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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

On the evolution of the mighty Match 3 since Columns

Retro reflections by Nick H.

While there has been no shortage of Match 3 games over the last couple of decades, my first experience with the genre was Columns for the Sega Genesis. There were other puzzle games that were around at the time, but Columns took the various formulas that myself, father, and family were used to however, and turned it on its head.

Thanks to Tetris, I had grown used to the idea of making objects disappear by lining up falling pieces to fill the entire horizontal space of a board, but the switch to a game that required players to match colours and not just fill space was a new twist that had my dad, uncle and myself hooked when we first played it. Similar to Tetris, your pieces fell from above, but instead of dealing with a variety of different shapes we had columns of three that came in different colours. Instead of flipping the pieces around, you were shifting what order the colours came in. Lining up three of the same colour caused those pieces to dissolve and all of the pieces (if any) directly above then plummeted down as far as they could. The vertical and horizontal matching came easily - but it was the need to also consider horizontal match ups that really kept me puzzling.

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On the evolution of the mighty Match 3 since Columns
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