Go back in time to a bygone civilization: the ancient world of Phoenicia. There you will play a simple and captivating game where sparkling, rainbow-coloured jewels drop one after another. According to the ancient merchants, by arranging three or more of the same jewels horizontally, vertically or diagonally, you shall perform miracles.
User reviews:
Overall:
Positive (6 reviews) - 83% of the 6 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 13, 2010

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Buy SEGA Classics: Columns

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Buy SEGA MegaDrive & Genesis Classics Pack 2

Console favorites from SEGA's classic collection are now available on Steam!

Buy SEGA Genesis Classics Collection

Includes 40 items: Alex Kidd™ in the Enchanted Castle, Alien Soldier, Alien Storm, Altered Beast™, Bio-Hazard Battle™, Bonanza Bros.™, Columns™, Columns™ III, Comix Zone™, Crack Down™, Decap Attack™, Ecco the Dolphin™, Ecco™ Jr., Ecco™: The Tides of Time, ESWAT™: City Under Siege, Eternal Champions™, Fatal Labyrinth™, Flicky™, Gain Ground™, Galaxy Force II™, Golden Axe™, Golden Axe™ II, Gunstar Heroes, Kid Chameleon™, Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole, Light Crusader, Ristar™, Shadow Dancer™, Shining Force, Shining Force II, Shining in the Darkness, Shinobi™ III: Return of the Ninja Master, Space Harrier™ II, Streets of Rage, Streets of Rage 2, Super Thunder Blade™, Sword of Vermilion™, Vectorman™, Virtua Fighter™ 2, Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair

Buy SEGA Mega Drive and Genesis Classics

Includes 59 items: Alex Kidd™ in the Enchanted Castle, Alien Soldier, Alien Storm, Altered Beast™, Beyond Oasis, Bio-Hazard Battle™, Bonanza Bros.™, Columns™, Columns™ III, Comix Zone™, Crack Down™, Decap Attack™, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine™, Dynamite Headdy, Ecco the Dolphin™, Ecco™ Jr., Ecco™: The Tides of Time, ESWAT™: City Under Siege, Eternal Champions™, Fatal Labyrinth™, Flicky™, Gain Ground™, Galaxy Force II™, Golden Axe III, Golden Axe™, Golden Axe™ II, Gunstar Heroes, Kid Chameleon™, Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole, Light Crusader, Phantasy Star II, Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom, Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium, Revenge of the Shinobi, Ristar™, Shadow Dancer™, Shining Force, Shining Force II, Shining in the Darkness, Shinobi™ III: Return of the Ninja Master, Sonic 3 and Knuckles, Sonic 3D Blast™, Sonic CD, Sonic Spinball™, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Space Harrier™ II, Streets of Rage, Streets of Rage 2, Streets of Rage 3, Super Thunder Blade™, Sword of Vermilion™, ToeJam & Earl, ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron, Vectorman 2, Vectorman™, Virtua Fighter™ 2, Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair, Wonder Boy in Monster World

 

About This Game

Go back in time to a bygone civilization: the ancient world of Phoenicia. There you will play a simple and captivating game where sparkling, rainbow-coloured jewels drop one after another.
According to the ancient merchants, by arranging three or more of the same jewels horizontally, vertically or diagonally, you shall perform miracles.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows® XP or higher
    • Graphics: 32MB or greater graphics card
    • DirectX®: DirectX® 9.0 or greater
    • Hard Drive: 50MB free disc space
    System specs for classic launcher.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows® XP or higher
    • Graphics/CPU: NVidia GeForce GTX 280 or ATI Radeon HD 6630 or equivalent DirectX® 9c or higher 1GB VRam / Intel i3-2100 or AMD Phenom II X4 940 or equivalent dual core CPU
    • DirectX®: DirectX® 9c or greater
    • Hard Drive: 50MB free disc space
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Positive (6 reviews)
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
48 of 52 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
Posted: July 5, 2013
Haha, Columns. Oh, Columns. I think everyone who's had a Mega Drive has played a Columns game before. It's basically Sega's Tetris.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHSs7iKy-Eo
Great Tetris Alternative
Until i bought a bundle recently i didn't even know or ever heard what Columns™ was, when i first opened it i realized it was Tetris like a game made by Sega - on the opening title i already was impressed by the very cool retro soundtrack that was definitely quality stuff (Some would deem better than tetris soundtrack). Greek theme gives you some cool vibes

Columns does work bit differently than Tetris the main concept is the same, except all the blocks that will be falling from the sky are actual columns, each of them have their element/color and getting 3 in row horizontally, vertically or diagonically will make them go BOOM and they are gone, pretty simple right?

