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 Review - Best of Mahjong (3DS eShop)

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Dash
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PostReview - Best of Mahjong (3DS eShop)

Stacked Like Any Other






           Ah, Mahjong. It’s a traditional Chinese puzzle game with some planning and skill involved that’s been around for millennia. More recently, it’s become popular for many to try their hand at the game on computers, and it’s in this way that many have experienced the game. Best of Mahjong by Cosmigo brings the classic to the 3DS eShop, something that will interest some but others may want to avoid.

           Mahjong is a simple enough game to grasp after the first few tries. The player attempts to clear all tiles from the board by matching two identical tiles (or, in the case of season tiles or flower tiles, two of any four of that suit). Seems simple, right? Well, there’s a twist that makes the game quite a bit harder than one might expect. You can only match tiles that have no other tiles on either the right or left side. You also can’t match a tile that’s under another tile, which can (quite often) become a major problem if you have a tile that matches the tile you need to remove in order to access the matching tile. Luckily, you have the option to quickly shuffle the tiles at any time. Best of Mahjong stays true to this formula, which is good, but this is exactly how far it goes in terms of gameplay. So, if you have any other Mahjong game in existence, it’s essentially the same basic game.


           There are a few features that do add a little extra to differentiate Best of Mahjong from other Mahjong games. There are exactly 404 different layouts of the Mahjong tiles included in the game, which is enough to keep any Mahjong enthusiast going for quite some time. Another useful feature is an option to show all usable tiles (great for those new to Mahjong) and a hint system (you only get 3 hints so use them sparingly) along with a counter that shows how many possible pairs you have at that moment. You can also change what the background is (almost all of them are completely unrelated to Mahjong and are just general backgrounds) and change the tiles to different (and perhaps more easily recognizable) suits. All of these are welcome and make the game more suitable to a wider audience.
           The smaller aspects of the game are nothing to get excited about, but they don’t detract from the game. The music isn’t anything special, but while it doesn’t add anything to the game, nor is it completely inappropriate or annoying considering the setting. The graphics do what they need to, which isn’t saying much, but they look fine on the 3DS. There’s a 3D display of the tiles on the top screen, which is mostly pointless, as you’ll spend most of your time examining the bottom screen, where you tap to actually select the tiles. We encountered no bugs or glitches during the time we played. There’s a handy (but, we suspect, somewhat overlooked) timer so you can time how long it took you to complete a certain layout of tiles. Mainly, there are some features that are just there, not really affecting actual gameplay, but some may find them useful.


           In the end, Best of Mahjong may be the best Mahjong game on the 3DS, but it still offers mainly the same experience as any other Mahjong game. This title follows the same basic formula as any other Mahjong game while adding a few elements that help it out a bit and make it appeal to a somewhat wider audience, but it’s nothing dramatically different than most other Mahjong games. If you already have a Mahjong game on another system or a physical Mahjong set, there’s really no need to download Best of Mahjong. However, if you’re looking for a cheap mobile Mahjong game, Best of Mahjong is the way to go.

5.5/10

Review Copy provided by: Gameon
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Review - Best of Mahjong (3DS eShop) :: Comments

Nice review @Dash!

I went into Best of Mahjong not knowing anything about the gameplay or rules, and I was able to figure it out pretty easily. One issue for me was the screen was a bit tight, but now that I have an XL it is easier to see all of the tiles. I don't know if I'd ever buy Mahjong again because if I ever want to play there's enough here for now.
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Re: Review - Best of Mahjong (3DS eShop)
Post on Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:13 pm by Dash
Yeah, that was really the thing with this game. If you haven't played it before and want to try Mahjong, yeah, I'll recommend it. If you've already played Mahjong though, no, you have no real need to get it. And, there really is no reason to get another Mahjong game if you have this.
 

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