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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 MSX Form groups of the same color
Columns Sharp X68000 Main menu
Columns Game Gear Starting level 0
Columns Sharp X68000 Options screen, there's 4 columns & background styles

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 Group

User Reviews

More colourful than tetris Genesis emmamomocat (33)
Columns--a so-so kind of game Genesis paul cairey (359)

Critic Reviews SEGA Master System Nov 06, 2004 10 out of 10 100
Retro Archives Genesis Aug 23, 2018 18 out of 20 90
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Genesis 1990 90 out of 100 90
Retro Archives SEGA Master System Aug 23, 2018 17.5 out of 20 88
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Genesis Oct, 1990 10 out of 12 83
Retro Archives SNES Aug 23, 2018 16.5 out of 20 82
Sega Power Game Gear Sep, 1992 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Game Gear Nov, 1990 9.6 out of 12 80
IGN Wii Dec 05, 2006 7 out of 10 70
Nintendo Life Wii Dec 05, 2006 6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars 60


Topic # Posts Last Post
distinctive music 2 雷堂嬢太朗 -raido.jotaro- (60663)
Aug 20, 2013
AI rating 2 formercontrib (158557)
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 (11035), Corn Popper (69092), PCGamer77 (3235), f1reball (292), CrankyStorming (3003), paul cairey (359), Infernos (29563), Sciere (689565), Foxhack (30599), Kabushi (251102), Игги Друге (46341), koffiepad (10513), Unicorn Lynx (181557) and 雷堂嬢太朗 -raido.jotaro- (60663)