Columns stacks up against Tetris juggernaut
As the faithful readers of GI know, I’m a child of the ’80s and ’90s. I owned an NES, Genesis and a Game Gear, but not a Game Boy. To satisfy my portable gaming needs, I got a few Game Gear games that would hold my attention. I’m not much of a puzzle man, but one stood out as an alternative to the highly popular Tetris at the time: Columns.
Columns’ gameplay is similar to Tetris, except that you’re matching various gems with each other before their row known as — you guessed it — columns stack up, ultimately ending your game. The game backstory claims that its origins hails from Middle Eastern merchants with also a little bit of Greece mixed in.
Control of the columns is simple: Guide the columns’ rows and arrange pieces to fit. It’s a simple concept that is quickly understood. You can be a newbie or a puzzle expert and still jump into playing. There’s also an option to change the items from jewels, to fruit, dice, or traditional playing card suits, which livens up the gameplay slightly.
The graphics are top-notch in both versions. The graphics are colorful and more than just bricks being moved around. They look good even in a small setting like the Game Gear.
The music in Columns varies from ancient Roman tunes to a futuristic beat that is calming during gameplay. The soundtrack is a nice mental break for the mind, which helps when you’re possibly frantically making matches.
Columns is an underestimated crown jewel that shines on all Sega systems. It’s a fun alternative to Tetris with a nice calming effect to boot. Hunt down this different but brilliant puzzle choice.
Building blocks of Columns
In 1989, Jay Geertsen, a developer for Hewlett-Packard, was looking to port a software tool to HP’s in-house operating system for its work computers. Geertsen believed there was a better way to learn skills and have fun at the same time. He came up with modifying Tic Tac-Toe and applied it as a way to help software engineers practice their programing. The result: Once they heard about Geertsen’s work through third parties, Sega called him and inquired about development. Check out his story through this link: https://www.pressreader.com/uk/retro-gamer/20190711/281599537055264.