Wednesday, November 06, 2019

"Sega Ages Columns II" Review

The "Columns" games were Sega's late-1980s/early-90s response to Nintendo's "Tetris."

While the game didn't quite stack up or prove to have the lasting relevance of its rival, it was an addictive and well-crafted concoction that could stand up on its own.

The background graphics and goofy sound design, even in the more refined "Columns II" -- which is now out on Switch -- didn't age well, but that is part of the charm.

Playing "Columns II" as part of the Sega Ages throwback series is a nostalgia trip that thrives on the cheesiness factor of th 1990 title.

That's not to say Sega was content with leaving things as they were. There are a number of enhancements that modernize the game while remaining true to the goofy integrity of the George H.W. Bush-era release.

Online multiplayer, a stage select amenity and an arcade-simulating tabletop mode -- allowing players to hot-swap the device in order to facilitate simultaneous competitive action on the same device -- helps you get far more out of "Columns II" then you would have back in the Genesis days.

While "Columns II" remains a slim and shallow puzzler, it also benefits from the genius of its simplicity. Chalk up another one in the win column for Sega's retro initiative.

Publisher provided review code.

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