[[caption-width-right:320:Screenshot of the Genesis version.]]

Back in the time of the [[UsefulNotes/ConsoleWars Classic Console War]], Creator/{{Sega}}'s [[AlternateCompanyEquivalent answer to]] the mighty ''VideoGame/{{Tetris}}'' was ''Columns'': the UrExample of the MatchThreeGame. Coloured gems come down from the top of the screen in columns of three: you cannot change their orientation, but you can shuffle the three gems around in their column. The objective is to line up gems in groups of three or more, either vertically, horizontally or diagonally.

Compare ''VideoGame/PuyoPuyo'', which also has the player matching same-colored falling "blocks" and would later be acquired by Sega.

!!''Columns'' provides examples of:
* AdventurerArchaeologist: You play one in ''Columns [=III=],'' looking for the treasure of the pyramids.
* AlternateCompanyEquivalent: The game was very obviously Sega's answer to ''VideoGame/{{Tetris}}''. It even came as a pack-in with the Game Gear, similarly to how the Game Boy came packaged with ''Tetris''.
* CoOpMultiplayer: Similar to the "doubles" modes of Tengen's ''Tetris'' and ''VideoGame/TetrisTheGrandMaster'', the Genesis port of the original game has one, although the well doesn't use extra-wide dimensions and players take turns dropping pieces instead of playing at the same time.
%% * {{Combos}}
* CoversAlwaysLie: There is a guy on the cover of Columns 3 ''for no reason''. Trust us.
* EndlessGame: Expect to hit a lot of coincidental combos when you're getting near the top that send your blocks back down again. This game can go on for hours.
* ExcusePlot: The game tried to give the games a plot. Many versions even have a 'story mode.'
** The first game has some blurb in the instruction manual about it being a game played by jewel traders in the Near East or somesuch.
** ''Super Columns'' for the UsefulNotes/GameGear had a plot about getting an amulet back from an evil merchant. You get past her minions by challenging them to the titular game.
** ''Columns [=III=]'' had your character as an AdventurerArchaeologist attempting to find the treasure of the Pyramids. You battle bats, skeletons, scorpions, and mummies... once again by playing a PuzzleGame.
* FallingBlocks: Well, falling jewels, but still. Some games allowed you to change the jewels, to such things as dice, fruit, or mechanical parts.
* HardModePerks: In the original ''Columns'', choosing Medium (start at level 5) or Hard (start at level 10) difficulty will give you a head start of 20,000 and 50,000 points, respectively.
* MatchThreeGame
* NintendoHard: Detractors will be quick to point out that ''Columns'' is a beginner's game due to being able to make lucky chains through making the right match by accident. Now try setting up huge chains ''on purpose.''
* OddballInTheSeries: ''Super Columns'' for the UsefulNotes/GameGear allowed you to rotate the jewel colums into a row, as well as adjusting the order. The [=AI=] wasn't programmed to do this, giving you a bit of an advantage.
* RegionalBonus: The US version of the arcade original has an alternate gameplay BGM that can be used by changing one of the DIP switches. It went on to make a second appearance in ''Columns II'', which was [[NoExportForYou released in Japan only]].
* VideoGameLives: ''Columns III'' featured the Hourgalss of Time. If you lost against an enemy, you shatter the hourglass to warp back in time, and try again.