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Columns

From Sega Retro

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Columns SystemC2Title.png
Columns
Publisher: Sega,
Sharp X68000
SystemSoft, TurbografX-16/PC Engine Laser Soft
MSX
FM Towns/FM Towns Marty
Telenet Japan
Developer:
System(s): Sega System C, Sega Mega Drive, Sega Game Gear, Sega Master System, MSX, PC Engine, Sharp X68000, FM Towns, Super Famicom
ROM size:
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Master System
128kB
Sega Game Gear
32kB TurbografX-16/PC Engine SNES 512kB
Genre: Puzzle































Release Date RRP Code
Arcade
JP
1990 ¥?  ?
Sega Mega Drive
JP
1990-06-30 ¥5,500 G-4035
Sega Mega Drive
JP (Game Tokoshan)
1991 ¥?  ?
Sega Mega Drive
US
1990 $?  ?
Sega Mega Drive
US (Sega Channel)
1992 $? 1701
Sega Mega Drive
EU
1990 £?  ?
PC Engine
JP
1991 ¥?  ?


Columns (コラムス) is a puzzle game first created in 1989 by Jay Geertsen of Hewlett-Packard on the HP/UX with X Window System, with ports to DOS, Macintosh. Windows, and the Atari ST. In 1990, Geertsen sold the rights to Sega, where it was ported to the System C arcade board. This version was successful enough to be ported to various Sega and non-Sega hardware (including being both a Game Gear launch title and pack-in) and launched a series of sequels, that, despite bottomed-out popularity, continues to receive attention today.

Version Differences

Each console version of Columns adds several game modes:

  • 2-player Competitive play: The original arcade version does have two players on screen at once, but this is not a competitive mode as players can join and leave at will.
  • Flash Columns: the player must mine their way through a set number of lines to get to a flashing jewel at the bottom. The faster the player accomplishes this, the higher his rank.

Furthermore, each individual port has its own features:

  • Master System/Game Gear: In single-player mode, the jewels can be changed to fruit, squares, dice, or card suits.
  • Mega Drive: Two game modes were added, accessible from the Menu option on the title screen menu. These modes can be applied to either the Original Game or Flash Columns.
    • Time Trial: Either Original Game or Flash Columns may be time-limited to three minutes.
    • Doubles: Either Original Game or Flash Columns may have two players competing on the same well instead of different wells
  • PC Engine: "Stone" and "Freeze" competitive modes (TODO)
  • Super Famicom: Media Factory also produced a SNES port of Columns under that name in 1999, also released exclusively in Japan — this time through issues of the Japanese version of Nintendo Power. This version includes a competitive play option, a tutorial, alternate jewel shapes, and an option to have jewels drop faster than usual from the get-go.

Manuals

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
Sega Game Gear
68 №48
Arcade
87 №107
Sega Mega Drive
90
Sega Master System
84 №110
Sega Mega Drive
88
Sega Mega Drive
70
Sega Master System
90
Sega Master System
89
Sega Mega Drive
74
Sega Master System
85
Sega Mega Drive
77
Sega Master System
63
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Mega Drive Version

Physical Scans

System C Version

System C, JP
Columns Arcade JP Flyer.jpg
Flyer
System C, JP (instructions card)
Columns instructions.jpg
Flyer

Mega Drive Version

Mega Drive, US
Columns md us cover.jpg
Cover
Columns md us cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, US (Sega Classic)
Columns MD US Box SegaClassic.jpg
Cover
Mega Drive, EU
Columns md eu cover.jpg
Cover
Mega Drive, JP
Columns md jp cover.jpg
Cover
Columns MD JP Cart.jpg
Cart

Master System Version

Master System, US
Columns sms us cover.jpg
Cover
Columns sms us cart.jpg
Cart
Master System, EU
Columns sms eu cover.jpg
Cover
Master System, Australia
Columns SMS AU cover.jpg
Cover
Master System, South Korea
Columns SMS KR Box.jpg
Cover

Game Gear Version

Game Gear, US
Columns GG US backcover.jpgNospine.pngColumns gg us cover.jpg
Cover
Columns gg us cart.jpg
Cart
Game Gear, EU
Columns gg eu cover.jpg
Cover
Columns gg eu cart.jpg
Cart
Game Gear, JP
Columns gg jp cover.jpg
Cover
Columns gg jp cart.jpg
Cart
Game Gear, JP (Meisaku Collection)
Columns GG JP Box Front Meisaku.jpg
Cover
Game Gear, BR

Columns GG BR cart.jpg
Cart

MSX Version

MSX, JP
Columns MSX JP Box Back.jpgColumns MSX JP Box Front.jpg
Cover

Sharp X68000 Version

Sharp X68000, JP
Columns X68000 JP Box Front.jpg
Cover

TurboGrafx-16 Version

TurboGrafx-16, JP
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Cover

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External Links

Games in the Columns Series
Columns (1990) | Columns II: The Voyage Through Time (1990) | Columns III: Revenge of Columns (1993) | Stack Columns (1994) | Super Columns (1995) | Columns '97 (1996) | Hanagumi Taisen Columns (1997) | Columns Arcade Collection (1997) | Columns GB: Tezuka Osamu Characters (1999) | Hanagumi Taisen Columns 2 (2000) | Columns Crown (2001) | Columns Deluxe (2008) | Columns Jewel (200x)
Columns Related Media
Albums Columns・Columns II (1991)