iTuesday Review: Sega Columns Deluxe

Columns is a puzzle game originally released for the Sega Genesis in 1990. The premise of the game is that columns made up of three different pieces fall from the sky. You drop them wherever you’d like in a Tetris-like fashion and try to make rows of three. Once you make a row those pieces disappear. It’s a pretty simple game that provided me with hours of entertainment as a kid.

Some console games haven’t made the transition well onto iPhone. The lack of a physical controller can actually ruin gameplay. I’ve mentioned in the past how disappointed I was that I couldn’t rock Sonic 2 on iPhone the same way I once could on the Genesis. But  Columns is different. It’s a puzzle game, so by the nature of the game it’s great on a mobile device.

Not to say it’s perfect on iPhone. It does have a couple problems. Probably the most annoying thing is the menu. You would think you would just tap on whatever you want to select, when in actuality if you do that it will un-pause the game. What you need to do is swipe your finger up and down to move to the selection you want.  While this is annoying it doesn’t actually affect your gameplay so it’s not really something to get hung up on.

The game gives you the option to use the accelerator. This means if you want your pieces to move slow, you need to have your phone flat. If you face the phone towards you the pieces will start to fall faster. I’m not really a fan of this, but like I said you have the option to turn this off so it’s not that big of a deal.

Ok, time to stop being nit-picky. My only real complaint of the game is that the controls can cause you to make mistakes once the speed starts picking up. Here is how the controls work: To move the pieces within the column you tap the screen. To move the column as it is falling you move your finger around the screen. The problem is when you get farther in the game and every second counts you’ll have a tendency to accidently tap the screen when all you were trying to do was move the column over. I wish that there was a button you had to tap instead of anywhere on the screen, this would be an easy fix.

I know that the bulk of this review has seemed like complaints about the game, but really the game itself does not suffer from most of my criticisms. You don’t spend much time on the menu screen and no one is going to force you to use the accelerator. Columns is a great puzzle game and a good addition to your iPhone game library for anyone who likes puzzle games or has a soft spot for classic Sega.

Sega Columns Deluxe is only $.99 in the app store, and it comes bundled with another puzzle game, Puyo Pop (which some people may remember as Dr. Robotnics Mean Bean Machine).  Even though the controls can be troublesome at times you do get two classic Sega puzzle games for a buck! It’s not the type of game your going to spend endless hours playing, but it’s a great time killer for an inexpensive price.

Final Rating: 7.5/1

CBR Break Down

Console Played On: iPhone 4

Approximate Time to Completion: N/A

Price Bought at: $.99

Current Price: $.99

Recommend Purchase Price: $.99

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