- East to set up
- Fun for children and adults
- Many options for play
- Instructions aren't clear
- Freezes up in Online Battle mode
- A bit pricey
I love nothing more than a good challenge. That’s the only type of gaming I do: word games and puzzles. I saw the GiiKER Smart Four initially as a small challenge similar to Connect Four. The multi-level aspect gave me more of a challenge than I was expecting. Find out more in this review of GiiKER Smart Four.
Setting Up GiiKER Smart Four
Unpacking the GiiKER Smart Four box, you will find only a few things, but you don’t need anything more:
- Game board
- Black and white tokens
- Charging cord
- Quick Start Guide
- User Manual
The game board needs to be charged before you use it, so that’s the first thing you’ll want to do. A full charge takes about 90 minutes. Plug the USB-A end of the provided cable into a charging brick (not provided) and that USB-C end into the back of the game board. This will make the center square light up and blink.
To help you choose some aspects of the game, you’ll need to have the Smart Fur app. The User Manual provides a QR code that allows you to scan it to be taken either to the Google Play Store or the App Store to download it directly. Click the Bluetooth symbol in the upper right of the app to connect the game board. Signing up for an account isn’t essential, but you will need it to play online battles with other Smart Four players.
Gaming with the GiiKER Smart Four
The GiiKER Smart Four allows you to play two different games: Connect Four and Lights Out. With Connect Four, you can either play a person wt you physically, against the “Robot,” or against a random Smart Four player. With Lights Out, you are the only player.
You can either just jump in and play without interacting with the app or tap “AI Master” on the app. Whether or not you do it through AI Master, then do a long press on the center square on the game board to turn it on. The Connect Four games are on the left side and Lights Off is on the right. To play Connect Four against the Robot, choose either Easy, Medium, or Hard with the first three squares lit up on the left side or the bottom square for head-to-head mode with a person who is with you.
If you’re playing a head-to-head battle, it doesn’t matter who goes first. The two of you just need to pick your colors of tokens: white or black. If you’re playing the Robot, pick your color, and the Robot will let you know after you choose the game who will move first.
If you are playing the Robot, it blinks a square where it wants to play. You need to put a token of its color on that square and push down. This stops it from blinking. You are then free to put a token of your color where you wish. Once again, push down. This tells the Robot where you have played and that it is its turn again. Play continues in this manner until there is a winner.
The goal of Connect Four is, of course, to get four tokens in a row. Where it gets tricky is that it can also be on different levels, as they can be stacked. The four can be across, down, diagonal, all on the same level, or even going up, such as one on the bottom, the second level on the next square, etc.
This is where I would get caught up initially. I would be looking at it three-dimensionally when deciding where to play next. I just had to take my time and consider all levels. This is also where it gets you and becomes compulsive.
You can also play in an online battle against another Smart Four player. Hit Online Battle on the app, and it finds you a worthy opponent.
The app will tell you whose turn it is, and unlike playing the Robot or head-to-head, there is a 30-second time limit on your turn. As with playing the Robot, the board will light up a square where your opponent has played, and you need to put a token on that square and push down. Frustratingly, sometimes the game would freeze, and the other player would be declared the winner. This only happened in Online Battle mode.
If you tap the trophy icon on the app, it will display a leaderboard. Below the trophy icon is a camera icon. If you tap this, it will show videos of your game play against your opponents so that you can review your play and see where you went wrong… or right! You can also see the same thing on games against the Robot if you played through AI Master.
Lights Out is a much less complex game, and there are no options for color choice, head-to-head, or online battle.
The board will light up a random set of squares, and your goal is to get all of them to turn off. When you press down on any square, it will make the squares around it turn off or turn on, depending on its current state. This continues until all lights are “out.”
GiiKER Smart Four is available on Amazon for $79.99. As an electronic board game, it’s a valid price, but when you consider there are certainly similar digital games without a physical board for much, much cheaper, the value can be reasonably questioned.
The game can be a great way for your child to spend some time on brain work this summer. It’s rated for ages 6 and up but is still fun for adults as well. If you enjoy strategy games, it will keep you and your kids entertained.
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