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Mahjong Deluxe 2 (Android) Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

Formats: Android
 
Genre:
 
Year:
 
Publisher:
 
Final Score
6.5
6.5/ 10


User Rating
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We liked?


An interesting take on a classic.

Not so much?


More memory game than true mahjong.


Final Fiendish Findings?

Mahjong Deluxe 2 puts a 3d spin on your idea of mahjong. By losing the matching restraints present in traditional mahjong, some of the true puzzling challenge you are used to does get lost. However, the addition of a memory element with the 3d style of play adds challenge in an entirely new way.

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Posted August 26, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

The app store is littered with puzzle games of every kind – and with good reason. They are a great way to both relax and challenge yourself; they are quick to pick up, easy to play, and generally a great mental workout. But with so many of these games available, quite a few of them are simply not worth your time – even if you’re a puzzle game addict.

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Rather than sticking with the tried and true mahjong formula, Mahjong Deluxe 2 literally turns the idea of mahjong on its head. If you are unfamiliar with the game, mahjong is a Chinese tile game that requires a combination of skill and luck to prevail. The traditional game was played with up to four players, but in video game versions you typically play against yourself, trying to beat a timer or your high score, if victory is achieved.

Typically, the tiles are stacked on top of each other in a variety of configurations, and you must make a match of two tiles in order to make them disappear, with your ultimate goal being to clear the board. The ting that makes traditional mahjong so challenging is that you can only select tiles that have either the left or right side open. If a tile is blocked by other tiles on both sides, it is unplayable until at least one side has been opened up. Likewise, tiles that have another tile on top of them cannot be played until the top tile has been removed.

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Mahjong Deluxe 2 throws most of that completely out the window, other than the concept of matching tiles. You can match tiles that are blocked in; you can match tiles that are underneath other tiles; you can even match tiles that you cannot see the images of – if you are lucky enough to make the correct guess. So where is the challenge in that? Well, it does offer a challenge, but certainly not in a way that experienced mahjong players are used to.

Mahjong Deluxe 2 takes a 3d approach to mahjong by building your tile set into a 3d model that can be completely rotated to access all of the tiles on the board. While some of the shapes contain only one layer of tiles, others may have multiple layers of tiles underneath the first set, creating a puzzle that is more challenging physically than mentally. Like a standard game of mahjong, you simply select one tile by tapping on it, then tap on its match to make them both disappear. The thing is, most of your matches will not be on the same side. By swiping your finger in any direction, the tile shape will spin around, giving you access to tiles on the other sides. Sort of a mix between traditional mahjong and concentration, you must find and remember the matches in order to succeed.

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I’m not going to beat around the bush – the first few levels I played, Mahjong Deluxe 2 made me a little bit nauseous, due to all the wild spinning and blurring colors as you turn the board. I did get used to it in short order, but if you are easily afflicted with any sort of motion sickness, then this is just not the game for you. Traditional mahjong fans too, may be disappointed in how very much this game deviates from the standard. But, if you are able to separate yourself from that and thing of it as an entirely different kind of game, you may find yourself enjoying the challenge inherent in trying to match tiles on a 3d model. Still, to my way of thinking, this is far closer to a memory game than mahjong, so keep that in mind.

Mahjong Deluxe 2 puts a 3d spin on your idea of mahjong. By losing the matching restraints present in traditional mahjong, some of the true puzzling challenge you are used to does get lost. However, the addition of a memory element with the 3d style of play adds challenge in an entirely new way.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)