BeFOUR You Know Review
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Players: 2-4 (ages 7+)
Playing Time: 10-15 minutes

When I was a kid, I spent hours playing Connect Four, the classic tic-tac-toe-style game, in which two players compete to stack four checkers in a row. Though there are a few strategies involved, it’s a pretty simple game—one that soon became almost brainless entertainment for my friends and me. It was a favorite pastime for lazy Saturdays. So I was happy to see that Patch’s new game, BeFOUR You Know, is a lot like the classic Connect Four—only with some fun new twists.

Before you begin, four white discs are placed facedown on the table. Each player takes one, keeping the color that’s indicated on the other side a secret from the other players. The object of the game, then, is to be the first to get four tokens of your color in a row on the board’s eight-by-eight grid—either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.

But, of course, there’s a catch. On each turn, you draw a token at random from the token bag. The token could be your color, or it could be another player’s color—or, if you’re playing with only two or three players, it could even be no one’s color. You could also draw a wild token, which counts as any color. You then place the token on any available square on the board, and play moves to your left.

Play continues until one player gets four tokens of his or her color (or wild tokens) in a row.

Like Connect Four, BeFOUR You Know is a simple and straightforward game to play—one that’s great for both kids and adults. As you play, you’ll pick up a few strategies—like bluffing to keep your opponents’ guessing—but the strategies are pretty basic, and even younger players will choose their own strategies before long.

Still, the game’s twists keep things interesting. Instead of playing against one opponent, you can play against one, two, or three—so you’ll have more colors to block and more opponents to try to read. And the game’s challenges even change, depending on the number of players.

The random selection of colors spices things up even more—because your next move (and, as a result, the whole game) is, to some extent, left to chance. You can come up with all kinds of strategies—but, in the end, it’s really anyone’s game. It all depends on the color of the token that you draw from the bag. It can be frustrating at times—when you’re so close to winning, but you just can’t draw the right color—but that’s what makes it fun.

Mostly, though, BeFOUR You Know is just an easy-going game—one that you can play with your family on those lazy Saturday afternoons. In fact, you might even find yourself continuing the game after the kids are in bed. So if you’re looking for a new twist (or four) on an old favorite, pick up a copy of this color-matching family game.

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