This is my version of the popular Columns game where stacks of three blocks drop into a pit and you have to make rows of the same colour, which disappear. Use the arrow keys to move the column, up/down will cycle the blocks within it and the Return key drops it rapidly where it is.
Update 2008-Oct-20, version 1.63, added colour blind mode.
Update 2008-Oct-20, version 1.62, made the indigo block a bit bluer because some people couldn't tell the difference between it and the magenta block. They'll probably complain it is too similar to the dark blue block now but that is because at some point their ancestors diverged from mine and lived in lightless conditions at the bottom of the sea where their colour vision de-evolved.
Update 2008-Oct-20, version 1.61, fixed score upload from behind HTTP proxy servers.
Update 2008-Oct-19, added web high score table, increased version number from 1.5 to 1.6.
- - - [Download] - - -Colunms v1.63 (RAR file, 78KB; Zip file, 85KB).
This game runs on Windows if you extract the files from the archive into the same folder and run the program file.
- - - [High Scores] - - -
|58.||k. . .||23984||3776||13:03||2009-Jun-08|
|68.||k . .||19376||9297||9:28||2009-Jun-07|
- - - [Scoring] - - -
|Colour||Frequency||Basic block value||2x2 'bomb' effect|
|Red||25%||4||5× score boost|
|Yellow||20%||5||Remove all yellows|
|Magenta||5%||20||2-row and 2-column|
|White||3%||30||Half of everything|
|3 (or 2x2 block)||1×|
The score for each set of blocks removed is the basic block value times these three multipliers and possibly the red bomb's score multiplier too. So a white 2x2 bomb removed on the fourth step would score 30*5*1*8 = 1200 points under normal conditions, or 6000 points if red bomb (5×) had gone off in the last turn. A magenta downward diagonal of length 5 (the longest possible) on the second step would score 20*4*10*2 = 1600 points. The lowest possible score is a vertical line of three reds disintegrating immediately after the column hits the ground, scoring 4*1*1*1 = 4 points. The largest possible score for a 'self-destructing' column of 3 identical colours is the white, scoring 30 points, though this column appears with a likelihood of only about 1 in 37037.
- - - [Trivia] - - -
'Colunms' was originally misspelt due to a dislike of the illogical spelling of the word 'columns'. The only other word spelt in such a way that I can think of right now is 'hymns'.
Initially the columns fall at a rate of one square per 1.2 seconds. After a minute, their speed is doubled; after 2 minutes it is 3× faster and so on.
The image at the top of this page is actual output from the game when I set the blocks to be drawn about four times the normal size, though I have since changed the reflected image to something not copyrighted.
skysphere.bmp is what is reflected in the blocks using a simple raytracing method. It is a scaled down picture of part of a desert in California, taken with my Nokia 6680, though I did not travel more than 5000 miles exclusively for that purpose.
David Kelliher played this game for a period of time without knowing about the 2x2 bombs and requested that a similar feature be added by e-mail.
- - - [Records] - - -
Stephen Brooks's top score at the time of writing was 10796, set in October 2008, with a best smash of 3619 points from August 2003. Also in October 2008, David Kelliher beat the single smash record with 4295 points and someone called 'S' from the internet beat the overall score with 11079 and the smash again with 4984.
On February 23rd 2009, someone identifying themselves variously as "k!" or "kle" beat even S's high score and smash with 12185/5256. By the 27th they posted a high of 37387/30785, using the exponential nature of the smash scoring to get 82% of the points in one move. Perhaps more impressive is the second place score of 31774/13384 on March 14th. The only record the game author still has is the survival time of 13:58.