Columns is one of the most popular puzzle games which has the same underlying principle as Tetris. As a player you have the task to sort the blocks falling from above on to a field that is still quite empty at the beginning, and to sort them specifically according to matching gems to get them to disappear and ultimately to get points. The falling blocks in columns always consist of a series of three colorful gemstones. During the fall down, the order of precious stones of the player can be changed as often as you like to achieve the desired effect: creating a matching series of three or more stones. These can be horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Chain reactions will get you the most points and get you faster to the next level. The transition from one level to the next is continuous and reflected in a higher speed of falling of blocks. The goal of the game is to reach a high score, at each level, because the number of colorful stones falling is infinite. From the ninth level onwards, however, the blocks fall but so quickly that you absolutely have no time to find more time think as a player. The preview of the next block to appear however also helps. This game will get hectic pretty quickly and game over is inevitable after a short time.
At home I used to have this also on the Sega Mega drive as well as the Game gear version being reviewed here. In addition to the usual settings the games only slightly vary in graphical variations, being functional, yet basic. There were some enhanced versions released over the following years, but on each the game play is always roughly the same, the crucial added fun factor being a two player version, however, which certainly adds to the games longevity.
Conclusion: Columns is a good game that really stimulates the old grey matter, it was in a way Segaâ€™s â€˜Tetrisâ€™ and while the popularity of Nintendoâ€™s little machine (of which Tetris was included, making it some believe crucial to its success) far exceeded its Sega rival, Columns is a great game in its own right and really stands up to the test of time as a great strategy puzzle game.
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