This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an arcade game that combines Connect 4 and hooping. However, everything we’ve seen out there are commercial-grade rigs designed for amusement parks and similar venues. The Eastpoint Sports Connect 4 Hoop Arcade and Table Game is designed specifically for home entertainment, allowing you to bring erstwhile amusement park fare in the comfort of your digs.
Just like the arcade hall version, the game has you shooting a basketball through hoops from a fair distance, with each made hoop counting as an entry into the corresponding Connect 4 board. That means, you don’t just need to hit the shots, you also need to strategize into which hoop you’ll sink the ball in every single time.
The Eastpoint Sports Connect 4 Hoops consist of a standard arcade hoop game, with a backboard held up by a metal frame and a sloped fabric below the board for catching all loose balls. Except, instead of having one hoop, it has five separate hoops lined up right next to each other. Those five hoops correspond to each column on the 5 x 5 Connect 4 grid displayed at the center of the backboard, so getting a basket on the leftmost hoop inserts your color token into the first column and so on.
This is an electronic game, so it can register each shot you make into each hoop automatically, with the token instantly reflected on the board. As with a regular Connect 4 game, the game ends as soon as a player is able to get four tokens of the same color lined up horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. The big challenge here, of course, is the fact that good strategy isn’t enough – even if you know exactly where to drop the next token to get the win, you’ll still have to put the ball into the correct hoop and, if you’re bad at basketball, that’s easier said than done.
The Eastpoint Sports Connect 4 Hoops has a collapsible steel frame, allowing the whole thing to fold up in a flatter form factor that you can push against the wall to keep it out of the way when not in use. That’s actually important because this thing is huge, measuring a whopping 64 x 62.5 x 29.5 inches (height x depth x width) when fully assembled, so it takes up a lot of room. It’s also pretty light at just 20 pounds, so you should be able to move the whole thing from the living room to the garage after your party is done.
The game comes with four arcade-sized basketballs, complete with an air pump and needle, so this is bouncy enough to dribble if you like to put your ball on the floor before taking your shot. Instead of plugging into a wall outlet, it runs on three AA batteries, which should last you quite a bit, considering all it does is run a grid of lights and a bunch of sensors on the rims.
The Eastpoint Sports Connect 4 Hoops Arcade and Table Game is available now, priced at $149.99.