Review: Mahjong (DSiWare)

Pay the same, get less

Mahjong titles were strangely absent from all of Nintendo's download services for a long time, but this year there seems to have been a sudden explosion of them. This is about the fifth mahjong game we've had this year, so is there really anything new here?

Probably the best of the previous offers has been Simply Mahjong. For 200 DSi Points, you got 150 different puzzle formations that could keep you busy for quite a long time. This game, however, has so much less content, you'd wonder why it's even in the store.

Like most of its predecessors, this title is based on the game type known as "mahjong solitaire." Any mahjong fan should know this by now, but in mahjong solitaire, you are presented with a large stack of mahjong tiles and your objective is to get rid of every single one of them. You do so by pairing each up with a matching one elsewhere.

The difficulty comes from the fact that you can only select tiles which have no other tiles to their right or left at the same height. Therefore, the best strategy is to try and bring the entire stack down as equally as you can – don't use any tiles already at the lowest height unless you absolutely have no other options, as they can be handy to keep for emergency situations.

The basics are all there: a single player mode and a two-player mode, which is really all you need for mahjong. But when you actually enter the former mode you'll find a nasty surprise. There's only a total of 15 different tile formations in this game – only 10% of what was on offer in Simply Mahjong. They range from easy to hard, but with such a small amount that you'll be done in no time. The two-player mode is just a head to head race as to who can clear all their tiles first.

There's really not much to say about the graphics and music. The look is pretty basic, and you get the usual amount of only two (fairly repetitive) music tracks that play during the entire game.

Conclusion

There's really not much to recommend about this little version of Mahjong. With a different title available on DSiWare for the exact same price with ten times the content, we really see no reason to spend any money on this!

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