Gameplay: The aim is to find the matching cubes. Once you’ve selected them then they’ll disappear… a bit like Mahjong Shanghai (or Hungry Cat Mahjong) but there are no weird adjacent or level overlap rules. Instead the cubes are stacked end to end and they form a three dimensional structure. You can rotate the whole shape and cherry pick the matching images… So the middle pieces are hidden away and can only be accessed by uncovering the outer layers.
The concept is so easy and its pure childsplay… but by heck is it fun! Perhaps what makes Mahjah so enjoyable is the simple and smooth controls. Just swipe the screen to intuitively spin the shape around. To top the game off, it’s all fully rendered 3D beauty – another unity engine success!
Just this game by itself is pretty fun, but I think it’s the little extras which snazz things up. First up there are multiple different skins, so you’re not always just looking at weird dice. Instead you can put yourself in an Egyptian crypt puzzle. Otherwise if that doesn’t pick your fancy then why not try the Yucutan glyphs! Personally, I’m not bored of the psychedelic dice yet… it somehow reminds me of playing the cyber nutcase in the Lawnmower Man.
Anyway, the reason why you might be trying your best to solve the puzzles as quickly as possible is because there’s integration with Gree leaderboards. God knows where OpenFeint has disappeared off too, but Gree is another community gaming forum and it seems to work quite well. Of course it does take ages to load, but once you get there you can see how your time and points ranked compared to other players.
Speaking of points and times… I almost totally forget to mention that your completion times are recorded and there’s a scoring system. Every time after you match two cubes then a microtimer will countdown, but if you do your next snap before the time is up then you’ll get bonus points. Nothing happens if you miss the mini window – you just don’t get the extra points.
What would be even better in Mahjah is if there were a few more levels shaped in particular ways. Alternatively if there was a memory round then that would be interesting too. I’d like to see how low people can drive the times if the cube setup was the same every time.
Rating: 3.5/5 Mahjah is a fab game which is great to play in short bursts. Unfortunately I don’t think it quite has the snazz to draw you back to it. After you’ve given the leaderboard a shot then you’ll probably forget about this game.
MahJah Promotional Youtube Video
- If you’re keen to really get the low times then you need to focus on increasing the chances of matching. To do this you need to be constantly rotating the shape to get a view of more cubes… thus increasing your chances of finding a match. Of course there is a limit to this, and it takes time to build up the memory capacity and dynamism to rotate and match cubes.
- The bonus points are also key to getting a high grade on the leader board. Technically the faster the find successive matches then the more points you’ll get, however its quite likely that you reduce your mind scanning ability whilst matching as fast as possible. So instead, try to pace your matching so that you chain your matches and you’re constantly planning your next match whilst executing your current one.
- Overall, as steady rotation combined with a well paced match speed should get you more than decent average score. As you improve in your ability to do this then you’ll score even higher!
Developers: Dmitriy Prikhodko