to the web site
95/98ME/NT 4.x/2000/XP, Pentium II, 4MB video card, DirectX
3.0 or later, DirectX 6.1 for music
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
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!
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