A game for mobile devices, Magic Mahjong brings fantasy to the world of this ancient board game. You play as a wizard tasked with clearing the tile board floating in front of you before time runs out. At your disposal is the power to rearrange the board and the power to automatically find and dispel a match. Above you sits the time, how many matches are available to you and your score. Should you fail to complete the board in time, you have to start over.
A calm game with a cute, albeit repetitive, soundtrack, it’s an imaginative take on a game where typical adaptations only ever change the pictures on the tiles. While these images are not traditional with bright colors and large pictures, it does its best to work in a story about a wizard, making it extremely accessible to children. The board layout is also done in a very simplistic fashion, meaning regular Mahjong players will not find much of a challenge. Occasionally, a board rearrange is necessary as there are no matches to be made no matter how well you’ve planned your moves. In addition, there is a slight delay from when a match is made and when you can choose the next pair, a minor issue that can slightly frustrate the quicker screen tappers.
As far as gameplay is concerned, the three minute timer is an ample amount of time to get through every puzzle. Depending on your score and your time left, you earn up to a maximum of three stars per each level, inciting players to re-do the ones they did not complete perfectly. Tiles matched reward the wizard with points ranging from 10 to 50. There are even bonus buttons that quickly appear and disappear along the side of the screen, offering players bombs to blow up the board with, extra time or extra matching power.
All in all, there are a total of 50 levels before the wizard reaches the end of his journey. What he finds there is anyone’s guess, and that’s what makes the game so enjoyable. Players can assign the wizard any story they want during their playthrough. Even better, though, Magic Mahjong is a great way to teach people a game that tests their matching skills and how they plan ahead. Free and quick to download, if you enjoy puzzle games, you’ll enjoy Magic Mahjong.