Mahjong Journey Rediscovers The Most Classic of Classical Classics

Mahjong Journey Rediscovers The Most Classic of Classical Classics

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The Asians are notorious for their gaming skill. That’s not an unfavourable stereotype, merely a fact. They’re damn good at puzzles. Having been repeatedly floored by a Japanese barman at Connect Four, I can personally attest to this. I have a limited amount of experience with Go, the ancient Chinese chess-like game whose name translates intimidatingly to ‘the encircling game’, but was less familiar with its equally popular counterpart, Mahjong. Luckily, revered gaming developer G5 Games were on hand to school me with their latest offering, the mystically enthralling Mahjong Journey, available now free of charge for iPad.

While it may look intimidatingly complex from the busy screenshots, Mahjong Journey is in truth addictively simple. While the traditional game of Mahjong involves three to four players and a series of intricate rules, G5 have smartly and necessarily reduced the game to its bare essentials while retaining the core essence. Players tackle a form of solitaire Mahjong that sees you pairing over 132 different designs of tile with each other across a variety of classic Asian stages. There’s a plot in there as well; you’re goal is to help a young girl and her grandfather track her missing parents. The story, though small, gives the game-play an emotional hook, which smart game developers have long since known is the key to engaging players.

I feel an affinity towards Japan, so I loved the graphics and music. And there’s really a lot to love when it comes to Japan. For example, did you know that Japan have a single word that describes the light that shimmers through tree leaves? Komorebi, if you want to impress/annoy someone next time you’re on a sunny woodland walk. Anyway, oriental stuff gets me every time and G5 really go to town on the Asian theme, with backgrounds rendered beautifully against the 3D tiles. The soundtrack is really cool too, a fast tempo traditional Asian affair that slots in perfectly with the visuals.

The game-play starts off relaxed enough but soon builds to impressively rapid encounters as more and more tiles fill your screen. This is where the addictive factor really kicks in as you strive to clear your path of these mountains of pretty tiles. There are over 120 stages to the game, with many more coming in promised future updates, so the game will have you battling away for many weeks to come. For anyone looking for a challenging single player experience with sumptuous visuals and rapid game-play from a developer who really knows what they’re doing, I’d recommend taking the Mahjong Journey all the way to the terminus.

Traverse the mystical East and be consumed by Mahjong Journey today for free at the App Store!

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