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Review Mahjong Solitaire
An ancient tile matching game with some modern tweaks
Author: Jay Feldman
Date: 23 May 2017, tested on ASUS Nexus 7 (2013)
Well-balanced difficulty, addictive game play, simple controls
Music is overly loud and intrusive, cheats traditionalists may frown upon, lags a bit, graphics could have been better
Mahjong Solitaire for Android is a decent iteration of this classic game, however it adds a few capabilities that take away from the traditional play.
Mahjong Solitaire is yet another version of this ancient game of strategy and logic. It’s a matching game played with tiles that look like Asian dominoes. There are a set number of tiles arranged in a pattern on the game board, and your objective, is to match pairs and clear the entire board. Each tile has a different pattern on it, and you can only match tiles that are along the edge of the puzzle. So you start from the outside and work your way inward, making matches and clearing the board. The tricky part, is the tiles are arranged at different levels, so you really have to search to find a match. Logic and strategy are also a factor.
I love Mahjong but it can also be maddening. My favorite mode is to go for speed, trying to clear the entire board in the fastest time. The maddening part is trying to continually improve your speed. There are several features Mahjong purists may not appreciate; the back button reverses your last move and highlight mode highlights only the tiles that can be played, thereby making the process of finding matches easier. Both these options of play would be good for children, however for adults, it feels a little like cheating. But either way, it’s still a fun game and as the levels progress, the tile arrangements get more complex.
This version of the game functions well and has a host of alternate backgrounds, so you can change your color scheme and look of the game to keep things interesting. I did encounter the occasional glitch or lag, but the app doesn't seem to use a lot of resources, so it shouldn't adversely affect your battery. The music got a little grating on the nerves and overly loud at times, so I turned that off right away. But the play itself was smooth.
Mahjong Solitaire is a perfectly good edition of this classic game. It’s a great introduction for newcomers but I question if true fans will be ok with the added hints and cheats.