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Sega Swirl – PC, Sega Dreamcast

Sega Swirl – PC, Sega Dreamcast

sega swirl DCPlatform: Sega Dreamcast,

Developer: Tremor Entertainment

Publisher: Sega

Release Date (NA): January 12, 2000

Genre: Puzzle

Nerd Rating: 6 out of 10

Reviewed by NerdBerry

Sega Swirl is yet another puzzle title from the makers of Sega. Some of their more popular ones are Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine and Columns, the latter of which has been released on numerous compilation discs and carts – Genesis 6-Pak and Sega Smashpack Volume 1 to name a couple. Those two titles are classics for the Genesis and classics in the overall puzzle spectrum. But how many people out there remember Sega Swirl? Maybe that’s because it was released mostly through Dreamcast demo-discs, compilation discs, and was originally created for the PC by Tremor Entertainment. While Sega Swirl can be downloaded for free through many file sharing networks out there, there was a time when someone was trying to make money off this odd little title.

sega swirl PC

PC screenshot

The object of this game is to match up multiple swirls of the same color. These little spirals are spread out all over the board and cover it from corner to corner. You are given a different set of tasks depending on what mode you play, but there are standard rules throughout the game, which is so kindly detailed for us from the main menu.

  1. Select a swirl with your cursor and press A to remove it.
  2. Align swirls of the same color to create combos.
  3. The bigger the combo, the more points it’s worth.
  4. A swirl that isn’t next to any swirls of the same color is a single.
  5. If you remove a single, you will lose 100 points.
  6. Clearing a column of Swirls scores a column bonus.
  7. The more columns cleared at the same time, the larger the column bonus.

Simple, right? I think so.


Level Challenge

  1. You must meet each level’s goals to advance to the next level.
  2. Press X during the game to check your goals.
  3. If you clear a level with no singles, you double your level score.
  4. Timed games give a score bonus for quickly clearing all Swirls.
  5. If time runs out before all Swirls are cleared, your game is over.

Versus Challenge

  1. You can compete with up to three other players, or against the computer.
  2. Each player is assigned a color.
  3. Players alternate turns.
  4. Swirls of your own color are worth double points but watch out for singles!
  5. When all Swirls of your color have been removed, you are knocked out of the game.
  6. The player with the most points wins.

Single Game Challenge

  1. If you clear a level with no singles, you double your level score.
  2. Timed games give a score bonus for quickly clearing all swirls.
  3. If time runs out before all Swirls are cleared, your game is over.

Split Screen Challenge

  1. You can compete with up to three other players or against the computer.
  2. Each player has his or her own board.
  3. Swirls of your color are worth double points but watch out for singles!
  4. When one player clears a color, that color disappears from all boards.
  5. When all colors are cleared, a new round begins.
  6. Game ends when a player reaches the Goal Score.

Email Challenge

Identical to Versus mode except turns are sent through email.


Dreamcast screenshot

There’s something about this little-known puzzle game that just attracts me. Granted, I’m a huge fan of puzzle games, but this one is just cool. The colors are beautiful and the concept is unique. It’s a little difficult for my eyes to separate certain colors but I sort of have tunnel vision and need to train myself…. Okay, I have returned. I’ve spent a little more time with these swirls and I’ve gotten a lot better.

The colors are vibrant and really pop out of the screen. They put the Dreamcast’s full color palette to use on this one… well, maybe not. There’s not a huge variety of colors. But they sure got those colors to pop! The music is nice, but a little annoying after a while. It’s like some upbeat elevator music or something. Pretty enjoyable though for short periods of time.

Overall, Sega Swirl is a fun, but short puzzle game. Once you clear the screen, you are given more tasks, but it doesn’t change the way the game plays; it only changes the speed or efficiency of how you play. It’s the same game every time except with different tasks. Regardless, it’s a fun little title to enjoy, especially if you’re bored with Minesweeper or Freecell. It’s a simple game to play. You use the directional buttons on your keyboard (or d-pad on your Dreamcast controller) and it will move the cursor. A simple action button makes the swirl disappear. Fun game. Simple. Easy. Nothing spectacular either. I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on this one. It’s so short and lacking such depth that I wouldn’t even want to buy it on my iPhone for $1! But I will play it for free. If you come across Sega Swirl browsing the web, give it a shot!

Written by Nerdberry


Nerdberry here. It’s about time I updated this badboy (been a loooong time). I’m currently loving time on my Xbox 360, as I destroy aliens left and right through the Gears of War games (man these games are good).

But that doesn’t mean I’ve lost my love for retro-gaming! My wife and I just bought a house (December, 2015) and we have a baby due ANY DAY NOW (my mini-nerdette-berry is 1 day late as of December 10th), so I haven’t fully unpacked the hundreds of cartridges that I own.



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