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Columns is loosely derived from Tetris, as it involves arranging falling blocks in such a way as to clear them. However, in columns they are groups of 3 same-size but varying color blocks, which must be arranged into sequences of 3 or more, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Sequences of 4 or 5 count for double or triple points, and diagonal sequences score the most. The real trick is to set up 'combos' - where one line causes other blocks to drop so as to create other lines.

As well as the normal game mode, there is also a 'flash' mode, in which the aim is simply to remove a particular block from the base of the pre-formed pile of bricks. The difficulty of this can be determined by increasing the number of complete rows which are already in place.


Columns PC-98 Flash mode: only one column matters...
Columns Game Gear Suits again
Columns PC-98 Option for single player, standard mode
Columns SNES Title Screen

Alternate Titles

  • "コラムス 対戦モード付き" -- PC-88 / PC-98 / X68000 Japanese spelling
  • "Shapes and Columns" -- Brazilian title
  • "コラムス" -- Game Gear / Genesis / MSX / (TurboGrafx-16 back cover / media) Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

More colourful than tetris Genesis emmamomocat (30)
Columns--a so-so kind of game Genesis paul cairey (317)

Critic Reviews

Computer and Video Games (CVG) Arcade Oct, 1990 87 out of 100 87
The Video Game Critic Genesis Jan 31, 2001 B+ 83
Sinclair User Arcade Sep, 1990 79 out of 100 79
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) SEGA Master System Oct, 1990 9 out of 12 75 Game Gear Sep 20, 2009 7 out of 10 70
VideoGame Game Gear Jan, 1992 7 out of 10 70
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Game Gear Sep, 1991 680 out of 1000 68
Power Play SEGA Master System Dec, 1990 63 out of 100 63
Nintendo Life Wii Dec 05, 2006 6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars 60
Game Freaks 365 SEGA Master System Mar 28, 2006 4.2 out of 10 42


Topic # Posts Last Post
distinctive music 2 雷堂嬢太朗 -raido.jotaro- (58380)
Aug 20, 2013
AI rating 2 formercontrib (159916)
Dec 26, 2010


1001 Video Games

Columns appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
Contributed to by Trypticon (10733), Corn Popper (69431), PCGamer77 (3003), f1reball (249), CrankyStorming (2757), paul cairey (317), Infernos (12016), Sciere (367457), Foxhack (12626), Игги Друге (44993), koffiepad (9983), Cor 13 (174142) and 雷堂嬢太朗 -raido.jotaro- (58380)