The game itself doesn't have millions of features, but it does have 2 player support if you want to play it on LAN with let say controller and keyboard or even both. One of the strongest points why i recommend it, is the price - its crazy cheap and its rather good alternative if you like tetris type of games.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 30
Columns is a falling blocks type of puzzle where you have to match lines made of 3 same-colored jewels to destroy them. Up to 2 players, but not competetive, it's solo style one. It was originally made by Jay Geertsen in 1989 for some obscure computer and then sold rights to Columns mechanics to Sega in 1990, where they put it to use onto their arcades. And in same year Sega of Japan ported it over to Sega Mega Drive, 1 Megabit cartridge, all yay very cheap game to manufracture, having such small ROM size that it got included into pretty much every compilation too. It was the first port of many and thus may lack some options. Puzzle games tend to get onto many platforms after all.
Heck, it not only managed to reach Turbographx-16 (PC-Engine), but even somehow got onto SNES. Wat, Sega.

The game that you have here is nothing more than emulation of Sega Genesis version.


Now, for usual technical part about Sega's emulation here:
The Sega Classic games that you purchase on Steam count as DLCs for "Sega Mega Drive & Genesis Classics" game that should appear in your library.
By default it runs 3D bedroom Hub. Since emulator itself is based on 2006 one made in Java and 3D Hub is made in Unity, both famous for having not-good optimization, the performance in this hub varies from one PC to another. Sound lags as well.
It's recommended to run Simple Launcher, which can be done by Right Mouse Clicking the Sega Classic title in Steam library and selecting it. It still isn't perfectly accurate emulation, but it's acceptable. Sadly, it doesn't have user-friendly access to mods.
However, Simple Launcher has it's fair share of glitches as well. It can crash. And it does the second time you go to main menu, so always quit after saving there so it doesn't crash when you want to save next time! Also, yes, emulator supports quick saves.
As alternative, you can use external emulator to run games that you purchased. Kinda like when people use ZDoom source port to run Doom on Steam. Sega kindly placed in all games that you purchased in "uncompressed ROMs" folder that program itself doesn't use, the file for this one being "COLUMNS_W.68K".
I also demand you to read digital manual of this game first. Go to "manuals" folder of game root and open "COLUMNS_PC_MG_EFIGS_US_150ppi.pdf".

While the game has multiplayer mode for two players, the emulator doesn't have any online function for that, so it's local only.


The plot of this game is that phoenician merchants play their favourite games: hating on their jewels.
And yep, it's a falling-blocks puzzle game, alright. An early one. Solo play, meaning that your main objective is to stay alive as long as possible as the blocks fill more and more of a jar.

Sega (or rather Jay Geertsen's) take on this overdone-by-now-but-not-then genre is that 3-block tall columns are falling down. They can't be turned around and made up of 3 jewels of random colors (each with it's own shape). You can however cycle jewels in column before it lands. You have to make lines of at least 3 jewels of same color for them to dissapear. Vertical, horizontal and, most importantly, diagonal lines work. Gravity is still a thing, so upper jewels will fall down into freed up space.

That means that it has some chaining going on, albeit it's not something you would do on purpose as I think they only increase score. Or level. Another thing I can say is that it's harder to pay attention to all the potential diagonal lines. And somehow, it's also more exciting, as you can save yourself or chain greatly if you do pay attention to them. For example, when the jar is near full, you may manage to destroy such line only to find out that you just set of a great chain of reactions, whether intential or not. What a miracle! Fight until end!
Yea, I do think that Tetris is lacking, at least for me. Too plain, no surprises. Columns is the part where falling blocks puzzle genre got more exciting, IMO. That, or did Dr. Mario come out before Columns? That one was rad too.

Setting is quite fancy, but nothing much exciting. It aims for "forgotten ancient Greek" appeal. Tries to be more on relaxing side, possibly hypnotizing. Music tries to be a strange kind of prettyness, you sure aren't going to find any drums in them. It sure is fancy, somewhat memoriable, but eh.

I am not exactly fond of Mega Drive conversion however. It's a confused mess between trying to be a direct arcade port and giving player all the custom options. For example, you can either go for Arcade mode or Original mode which are supposedly same. But Arcade has magical jewel appear sometimes and you can change "difficulty" in Options which means maximum speed. While original mode, selectable from Menu, can change amount of different types of jewels, music and even set up 3-minute time limit. But no magical jewels. Why is it not combined into same customizable thing?.

Oh yea, there is also Flash mode. A single jewel must be destroyed, placed under the cutsomizable level of rows. Good fun.

And yep, there is sorta multiplayer. You can choose to play any mode in two player, in which case it will behave in interesting way, not unlike arcade game: screen is divided into two halfs and everyone is playing their own Columns in each. But same mode. Can even restart independently. No way to interact. Flash mode has a "match" setting, but it just means that whole game ends as soon as somebody wins. So yea, it's like two separate solo gaming.
Well, there is also a Double two-player mode. In this case two players play on one field and they take turns on each column of jewel. Cooperative, it says. Though you can always decide between each other that whoever's turn brings "game over" loses.

But yea. Not my favourite, but pretty nice puzzle.
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5 of 64 people (8%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
Posted: July 29, 2012
This was the first game I played in the match 3 things the same genre I played and that is pretty much all there is to the game. There is nothing to really give this game longevity and there are so many better alternatives out there now that I wouldn't bother with this one.
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