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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 Sharp X68000 Computer opponent - some bald guy
Columns PC-98 Vs. mode
Columns PC-98 Option for single player, standard mode
Columns PC-88 Flash mode

Promo Images

Columns Screenshot
Columns Screenshot
Columns Screenshot
Columns Screenshot

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

Raze SEGA Master System Feb, 1991 90 out of 100 90
Génération 4 Game Gear Nov, 1990 9 out of 10 90
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Arcade Oct, 1990 87 out of 100 87
Computer and Video Games (CVG) SEGA Master System Jan, 1991 84 out of 100 84
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Genesis Oct, 1990 10 out of 12 83
VideoGame Game Gear Jan, 1992 7 out of 10 70
IGN Wii Dec 05, 2006 7 out of 10 70
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Game Gear Sep, 1991 680 out of 1000 68
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Genesis Nov, 1990 25 out of 40 62 SEGA Master System Oct 11, 2011 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60


Topic # Posts Last Post
distinctive music 2 雷堂嬢太朗 -raido.jotaro- (58364)
Aug 20, 2013
AI rating 2 formercontrib (159915)
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 (10743), Corn Popper (69325), PCGamer77 (3001), f1reball (249), CrankyStorming (2758), paul cairey (317), Infernos (12670), Sciere (384866), Foxhack (12599), Игги Друге (44994), koffiepad (9955), Oleg Roschin (174012) and 雷堂嬢太朗 -raido.jotaro- (58364)