Columns II

The Voyage Through Time

Columns title screen. Columns select game mode. Columns gameplay screenshot. Columns gameplay screenshot. Columns gameplay screenshot. Columns gameplay screenshot.

Columns II icon Still in the same year 1990 Sega released a second issue of their Columns arcade machine, and only the arcade machine. Actually there were not enough changes to warrant a new name, it should be seen more like the Gigas Mark II.

The first and most visible difference was a new, Mucha-inspired (it's incredible how much computer gaming is indebted to this great Czech artist) title screen. For the game itself, there were several sets of graphics. One was exactly the same as that of the original Columns machine, screenshots can be discerned only by the different positioning of the scores. But there were others as well, a gray one with a machine theme or the pale green one that matches the title screen especially well.

Columns II is probably less known than the original Sega Columns, due to the fact that it had no console equivalents, but it was nevertheless influential. The ability to select between alternative graphic sets has become a standard feature of Columns games, classical Tetris clones offer it far rarer.

And what about the Voyage Through Time? I'm not exactly sure what it refers to, but I guess you could interpret the various graphic sets as such. Anyway it bears witness to the tendency of Asian game developers to furnish even completely abstract games with at least the semblance of a story.