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Virtual Console Mondays: The Whole of February 2008

Columns 3: Revenge of Columns

by Evan Burchfield - February 26, 2008, 12:40 am EST

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Columns 3: Revenge of Columns may have a really stupid subtitle, but it's the same classic Columns game that fans will appreciate. The game is part of that weird genre called "puzzle games" that have you arranging abstract game pieces that fall from the ceiling; it's easy to see that its inspiration is Tetris, however it requires at times less and more thought than that classic game. Because you must line up three of the same color gems horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, often you'll find that one move will cause a chain reaction that you didn't intend. As a result, it's easy to play the game by just matching up colors and not thinking too much about it. If you want to start planning these chain reactions beyond two chains, though, it will require a high level of logical thinking, and I doubt even the best Tetris players are "really good" at Columns.

This threequel adds five person multiplayer support, and a few other interesting elements, like items that can be used in the single player mode, and the ability to send a layer of junk over to your enemy when you've amassed a certain amount of points. The game can only be played against an opponent, be they computer controlled or human, which means you can get wiped out by an aggressive computer if you don't take an offensive position. The game is therefore a bit tougher, and a bit more action packed than Columns 1 (I have not played Columns 2, which is not available on the Virtual Console or any Sega compilation disc that I can find). I can definitely recommend this game as a good Tetris substitute, and a much richer experience than classic Columns, which is more laidback.

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