Friday, March 20, 2015

Nerdicus Genesis Review #58: Columns

Title : Columns

Publisher : Sega

Developer : Sega

Genre : Puzzle

Players : 1 / 2 Players

Release Date : 1990

Estimated Value (as of today's date): $1 - $3

First thing I want to do before I get into this QUICK (and I'm talking quick, because there is not much to talk about when it comes to puzzle games in my book), is unveil the WINNER of my first blog giveaway.

Drum roll please? I'm literally tapping on my desk very loudly.

JOE WILHELM! CONGRATULATIONS!! You are the new, proud owner of your very own Nintendo Entertainment System retro starter kit! I'll be sending you an e-mail later on today to confirm so please respond asap, otherwise I'll have to pick a new winner! And we won't won't that now would we? Well, maybe the other people will lol.

Anyway, most of my other contests will actually be moved over to SUB contests for my YouTube channel which I'm trying to build up, AND if you haven't done so already, TODAY is the last day to sub and sign up for the 50 sub contest. Here's the link the video, and all you have to do to enter is comment on the video on what your favorite PS1 or PS2 game was. It's that easy!

50 Sub YouTube contest -

Now, on to the review. In the land of Facebook puzzle games a la Bejeweled, it's hard to remember where all these games originally stemmed for. It was such classics as Tetris and Columns that really built the basis for these games. Sure, I think of Tetris as the "OG", but Columns certainly did manage to make a name for itself.

Think of it as Tetris with a twist, with just as good music, ha!

COLUMNS follows the same basic principle has most "column" or "block dropping" games. In Tetris, you just needed to fill in all the gaps and make a straight line, but in Columns you need to match various gems to one another in order to clear out the blocks. 

The screen is set up as two rectangular "game areas" - two because you can play this game simultaneously with another player, which is always fun when having a little competition. A set of three, different jewels will fall from the top of the screen, with a preview of what's coming in the middle. As the blocks follow, you'll need to position them by switching the jewels using the directional pad so they match up how you want them to. Basically, it's like moving the blocks around in tetris, but now you're moving the jewels and the direction of the blocks. 

A little bit more complex, but not by much.

Once clearing out a set of jewels, the blocks drop down and more can disappear if the colors end up matching diagonally, horizontally, or vertically. Much like Tetris, you'll see a huge number of blocks disappear if you can execute a nice little combo.

There's also a nice little "magic gem" that'll make it's appearance every so often. Once this lands on the pile of blocks, it'll randomly change into a certain gem and clear out all the like gems surrounding it. A good way to get yourself out of a pickle.

The game's difficulty is basically based off speed settings, so the jewels fall faster giving you less time to figure out how to position them. It's not for the faint of heart mind you, and the panic ensues once the music speeds up letting you know that you are near death! DEATH!!!!!

COLUMNS is a great puzzle game, that has made it's home on many a Sega consoles, after all it was strictly a Sega feat. Besides the typical "how long can you last mode", there is also a time trial mode in which you just try to rack up as many points as possible in a given time, and a "mining" mode in which you try to break through a large pre-determined blocks.

The game is colorful, the music is great (although not as memorable as Tetris), and the game does it's job.

Not much more to say here, Sega does it right with this puzzle game, and I do enjoy it every now and again, but this one is more my Dad's cup of tea. He was obsessed with these games. Me? Give me Mario or Sonic.

Final Score (out of 5):

Until Next Time, Keep On Gaming!



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