to play. The choices are Basic, Drop Out, and Wild Spot.
- Basic - If you press 2 to select a basic two-player game, you compete against your opponent to be the first to get four checkers in a row on a regular playing board.
- Drop Out - If you press 3 to select Drop Out, you play the basic game with the option to drop out one of your bottom checkers instead of adding one at the top when it's your turn.
- Wild Spot - If you press 4 to select Wild Spot, you play the basic game with the addition of a wild checker on the playing board. After you select the type of two-player game, keyboard instructions for that game are displayed. To begin the game, press ENTER and the playing board appears.
After you select the type of two-player game, keyboard instructions for that game are displayed. To begin the game, press ENTER and the playing board appears.
Playing Connect Four
The playing board is the same for both a one-player game and a two-player game with one exception. In a one-player game, one box with player number 1 appears on the left side of the display. In a two-player game, boxes with player numbers 1 and 2 appear on either side of the display. The red box (Player 1) is on the left side and the blue box (Player 2) is on the right side. These colors correspond to the colors of the players' checkers. The box flashes to indicate which player goes next.
In a one-player game, the computer controls the blue player who alternates turns with you, the red player. In a two-player game, Player 1 uses red checkers and Player 2 uses blue checkers. Players alternate turns in dropping one checker down any of the seven slots. The computer decides whether Player 1 or Player 2 goes first, and then automatically alternates turns from one game to the next.
At the beginning of each turn, the computer positions the indicator arrow at the top of the fourth slot. Press the left- and right-arrow keys, ← and →, to move the arrow to the slot in which you want to drop the checker. Press ENTER and the checker drops down the slot, stopping at the last empty space of that slot. Turns alternate until one player's checkers form "four-in-a-row" - horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. When this occurs, the display flashes the winning row of checkers and plays a tune.
If the computer wins in a one-player game, the game also flashes "I WIN." Occasionally, with well-matched players, the entire board is filled without a winner, resulting in a draw. Anytime during a game or selections, you can press SHIFT 2 (@) to return to the demonstration game.
In addition to the basic rules previously described, the Drop Out version for two players offers another option. At your turn you may choose to drop out one of your bottom checkers instead of adding one at the top. To drop out a checker, press t to move the indicator arrow to the bottom of the playing board. Next, position this arrow by pressing the left- and right- arrow keys, ← and →. Place the arrow beneath the slot from which you want to drop out. You must position the arrow by one of your checkers or you get an error tone. Also, nothing happens until you reposition the arrow. After the arrow is positioned press ENTER, and the remaining checkers move down to fill the emptied space. If you change your mind, press ↑ to return the arrow to the top before you press ENTER.
A win, four-in-a-row, may result from the repositioning of the checkers in that slot. Or, of course, a win may be formed by dropping in a checker as in the basic game. Sometimes a drop out results in "four-in-a-row" for both players. In this case the player who did not make the drop out wins. For example, if Player 1 drops out a checker and lines up four-in-a-row, but a four-in-a-row for Player 2 also results, Player 2 wins. The drop out option adds exciting possibilities to your strategy.
You play this game like the basic two-player game except that the computer randomly places a wild checker on the playing board when the game begins. This checker, a blue and red MB, does not move and can be used by either player to make "four-in-a-row." Checkers drop through the wild spot, stopping at the bottom empty space of that slot. For each new game, the wild spot appears in another location, creating a different challenge each time.
End of the Game
The game ends when one of the players wins or when the board is filled. At the end of the game, the computer asks "REPLAY? HIT Y." If you press Y, the same game starts over again. To play a different game, press REDO, BACK, or BEGIN, and the option display appears. When you finish playing Connect Four, press QUIT to return to the master title screen.