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Columns

Developer / Publisher: Sega
1990
Columns - cover art
Glitchwave rating
2.92 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
154 Ratings / 1 Reviews
#2,834 All-time
#38 for 1990
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1990 Sega  
1990 Sega  
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JP 4 974365 540357
1990 Sega  
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XNA 0 10086 01701 4
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1990 Sega  
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XNA 0 10086 05120 9
1991 Sega  
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XNA
1991 Sega  
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1991 Sega  
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XEU 4 974365 617011
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1991 Sega  
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XEU
1999 Marigul Sega  
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2003 SIMS Sega  
CD-ROM
JP 4 571159 590088 SLPM-62425
2006 Sega  
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2006 Sega  
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2010 Sega  
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2012 Sega  
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2013 Sega  
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2022 Sega  
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Title
These days most people would have played a hundred variations of this game, and all said it is just Tetris without the shapes. It probably seems a bit extravagant to dedicate an entire cartridge to something that could be quickly knocked together as a phone app. But back in 1990 when falling block puzzles weren't ubiquitous Columns was fresh enough as to feel like a relatively new (if not entirely original) idea. It was one of the first games I bought for my Mega Drive, and was something I could return to often enough without getting bored.
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Title
Any puzzle game coming out in the early to mid 90s is going to have a hard time getting away from the phenomena that was, and still is, Tetris. Columns, originally released in arcades, does a decent job of making itself different enough (by following the 'match three falling blocks formula) while trying to give itself a little personality. Now, both the release of Tetris for the Game Boy and NES are great, I'm sure you know this. They've got a personality all their own which is why they are still being playing today en mass. Columns was released for the Genesis, yet seems to be on par with the above mentioned releases.

The gameplay itself is brilliant. The ability to match three in any direction lets you link up chains to score big points and the levels seem to progress and a faster clip than its counterparts. I really enjoyed the strategy this game lets you play with - putting together combinations that seem like they should work, then sliding in that last piece and watch the jewels drop. Nope, gameplay wise, this game is great. It's the rest that makes this a bit of a head scratcher.

I don't want to say that every game released on a platform need to be a shining beacon of its graphical fidelity, in fact, sometimes simple is better. What I'm more on the fence about is how they didn't put more into this game in order to compete on the home market against Tetris. The Genesis should have plenty more power behind in than the GB or NES, but this release is sort of... lacking. It's not terrible looking: the gems shine and spin and the music and sound works well. It's more the fact that the backgrounds are entirely dull textured walls and the fact that the music is the same song on loop (worked with Tetris, not so much here). I know, I know, I shouldn't review a game by comparing it to another, but you sort of need to in this case. Like Sonic to Mario, Columns seems to lack a special magic.

It is by no means a terrible game, in fact, I think I like the gameplay style a little more than Tetris. It's simply lacking in features which should have been on the design table from day one - we want better backgrounds, more music, a little more personality. This is still true even with the comparison to Tetris. It's a game with some great mechanics, but lacking in style and personality which would come to define the game's gaming generation.
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darcyska 2016-04-24T15:26:52Z
2016-04-24T15:26:52Z
3.5
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Catalog

1068396 Columns 2023-03-03T17:11:31Z
Mega Drive/Genesis • XNA
2023-03-03T17:11:31Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
wheelchair_balls Columns 2023-02-16T23:21:58Z
Arcade
2023-02-16T23:21:58Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
flaviodnz1 Columns 2023-02-14T23:53:21Z
2023-02-14T23:53:21Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
📘 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die
jrmsrs Columns 2023-02-06T05:55:08Z
2023-02-06T05:55:08Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ColdVein Columns 2023-02-03T23:04:11Z
Master System • XNA
2023-02-03T23:04:11Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Cunungo Columns 2023-01-25T13:05:08Z
Mega Drive/Genesis • XEU
2023-01-25T13:05:08Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
aricloudy Columns 2023-01-19T18:50:45Z
2023-01-19T18:50:45Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
SneedDeck Columns 2023-01-15T22:41:10Z
Master System • XNA
2023-01-15T22:41:10Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Zippybing Columns 2023-01-13T07:18:54Z
Arcade
2023-01-13T07:18:54Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ARCADE40
HOT_STUFFDX Columns 2023-01-01T01:11:52Z
Mega Drive/Genesis • XNA
2023-01-01T01:11:52Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ColdVein Columns 2022-12-18T03:11:34Z
Mega Drive/Genesis • XNA
2022-12-18T03:11:34Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
GiornoMio Columns 2022-12-03T20:55:21Z
2022-12-03T20:55:21Z
7.0 /10
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Bom Passatempo Dinâmico Clássico

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  • BloodPump 2017-09-19 15:52:39.378295+00
    Crappy Tetris or not this is still a time destroyer and oft one of my most revisited games off the Sega Genesis Collection.
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  • NickShutter 2017-09-24 06:10:14.940285+00
    The limited-edition SNES version is immaculate. Its soundtrack is A+.
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