Game Review: Mahjong Tales: Ancient Wisdom

mahjongtalesMahjong is a game that has been around for centuries. So how did it transfer over to the PS3? Flip over to the other side to find out.

Mahjong Tales: Ancient Wisdom has 4 different modes. First on the list is Ancient Tales. This mode gives you 5 Ancient Chinese tales with 9 layouts each. Between layouts, a different part of the story is told (with, of course, the option to skip the story). This mode is similar to traditional Mahjong, with one slight difference. You don’t have to clear all the tiles to finish. Just clear the 2 gold tiles in the middle.

Next on the list is Motion Mode: Majong with an action twist. Not only do you have to clear all the tiles, you also have tiles moving around the outside for you to use. But be careful, if the outside tiles reach the dragon in the top corner, you lose a life and have to start the layout over. Luckily, there are powerups and a dump feature to help you keep them back. The powerups include a bomb, a cannon, ice, and wild numbers. The bomb and cannon blow up pieces, the ice stops the outside tiles from moving temporarily, and wild numbers gets rid of all tiles showing with that number. Work through 45 layouts to complete this mode.

Next up is Infinity mode. This mode allows you to play classic mahjong with 100 different layouts. Just clear away all the tiles to complete each layout.

The 4th and final mode is multiplayer. This can be played online or locally. Just like with motion mode you have moving tiles between the 2 boards, but don’t worry about stopping them. There is no dragon to end the game here. All the powerups from Motion Mode are here, with a couple additions: a yin yang that works as a wild card and a wand that removes any one tile. As you clear away all your tiles, keep an eye on the moving tiles as this provides you with tiles to help you out AND opportunities to slow your opponent down.

So was this game worth the $9.99 PSN price tag? I’d say go ahead and buy it if you’re into the puzzle games; especially if you’re a Mahjong junkie like I am. The only problem I had with the game is I wish it had mouse support. You have a cursor just like on a computer, and the controller just doesn’t give you quite the same control as a mouse or trackball. Oh well. It’s still a really fun game.


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