A sequel to the original Columns
, Columns Crown adapts the traditional gameplay of the franchise for the Game Boy Advance
. Released on December 13, 2001 in North America, the game is very different from its predecessors, introducing power-ups, a new storyline, and new gameplay modes. Columns Crown was developed by WOW Entertainment
and published by THQ
. The game was moderately received, garnering a 68% average on Game Rankings. Criticisms included the fact that gameplay was slower than other puzzle games, simplistic design, and a poor story.
The plot of Columns Crown involves the theft of 24 magical jewels. These jewels possess abilities that alter the gameplay, and reacquiring them for Princess Dazzle is key to the game.
The core goal of the game is to line up matching colored jewels (which can either be blue, red, yellow, green, orange, or purple) into rows or columns of three or more. It's also possible to chain together rows and columns, linking them together and granting even more points. A falling block puzzle game, players can rotate the order of the jewels as they fall down, with the speed increasing with the difficulty.
A new feature in Columns Crown is the ability to use power-ups, of which there are 24 (one for each of the jewels in Princess Dazzle's crown). After a new gem is collected, this power-up is unlocked. Power-ups can be used once enough jewels have been cleared (which is indicated by an onscreen meter). These power-ups can then be triggered, and range from lasers to speed boosts.
Columns Crown has a variety of different gameplay modes. These include a survival mode (which essentially lasts until the player gets a game over), a versus mode (for a one-on-one game with a computer-controlled opponent where players can collect new power-ups), and a puzzle mode that has 50 challenges pertaining to the Columns universe.
As a Game Boy Advance game, Columns Crown is also compatible with the Game Boy Advance link cable. This has a few features, particularly multiplayer and the ability to trade gems from game to game. The multiplayer mode doesn't differ much from the computer controlled versus mode, although most critics agreed that it was the best mode included on the cartridge.