Columns III: Revenge of the Columns
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Arrange the blocks of jewels falling from the top of the screen.
If three or more jewels of the same colour are lined up vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, they disappear. Don’t allow them to pile up to the top, or you will lose the game.
Excellent Casual Gamedrakaenae | Oct. 14, 2011 | See all drakaenae's reviews »
This retro game is a lot like playing tetris with an AI but the rules are slightly different. Unlike columns I, in columns III you have to defeat the AI instead of racking up a high score. Unlike Tetris, the object of the game is to match 3 or more jewels vertically, diagonally or horizontally and only 3 vertical jewels drop at a time. There are power ups in this game. When you have 10 or more points (you get points by matching jewels), you can use the special ability "crush bar" which moves up the base of your opponent and shatters their current jewels.
Overall, its a fun and addicting game. I would recommend reading the rules before playing because I would never have known about the "crush bar" ability which is crucial for winning. The difficulty of the game increases after each level, in the final levels, one mistake can be fatal. At first it may seem hard to beat the harder AI's but with practice, you will learn new strategies to beat them.
Speed and accuracy are generally the key to winning. There are several games modes in the game (e.g. 2 player mode) that you can enjoy after finishing the story mode. The music in this game is not bad but is kind of distracting. I would recommend this game to casual gamers.
The charm...GAMERamble | April 8, 2011 | See all GAMERamble's reviews »
Well this is a first, a Columns game that actually better than just "good". While previous efforts in the series always played second fiddle to classics like Tetris and Puyo-Puyo this time round Sega really stepped up the presentation and finally achieved a classic entry. While previous Columns games were fun to play, the re-play value was a bit low and although it could get quite addictive it wasn't one of those games that you just couldn't put down. Columns 3 increases the presentation a bit over previous efforts and everything looks a bit more colourful and pleasing on the eyes. It still won't win any awards for outstanding graphical achievements, but everything looks nice and sparkly and the few enemies you face doesn't look bad at all.
Surprisingly Columns 3 even sports a story line where you as an adventurer set out to discover the secret treasure of the pyramids. Along the way you'll encounter a whole host of wacky creatures that stand in you're way. You get to chose from three different entrances at the start which effect to outcome of the game, but take practice or normal and you end up with the "bad" ending, so only those that complete the game on difficult will see the true ending. Beating a opponent nets you a a treasure chest that contains a power-up that will help you later on. The gameplay mechanics has also changed for the better. You're no longer aimlessly making blocks disappear only for the honour of getting a high-score but now you're going to have to do some real brain-work. For every ten blocks you remove on you're side of the screen you can increase you're opponents "crush-bar" by one. Of course he can do the same to you, so you're constantly battling to unleash you're ability on him before he can do it to you. Combos also play a big part in the game. Not only do they raise you're removed blocks counter very fast, but if you can get three or more combos you get a power-up. Once you unleash this on you're opponent you can inflict all sorts of misery like turning his screen upside down, making his side of the screen monochrome, or inverting his controls. This is a lot of fun until it happens to you. Every twenty lines that you remove also gives you a magic gem which can either decrease your "crush bar", increase your opponents or simply remove all the blocks of a certain color, depending on how you turn it. While all these play mechanics are quite cool ( watching your opponents face as you smash his magic block with a well timed crash bar assault is always a treat ) you can't help thinking that things like inverted screens and monochrome blocks aren't really going to spoil the CPU opponents day. These guys has trashed me many times from situations that would leave a human player in blind panic.
The music in the game features some Egyptian flavoured tunes to accompany your quest through the pyramid. The tunes are not too bad and compliments the on-screen action perfectly. The higher your "crush bar" goes the more frantic the tunes become until you can't help but feel a bit of panic. Sound effects are nice as well and nothing beats the squeal of alarm as you do something nasty to your opponent. The controls work well and you only use one button to rotate your blocks. The other two is used to cause your opponents grief. The nice thing is if you are playing with two friends you use the middle button to rotate your blocks and the A or C button to harass your opponent to the left or right of you. This makes quick strikes in the heat of puzzle solving a breeze.
If previous Columns left you unimpressed then Columns 3 might be just the thing to convert you. The single player game is hard enough to keep you playing but it's the frantic multi-player modes that will keep you coming back for more. Definitely a must have for any puzzle fan.
Addicting...Muzicjohn | April 7, 2011 | See all Muzicjohn's reviews »
First time I tried this game, I thought it's pretty boring. That's what happens when you play the game and don't even know rules ;]. After second try, I played long time, until AI beat me. Game is pretty fun, have nice music, different characters to beat and AI is getting smarter every level of pyramid, which we're exploring. There is several ways to beat opponent and you have to figure it out, which is the best, because in further levels AI won't forgive you any mistake. Columns III is solid, logical game.