We still dig just about all of the posts on The New Gamer, and the latest discusses why the cutdown Game Gear version of Columns is strangely moving - though I'm not even sure it's intentionally so, honestly.

Apparently, it's partly the music ("Instead of the chinsey, hokey reverberations of the Genesis version, the Game Gear's score (as well as the almost-identical Sega Master System soundtrack) resonates with chirpy but languid tones... the track comes across as spirited, but sad, and sets a melancholic tone that I'm not accustomed to with my puzzle game".)

But it's also the game's backgrounds ("As the levels progress, the sky gets darker and a crescent moon comes into view. By the ninth and final level the moon has become full, the town is blanketed in shadow and stars litter the sky. You'll never advance further than this level; the sun here will never rise again, but the columns will continue their freefall while the solemn soundtrack loops over and over in the background.")

Writer G. Turner sums it up: "How can a handful of gems seem so melancholy? Why does this puzzle game instill sadness when there's no story, no characters and no real conflict to speak of? There's hardly any intensity in its falling columns, but yet, it still manages to be emotionally moving." Can anyone think of any other curiously downbeat games?