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Simple Mahjong.

  • Joscelyn Kate
  • February 08, 2019

Graphics and Sound 7.0

Gameplay 9.0

Controls 8.0

Lasting Appeal 10.0

Pros 👍

  • Easy customizable design
  • Tutorial explaining the gameplay
  • Decent level generation.

Cons 👎

  • Too many ads
  • It only features Mahjong solitaire.
  • Joscelyn Kate
  • February 08, 2019

Being one of the most famous Chinese games, Mahjong still was developed with a strong influence of European and Middle Eastern tradition. So it’s closer to the rest of the world that one might assume, and no wonder it’ so popular. Like Rummy game, it’s based on combinations and pairings. Simple Mahjong is a solitaire version of the game, with its pros and cons.

Graphics and Sound 7/10

Let alone the background with traditional Chinese gazebo at the lake. What matters more is how distinguishable the tiles are. And it’s time to applause. Dots, bamboos, and characters are sometimes hard to tell from each other within a certain class; but the developers of Simple Mahjong have made it really simple.

If you’re uneasy with traditional Chinese marking, you can select alternative schemes. The app offers you replacement like, say, animals and birds, or foods and dishes, or winter and Christmas theme images. Maybe some players will be easier with more familiar tiles. Alternatives sacrifice the original immersion for that, but the gameplay remains intact.

It’s not as good with sounds. Though the background melody is unmistakably Oriental, there’s too much of it. We’d like to have a richer soundtrack for better immersion.

Controls 8/10

Dealing with virtual tiles on the screen is just as easy as it is with real tiles in real life. To select a tile, you just tap or click on it. If then you click a different tile, the pairing begins all over.

Settings section, alas, only includes changeable themes. No home rules are available, though traditional Mahjong is famous for rules variety.

Gameplay 9/10

Mahjong solitaire is based on pairs. First, you’re given a layout with the complete set of tiles. You need to remove pairs of identical ones, selecting those not locked by nearer ones. In theory, sooner or later you will clear the board, removing all of the tiles. To remove a pair, you just need to tap or click a tile and then an identical one, both unlocked.

It’s easier said than done; finding duplicates takes time and attention, especially if you’re not familiar with traditional Chinese system. But you can use hints, highlighting the ones you can remove, or reshuffle the remaining tiles. This affects the score, so if you’re after records, you’d rather keep from that. But wasting too much time lowers your score too. So it’s up to you to decide what ‘s better. On victories, you unlock new layouts and get daily puzzles.

Lasting Appeal 10/10

Listen, we speak of a game that appeared before computers, and it’s still extremely popular. Maybe it will live long after the Internet when it’s replaced by the new generation network, and people, connected by neuro interfaces, will still play Mahjong with imaginary tiles they can share. As for this app, it heirs the appeal of the original Mahjong solitaire perfect when you’re into meditation.

Verdict

It’s a good Mahjong digitization, though it only covers its solitaire hypostasis. You’ll probably enjoy it if you like skill games or particularly Mahjong.

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