Classic Chinese tile game updated with 13 backgrounds and 168 layouts available for Windows 8
Windows 10 / Windows 8
Mahjong Deluxe! can fulfill your craving for the traditional Chinese tile games without having to set up and take apart the board. Legend has it that the origins of mahjong date back to roughly 500 B.C. and a game doesn't manage to maintain its popularity for two and a half millennia without good reason. Despite being played with domino-like tiles, mahjong has a lot in common with the western card game of rummy, and it requires skill, strategy, and no small amount of luck. While it's often played competitively, the inherent nature of mahjong makes it an ideal choice to be played as a solitary game. If you're sick of the standard versions of spider solitaire and minesweeper you'll find installed on your version of Windows 8, Mahjong Deluxe! can be a good replacement. While it may not have the visual effects and action packed play style of more modern games, it can be a great time waster and an opportunity to stretch your brain in a healthy and imaginative way.
Even if mahjong isn't as old as the legends state, it's still an ancient game, and it's been honed to perfection over those years. Still, one would think that with generations after generations of people playing the game, the Mahjong Deluxe! developer would be able to do something original with the formula. Instead, this is a pretty typical game of mahjong solitaire. It's your job to peel away the layers of tiles and clear the board completely. Unlike traditional mahjong, it's pretty similar to traditional western solitaire, and success hangs equally on sticking to a methodical process and getting lucky. While it may play close to the tropes of the game genre, there's still plenty of material here to keep things fresh. 168 different layouts are available so that you can keep coming back and have an original gameplay experience practically into perpetuity. And since the tiles are randomly laid out each turn, you can't be sure what to expect even if you've played in a particular arrangement before.
These different layouts constitute the entirety of gameplay variety, but there are a number of different aesthetic options that are completely under your control. You can choose from 13 different backgrounds to play on and a handful of different tile sets, although the differences between these are merely cosmetic. There's also a setting panel that allows you to adjust the sound effects, music, and features. While it isn't exactly laden down with spectacular effects, each of the mahjong boards is bright and pleasant to look at. It would be hard to argue that Mahjong Deluxe is some kind of killer app, but as basically the comfort food of solo games, it gets the job done.