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I'd never heard of Mah Jong before but I've since learned that it is a tile game for four players which originated in China. Mah Jong tiles are a little bit like dominos but the game itself is more like Western card games.
I chose this game because I've been playing puzzle games recently and enjoying them so I thought it would be fun to play this one, and I wasn't disappointed.
There are three modes to the game; classic, puzzle, and quest. In Classic mode you can choose different levels of difficulty, and you use standard Mah Jong rules to complete each game. I didn't like this mode so much because I thought it was harder.
In Puzzle mode, again there are different difficulty levels and you progess through the puzzles just for fun.
In Quest mode, which was my favourite, there is a storyline and you are shown how to play the puzzles, as new tiles appear at each level. These special tiles have different functions and help you in completing each level. You play against a timer, which adds to the challenge - it's quite long though, so nothing is too stressful, unless you have to start the level again!
I found that I got sucked into each challenge and simply had to complete it rather than be beaten by it.
Each time that you complete a puzzle you open a fortune cookie which tells you something about the world you've just played, and you get a short comic strip type video clip which tells you a bit more of the story. The storyline is incidental, really the game is about the puzzles, but it is quite nice to feel some sort of progression to the game by playing through different worlds.
I found the game easy to learn as the first level was a tutorial. After this you quickly get the hang of how to match the tiles. Once I'd learned the game I thought it might get monotonous, but I found that I got sucked into each challenge and simply had to complete it rather than be beaten by it.
The sound was really annoying, but it's not essential to the gameplay so I just turned the volume down. In fact I found I could concentrate better that way! The tiles are a little bit small on the DS screen, but otherwise I thought the graphics were fine.
If you like puzzle games you can't fail to enjoy this, as Mah Jong is a classic.
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