Mahjongg Variations

Reviewed by: Paul Schneider, send e-mail December 2003
Published by: Twilight Games, go to the web site
Requires: Windows 95/98ME/NT 4.x/2000/XP, Pentium II, 4MB video card, DirectX 3.0 or later, DirectX 6.1 for music
MSRP: $24.95

Okay let’s face it - it's hard to go wrong with Mahjongg. Mahjongg, a classic game that has been around for centuries, has seen oodles of variations on the computer. For those of you who have never played Mahjongg I'll try and impart a short introduction to the game.

Mahjongg is a puzzle game where several different tiles are laid out on the board and stacked in a specific fashion. The tiles contain variations of Chinese characters and elements. The object is to match tiles and thus remove them from the game, much like standard Concentration. The catch is that tiles need to have an opening to the left or right, or in other words, not be blocked by another tile. In classic Mahjongg only 75% of the random layouts are even solvable, so needless to say winning is not super easy.

The classic Mahjongg game is fun in its own right and provided the interface, colors, and music are delivered in a quality manner it is a great game for the computer. Mahjongg Variations certainly delivers on each of these aspects. The colors are brilliantly rendered and the music was actually slightly soothing. A neat variation the program provides is the ability to apply different themes (such as Mafia, medicine, stone, medieval, etc.) Once the theme is applied, all of the tiles will change to follow the chosen theme. The same options are true for background scenes.

Even the best games grow old after a while and this is where Mahjongg Variations shines by providing you with 12 different styles of play. These variations include; Wildcard, Tool, Zapper, Flipper, Memory, Wild Card, Spares and Double, Time Challenge, Simple, Classic (Easy, Medium, and Hard). The different options provide enough variations so the beginner does not get frustrated and the experienced player keeps from becoming bored. For example the “Simple” option truly is simple. If you are new to Mahjongg and just want to win once, try this version. The “Time Challenge” literally puts you on the clock, earning time as you get matches and losing time as you think about your next move. The “Tool” contains a bunch of different options to help you out in completing the puzzle. The “Puzzle” mode makes sure you are provided with a winnable board. In other words it is truly your fault if you don't win!

Besides the plethora of play variations there are all the typical elements you might except from a game these days such as options to turn on or off any elements, adjust the sounds and music, and keep track of high scores.

Overall, Mahjongg Variations provides new players with a great introduction to a fantastic game and experienced players with some truly intriguing variations of an age old classic. I'd give you some 'Cons' about this one, but I simply could not find any. Besides, how can you lose when they provide a free trial version on their web site!

Letters to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public. Send e-mail to:




© Copyright 2000-2006 All rights reserved. legal notice
home | previous reviews | forums | about us | search | store | subscribe


Forums Search Home Previous Reviews About Us Store Subscribe