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 Review: Shanghai Mahjong (3DS eShop)

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Professor Clayton
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20150810
PostReview: Shanghai Mahjong (3DS eShop)

It's Mahjong, Alright


Mahjong is not particularly popular in the West, but you couldn't tell that by looking at the eShop. Plenty of Mahjong titles have made the transition to American 3DS systems, the latest of which is Shanghai Mahjong, from BigBen Interactive. The question is whether this adaptation can stand up against the other versions available, which it manages to do to an extent.

For those unaware, Mahjong is played by removing pairs of matching tiles from an intricate stack of pieces, though the typical video game version is simplified a bit. All that is required in this game is to removing any matching tiles that are not trapped by surrounding pieces; tiles can be trapped if they are surrounded on all sides or are slightly buried underneath other pieces. By removing the obstructing pieces more tiles become available, resulting in a simple and relaxing pastime.

Selecting tiles is easy with a trusty stylus in hand and a simple tap is all you need to remove one of its matches from the table. Unfortunatley the touch screen doesn't display all the tiles at once, so a lot of scrolling may be needed to traverse the board to reach a matching tile. The top screen displays all of the tiles in a nice solution, but regardless the constant dragging gets old and takes away a bit of the fun.


Once you complete the five built in boards, which all play the same except for their layout, there is nothing to do besides challenge your previous fastest times. As you can guess, this becomes old very quickly. Without any real reason to replay stages, Shanghai Mahjong seems a bit skimpy on what is on hand for the entry price. Especially when other mahjong tiles on the eShop offer hundreds of different layouts, this seems simply meager in comparison.

Shanghai Mahjong is a decent video game adaptation of the tile removing game, only it won't last very long. The whole game can be beaten in under an hour, though levels can be replayed if so desired. Shanghai Mahjong is a solid Mahjong game for the 3DS, but the eShop ultimately has better to choose from in terms of content.

2.5/10

Review Copy provided by: BigBen Interactive
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