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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 "Symbols" look: beginning
Columns MSX Level difficulty
Columns PC-98 Play against computer or another player
Columns Genesis First piece

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 (319)

Critic Reviews

Génération 4 Game Gear Nov, 1990 9 out of 10 90
Raze SEGA Master System Feb, 1991 90 out of 100 90
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Arcade Oct, 1990 87 out of 100 87
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Genesis Oct, 1990 10 out of 12 83
The Video Game Critic Genesis Jan 31, 2001 B+ 83
Sinclair User Arcade Sep, 1990 79 out of 100 79
Megablast Game Gear 1992 76 out of 100 76
All Game Guide Genesis 1999 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
Pixel-Heroes.de TurboGrafx-16 Nov, 2003 7 out of 10 70
VideoGame SEGA Master System Apr, 1991 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60


Topic # Posts Last Post
distinctive music 2 雷堂嬢太朗 -raido.jotaro- (58393)
Aug 20, 2013
AI rating 2 formercontrib (159961)
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 (69458), PCGamer77 (3003), f1reball (249), CrankyStorming (2757), paul cairey (319), Infernos (12007), Sciere (361087), Foxhack (12633), Игги Друге (44999), koffiepad (9983), Cor 13 (174144) and 雷堂嬢太朗 -raido.jotaro- (58393)