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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 Play against computer or another player
Columns MSX Put the next blocks with the blue stones at the bottom and all the connected precious blue stones will disappear.
Columns FM Towns Arcade mode
Columns FM Towns Arcade 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 Group

User Reviews

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

Critic Reviews

Ação Games Genesis Jun, 1991 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 100
Retro Archives Genesis Aug 23, 2018 18 out of 20 90
Retro Archives Game Gear Aug 23, 2018 17 out of 20 85
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Game Gear Nov, 1990 9.6 out of 12 80 (UK) Wii Jan 23, 2007 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Power Play Arcade Jun, 1990 4 out of 5 80
VideoGame SEGA Master System May, 1991 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Power Play Genesis Sep, 1990 77 out of 100 77
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Genesis Nov, 1990 25 out of 40 62 Genesis Jul 31, 2004 3 out of 10 30


Topic # Posts Last Post
distinctive music 2 雷堂嬢太朗 -raido.jotaro- (60748)
Aug 20, 2013
AI rating 2 formercontrib (159355)
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 (11033), Corn Popper (69350), PCGamer77 (3233), f1reball (285), CrankyStorming (3010), paul cairey (359), Infernos (19639), Sciere (528074), Foxhack (24867), Kabushi (214542), Игги Друге (46422), koffiepad (10531), Unicorn Lynx (181722) and 雷堂嬢太朗 -raido.jotaro- (60748)