"Revenge of Columns"

Sega Mega Drive puzzle game, based upon Columns, developed by Vic Tokai (the Trouble Shooter people) and released by Sega in 1994 (it is possible that the home version is a port of a coin-op, but I cannot verify this). Columns III* is effectively the same game as Columns but with enhanced graphics and different (more annoying) music. The most noticable change however is that the Tetris-like continual game flow is replaced with a Puyo Puyo style Vs. mode against a series of cute cartoon adversaries (loosely themed around Ancient Egypt).

The blatant Puyo Puyo 'homage' is present throughout the game. The front-end is compered by a cockerel (not a million miles away from Puyo Puyo's Carbuncle), and the goofy enemies with their increasingly triumphant/terrified animations (depending on whether you're beating them or vice versa) are very similar to those in Compile's games. The graphics and animation are generally nowhere near as good as Puyo Puyo's however.

An interesting addition to the game mechanics is the introduction of an inventory, items for which are obtained by progressing through the stages, and can be called into play by pressing pause at any time and selecting from a list. The game also appears to support five players through a multitap (although this is feature is sadly not present on most emulators).

*What happened to Columns II? It appeared as a coin-op but didn't get converted to home formats.

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