Part of the fun with Gamesunday is that I can really take my time and find something special to review. There are so many sites talking about the newest games, but honestly, I’m not that interested in what is the latest game release. I am more interested in finding those “hidden gems”, if you will. Today I’ll be looking at this game called Greatest Cities Mahjong. Mahjong is an interesting game really, since originally I personally knew this as the tile matching game. But if you have travelled around Asia, mahjong is actually a game that you will play with friends very much the same as poker or blackjack. Of course the rules of the game are different, but for some reason the mahjong games we have on a computer, are the single-player types where you will be just matching the symbols and characters on tiles. This is not a bad thing at all, but I have no idea why there is no multiplayer mahjong games around.
I won’t go over the “classic” mahjong rules since they are so complicated. By classic, I mean the game people play during Chinese new year in Asia. The rules in Greatest Cities Mahjong are pretty simple. Each level consists of a pile of tiles that are arranged in different formations. You will have to match tiles with corresponding symbols or graphics to remove the tile from the game. A level is completed once you have removed all tiles. That sounds quite simple, and it is, but the trick is that the tiles are piled in three dimensions and you can move only tiles that are “free”. In other words, you can’t pick the tile from the middle of the row, but you have to select the one at the end and find the match for that. And needless to say, you can’t see which tiles are under what if they are piled on top of each other like a pyramid.
Greatest Cities Mahjong
This game is somewhat similar to Solitaire. What I mean by that is that the gameplay is virtually endless, you can play the game over and over again since the tile positions are randomized for each level. Some people also consider Mahjong to be really relaxing. Personally, I don’t understand how you can relax matching tiles, but this must be some “Zen master” thing that you will only achieve when you’ve been playing 20 years or more. The interesting twist with Greatest Cities is that each level represents a new location and a famous city. There is no story or any of that sort, but completing the level and revealing a new city is rewarding in itself.
Greatest Cities Mahjong Verdict
I loved the hand-drawn graphics in this mahjong game and the really relaxed atmosphere. In addition to the basic “tile-matching” there are some special game modes once you get past the easiest levels and those definitely make the game more interesting. I think Greatest Cities could be better with some kind of story, but totally understand this is meant to be a basic mahjong game.