Mahjong Deluxe 3 PS4 Review
large level selection
slow cursor control
limited game options
Mahjong is a 19th century Chinese tile game. Traditionally a four player game, variants spawned as the game attained widespread popularity, including the tile matching game mahjong solitaire. Mahjong solitaire arranges the original game’s 144 tiles into a stack of rows and gives the solitary player the objective of clearing the table by matching and removing two identical tiles at a time. As someone who had never played any mahjong or mahjong titles, I felt a crash course in its history was necessary before digging in.
Mahjong Deluxe 3 does the arguably simple job of presenting us with mahjong solitaire in its most basic form. A still-screen tutorial fills players in on the match-two type rules of clearing tiles then sets them loose on nearly 100 stages. Levels are grouped into skill levels, each of which contain an increasing amount of tiles per higher difficulty. All levels are thankfully unlocked from the very beginning, allowing more experienced players to dig in right from the get go.
In my first sitting, after completing three basic levels to get the hang of the game, I leaped to the final stage in the game. It took my about twenty minutes to complete but I managed to complete it with sheer patience. The game’s slow moving cursor however made it rather difficult to navigate larger tile spreads against the clock. The settings menu allows players to mute music or sound effects and not much else.
The 3D mahjong stages looked enticing but never really managed to get as deep or intricate as they first seemed. None of the stage designs seemed to really push the 3D concept to its limit and were typically underwhelming.
If anything, Mahjong Deluxe 3 is a good, affordable introduction to mahjong solitaire and a relaxing, vanilla way to spend your time. It’d be much more comfortably played on a tablet or PC – I felt pretty silly sitting up in my seat to play mahjong on my TV. If the developers had shown a bit more passion in the way of more lively music, backgrounds, presentation, anything at all, this might’ve helped the title distinguish itself more. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just another functional mahjong, nothing more, nothing less.