Super Columns, the classic puzzle game, returns with a few improvements in a nifty handheld version that's a real gem.
Same Old, Same Old
Super Columns makes use of what's now a tried-and-true formula for puzzle games. Trios of colored gems fall onto a playing field, and you must eliminate them by combining them in various ways. Inevitably, you can't make enough matches, the screen fills, and the game ends.
The variety in this two-player version (head-to-head with the Gear-to-Gear cable) includes regular play against the CPU, a Story mode where you advance by beating computer opponents, and a Flash mode where special power-up blocks liven up the gameplay as you try to score big.
In each of the modes, simple two-button controls enable you to easily maneuver the rows of gems and instantly swap their order. The crisp, clear graphics are surprisingly easy on the eyes despite the tiny size of the gems. The music won't win any Gram-mys, but it's a decent backdrop for the absorbing play.
A Valuable Gem
Super Columns offers nothing that's new and exciting-especially for puzzler addicts familiar with the genre-but it's still a keeper. Its engrossing game-play, along with the additional play modes, make it worth playing one more time, and one more time, and just one more time....
- To score big points, create situations where multiple matches will occur in a row.
- Stack blocks along the side walls to leave room for maneuvering In the middle.
- In the Story mode, stack the brown blocks along the sides so they don't prevent you from making matches.