“ Manufacturer: Activision / Genre: Puzzle / Release Date: 2005 „
I have a confession to make. My name is kitschkitty and I'm a mah jong addict. It all started last November when I read a review of Mah Jong Medley. I love to wind down playing a game or two on the PC in the evening so I duly headed over to www.gamehouse.com where the game is available to download for free. And then my addiction started. First of all, I used to dabble in a little game here or there until I reached the stage where I couldn't go through an evening without having a quick couple. And whilst I've been off work, I find myself whiling away entire games as I try to better my high scores and hone my skill and agility at spotting the mah jong pairs.
If you haven't played mah jong before, it's a difficult game to explain but it's surprisingly simple to play. It's based on matching pairs of tiles which are stacked in varying patterns. You can only access those which don't have an adjoining tile to one side of them though and this then removes them from the board freeing up more tiles to match. I recall reading that playing mah jong as part of a computer game is entirely different to playing it in real life so for the purposes of the tape, Mah Jong Medley is based on the PC method of mah jong which I'm so familiar with.
You can download Mah Jong Medley from www.gamehouse.com for free and it's a quick and painless process which simply requires you to register for a Gamehouse account. The free version does include adverts but they are only 15 seconds or so long and only appear after every few games so they don't interfere with game play. They also provide a great opportunity to pop the kettle on or powder your nose. Alternatively, if you can't abide the thought of watching some rather amusing American adverts, you can pay $19.99 to download an ad free version of the game.
Mah Jong Medley contains, as the name might suggest, a medley of mah jong based games. My mode of choice is the classic version which is a typical computerized mah jong game. Here there are over 80 tile layouts so when you find yourself mastering one layout, you can opt for another. There's more than enough variety in this selection alone to keep me entertained for hours on end so it's rare for me to venture into the other game modes. Other ways of playing include 'Ten' which involves matching tiles which add to ten. This means you have to find free tiles as well as utilise the old grey matter a little more to test your skills of basic arithmetic. 'Free cell' gives you an extra get out clause to make the game a little easier as you can remove two tiles that don't match and quarantine them until you need them. And finally there's 'Addiction' mode which is perhaps the hardest to explain but has the added bonus of coming with a well written and informative introduction so you can play it in no time.
With such a range of modes in which to play mah jong, Mah Jong Medley is a game that can't fail to satisfy even the most hardened of mah jong addicts. The graphics are simple but clear and easy on the eye. The sound effects are great but you might need to play around with the settings a little. The gong sound when you complete a game can come as quite a surprise if you have your volume turned up. There are two sound options on the games, both of which can be set separately to your own preferences. In the background there is a therapeutic Eastern sounding music reminiscent of the sort of stuff you might hear in a high class spa and then there are the compulsory bings and various other sound effects when you match pairs.
Mah Jong Medley takes a simple game and provides enough variety and different game modes to ensure hours of entertainment. It isn't particularly perplexing but it's a nice way to relax after a long day in the office. The music is soothing and the thrill of beating my high scores keeps me going back for more. Sad I know, but am officially a mah jong addict.
There are not many computer games that I really enjoy playing apart from one - Mah Jong! I'm always on the lookout to find different variations on this classic and often take a look at Gamehouse.com where you can try out lots of games before deciding whether to pay for them.
On a recent visit I discovered Mah Jong Medley which has now become a firm favourite of mine - especially because I have not had to pay for it! The reason for this is if you are prepared to watch the occasional advert you can download it for free. The adverts are only about ten to fifteen seconds and you don't have to watch that many so it's not really a problem.
Anyway, back to Mah Jong Medley! There are four different modes you can choose to play - Classic, Ten, Free Cell and the very aptly named Addiction! It is the Addiction mode that keeps me coming back to this game so I will describe that one first! In Addiction you have ten single line grids with nine spaces in each. You also have nine sets of tiles going from 1 to 10. The object of the game is to keep moving all the tiles around untilyou have each set in the right order. Twice in the game you can take advantage of a sliding move which frees up some very choice spaces. It sounds very simple but the more I actually play the game I realise that in order to achieve higher scores there really is a lot of skill involved! It's also as addictive as it's name suggests.
The other three games are all quite similar to each other in as much as they all involve matching tiles in order to remove them. Classic is your normal game where you can choose one of over 100 layouts and then set about removinging matching pairs. One interesting thing to note is that different layouts have different numbers of tiles ranging from about 200 to about 500. I quite like this because it means that depending on how much time I have and my mood I can opt for either shorter or longer, easier or more difficult games. This is also the case with Ten. In this game you don't match pairs but tiles that add up to ten! It's basically the same game but with a slight variation. Free Cell is very similar to the Classic game but this also has an added twist because you can choose to hold two tiles in these sort of holding cells until you want to use them. I have to confess that I have not quite got the hang of this one and it's probably the game I play the least.
There are quite straightforward instructions for each of the four modes if there is anything that you don't understand.
There are leader boards for all of the four games and also for the different layouts. Normally I am the only one who plays so it's really a case for me of trying to beat my highest scores. There does seem to be quite a strange scoring system though with a bonus system which I don't seem to understand at all! I would prefer it if your score just related to the time it took to complete the game but that's only a minor niggle.
There are five beautiful tile sets to choose from and some very relaxing almost haunting background music to select. It's actually very relaxing and I do find it quite a good way to unwind after all the stresses of a hectic day.
As Gamehouse is an american site, the cost of downloading without adverts is $19.99, but as the adverts are not intrusive at all and never pop up once you have started a game you might as well just go for the free version. In order to find out more you can visit:
I really love this Mah Jong especially the Addiction mode. If you are a Mah Jong fan it's worth checking out just to have a go at this one game especially as it is claimed that it's 'never before seen!'
With Mah Jong Medley you whole new takes on an old classic -- complete withnew game modes and tile sets! Choose from over 300 layouts, all distinctly original. There's four exciting new ways to play, ranging from super easy to extremely challenging. Classic mode allows you to play like you've always played Mah Jong Solitaire. Select two tiles that add up to ten in Ten mode. Move up to two tiles out of the way in Free Cell. Rearrange tiles in numerical order in Addiction mode. With so much fun in one easy download, this wonderful assortment of Mah Jong's finest is sure to provide hours of calming inspiration!