Recreating Sega’s Columns with Arduino!


In the early ’90s, Sega shipped its Game Gear console with a falling-block puzzle game called Columns. This Tetris-like game invited users to match colored “jewels” on the ground with lines of three new colors that drop from above. Michael A. Maynard envisioned building his own portable version of Columns at the time, but without electronics like Arduino boards and addressable RGB LEDs, the project just wasn’t in the cards.

Nonetheless, after years of consideration, he’s finally been able to create such a handheld . He used an Uno for development, which was replaced by a Nano in the current iteration. 

His system manipulates the falling jewels through a 6×13 LED matrix, with a three-LED preview display, seven-segment LEDs for game stats, and dual-motor haptic feedback. The game even features stereo sound, with effects, and music produced via dual MP3 player modules.


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