Columns II: The Voyage Through Time

From Sega Retro


ColumnsII title.png

Columns II: The Voyage Through Time
System(s): Sega System C
Publisher: Sega
Genre: Puzzle

Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Arcade (System C)
¥? ?

Columns II: The Voyage Through Time is the sequel to Columns. It was released for Sega System C arcade hardware in 1990.


Gameplay is very similar to the original Columns. However, rather than play an endless game the single player campaign is based around "Flash Columns". Versus mode allowed the players to attack each other for the first time in the series. The graphics and music also vary depending on the stage being played.

Flash Columns

The single player mode "Flash Columns" fills half of the board with jewels and makes a single jewel in the pile flash. This flashing jewel must be destroyed in order to clear the current stage. To increase difficulty, the game has an additional mechanic where a random jewel is occasionally turned into a skull. Removing a skull jewel raises the floor at the bottom of the stack as a penalty. Two players can play solo at the same time.

After clearing certain stages, a bonus stage will appear where the player has 10 seconds to clear out a pre-made stack. These are played from an upside-down perspective, and instead of dropping columns the player moves a single jewel at the bottom of the screen, cycle through colours, and shoot it at the stack. If the player manages to clear the entire stack in one move, they will be awarded a "Perfect!" bonus of 5,000 points.

Vs. Columns

The versus competitive mode "Vs. Columns" pits two players against each other. It is based on the original endless game mode rather than Flash Columns. This is the first game in the series to feature the attack mechanic that would be later known in Columns III as a "Crush Bar" attack, letting the players interact with each other on separate fields. It raises the floor bar on an opponent's board, lowers the floor bar on the attacker's board and destroys the currently falling column on the opponent's side. It is immediately activated upon clearing large quantities of jewels and making large chains.

Like with the first game, a special type of jewel sometimes appears in this mode called a Magic Jewel which takes the form of two triangular jewels with a square jewel in-between. If a player places the column with the upward pointing triangle touching the jewels on the board, their opponent will be crushed. If they place it with the downward pointing triangle touching, their floor bar will go down. If they place it with the square touching, all jewels on their board of the colour of the jewel that is touched will be removed from the board.



Columns II was not ported to any home systems at the time of its release. However, it was later included as part of Columns Arcade Collection for the Sega Saturn in 1997, and would see a re-release on the Nintendo Switch as Sega Ages Columns II in 2019.

The next instalment in the series, Columns III: Revenge of Columns, would see a home release on the Mega Drive.

Production history


When read from top to bottom, the in-game high scores credits read

Magazine articles

Main article: Columns II: The Voyage Through Time/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

ColumnsII SystemC JP Flyer.jpg
System C JP flyer
ColumnsII SystemC JP Flyer.jpg

Physical scans

System C, JP
Instuction card(s)


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 Jewel (2005) | Columns Deluxe (2008) | Jewelpet Kira Kira Mahou no Housekibako (2009) | Sega Ages Columns II (2019)
Columns Taisen Mode Tsuki (1991) | Columns (Mame Game) (1997) | Columns (Pocket Boy) (1997) | Columns for Zaurus (2001) | Columns for Clié (2002)
Unlicensed Columns games
Sega Master System
Super Columns (1990)
Columns Related Media
Columns・Columns II (1991)
Hanagumi Taisen Columns Official Guide (1997) | Hanagumi Taisen Columns 2 Perfect Guide (2000)