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Endless mode (Single-player)
Super Columns (スーパーコラムス?) is a tile-matching puzzle video game released by Sega for the Game Gear in 1995. It was later included on the Coleco Sonic, along with the original Columns, to which it is a sequel.
Super Columns enhanced the classic Columns gameplay by adding new types of blocks, as well as the ability to turn the lines of blocks a la Dr. Mario. New blocks include:
- Glitter Column
Looks like three glowing squares. When dropped on a gem, all gems of the same type are removed from the grid. (including blocks of sand)
- Reversal Column
Looks like three flashing arrows. When dropped, it flips the entire grid upside-down. This is usually effective at causing chain reactions.
- Magic Column
A combination of various magical columns, but it also includes an upward-facing arrow that causes all gems above a section of the grid to be cleared.
When three are matched, all gems along the same line or intersection are cleared. These appear when the player matches 4 or more gems at a time. (during "Endless" mode) If two intersecting rows of lanterns are matched at the same time, (i.e. a linked horizontal and diagonal match) then a flashing effect wipes the entire game grid clear.
The main gameplay mode is "Story," wherein the player is pitted against an evil merchant, Surhand, who wants to harness the power of a mystical amulet in order to conquer all of Phoenicia. The player must defeat five opponents three times each in order to advance in the game.
During story matches, both the player and the player's opponents can unleash various spells, indicated by a numbered display that ascends as gems are matched. Each spell has a different effect, such as increasing the speed at which opponent columns fall, or restricting the opponent's ability to rotate their columns.
Like in previous Columns games, there are also "Endless" and "Flash" modes available. In an "Endless" game, the player matches gems until inevitably reaching a game-over. "Flash" mode presents the player with 10 puzzle stages where all flashing gems must be matched in order to progress to the next stage.
GamePro gave Super Columns a positive review. They praised the variety of game modes, simple controls, and "crisp, clear graphics", and concluded that the game's "engrossing gameplay, along with the additional play modes, make it worth playing one more time, and one more time, and just one more time..."