Game Review: Columns

  • Game: Columns
  • Platform: Puzzle
  • Players: 1-2
  • Platform: Megadrive

Back to puzzle basics with a Greco-Roman twist

There’s not a lot to say here, which – when it comes to reviewing a game – is a real groin-kick to the entire process. Columns is a shot at a Tetris like puzzle game that ultimately fails to impress.  The name of the game and the title screen imagery would lead you to believe this game is going to throw a lot of Roman or Greek style game fluff at you, but I couldn’t find any for the short time I played Columns.

The basic premise sees you sliding 3 jewel columns down the game screen to match groups of 3 colors vertically, horizontally or diagonally. You can shift the order of the three colored jewels within each column, but you can’t rotate the column itself – it’ll always be, well, a column. This means that you can very quickly be in danger of hitting the top of the screen and losing the game, as no matter how well you slot the jewels, the vertical climb will be swift. The first few levels are a pushover, the game will suggestively flash around the edges of jewels where your column is best put, but this only lasts so long, once the handholding is over you’ll be crying in fits of stress and anxiety as columns fall out of the sky at an alarming rate and you haven’t the foggiest where to put them. Columns is a reasonable puzzle game, but in terms of longevity it’s got serious issues. It’s all so flat and dull early on, despite the chain reactions you can hit off with multiple matches or the magic columns that will blow away all jewels of the same colour as the one you hit on the way down.

Maybe it’s that we’re spoilt for choice these days with so many cleverly complex and ingenious puzzle titles on a range of platforms, but it’s safe to say that Columns hasn’t aged well and it’s not one we’d recommend rushing out to grab for the Megadrive. If history has taught us anything, it’s that the Greeks and Romans had figured out long ago how to have a bunch more fun than Columns seems able to deliver.

Score: 1 out of 5


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