Lowell Kempf(Gnomekin)United States
The Just 4 Fun series of games is apparently one of the more popular ones on Yacuta.de. So, as I have been exploring Yucata, it might have been inevitable that I would end up running into Just 4 Fun and Just 4 Fun Colours.
Just 4 Fun is a fairly simple Go-Moku variant. In both games, you are trying to get four stones in a row and you place stones by playing cards. In the original version, you play numbered cards and play sums equal to the number of space you want to place a stone. The colour version has you play cards that match the color of the space.
In both versions, you can invade a space that another player already has a stone in. In the numbered version, the greater number of stones has control, with having two more stone than anyone else equaling absolute control. In the colour version, you simply play multiple cards of the appropriate color to stack a stone on top.
There’s a hair more to the rules than that but those two paragraphs pretty much summarize the games.
I’ve now played through both flavors of Just 4 Fun a few times and, to be honest, I’m still not sure what I think.
The game that it reminds me of the most of Sequence, a game that I don’t mind but I’m not wild for. All three games are x-a-row games with a fairly large random element thrown in. Luck of the draw can play a huge role in the game. I have read complaints about how unequal hands can let someone win a game of Just 4 Fun Colour in their fourth turn. And it’s already happened to me once
On the flip side, I have to admit that the games are quick and easy to both learn and to play. Most of my games have been wrapped up in one sitting. Being able to play them online so I don’t have to fiddle about with the cards makes them really clean to play. And since I keep consistently losing, there must be more than random chance that decides the game
As I mentioned before, it is apparently has a history of being one of the more popular games on Yucata. I’m pretty sure neither version has had a US release so I’d never heard of the family before I started stumbling around Yucata. To be brutally honest, I think popular in this case equals heavily played and since the games are like popping potato chips in your mouth (only lasting around five to ten minutes), they are easy to pound down several plays in one sitting.
And, even though I question the depth of the Just 4 Fun series and I also wonder about how big a role random chance and fate have to do with winning, I do note that I keep on playing the game. As I mentioned before, it’s really easy to find the time to play and there is at least a little thought involved in the game.
It’s pretty unlikely I’d ever get a hard copy but if I did, I’d probably get the color version. While it might be a hair shallower, it would be easier to explain and I suspect (although I could be totally wrong) that there’s actually a little more flexibility in the choices you make.
So, in the end, I’m not too impressed with Just 4 Fun but I find myself keep on playing it. Which means, one way or another, I must be fooling myself