Pros: Fun for all ages, easy to play
Cons: Little fire work type things can be a pest
I purchased the Disney's Mahjong PC game for a few reasons. The first one being that I am a huge fan of the original game. The second being that my daughter is a Disney fan, and the third reason being that it was cheap! I found it on line on the Ebay web site. It was new in the package and although it was old it still met my requirements and operating system. The seller sold it to me for $5.00 with $5.50 shipping and handling to my home. I paid between the price and shipping only $10.50. That was a good price. I paid more for the original and we are talking about Disney here. Disney games can tend to cost a lot. I had never seen this game before and so I was very happy with the price that I had paid.
Facts, game requirements and installation:
The Disney's Mahjong PC game was put out in the year 2003 by Buena Vista Interactive. It suits computers that are equipped with Windows 98, Windows ME and Windows XP. I am a Windows XP pro user. You will need 32 mb of memory, Pentium class processor 233mhz, 8x PC CD rom drive, 140 MB free hard disk space, DirectX 9.0b that is included, 6-bit DirectX 9-compatible sound card and a 16 MB video card, 16-bit color depth, DirectX 9-compatible.
To install it is easy. Place the disk in to your CD rom drive. Then wait for the start screen to pop up. This takes just a second. Now go ahead and click install. The installation will take about 2 minutes or less depending on your PC capability. Mine took about a minute and a half from start to finish. Once the next screen pops up you need to click the finish button. There will be a desk top icon for easy access to the game. And the game will be installed to your C drive.
To play the Disney's Mahjong PC game is really rather easy to learn to do. If your familiar with the original versions, ten you already know how to play it. There are a few differences that make this game quite unique which I will get more in to in depth in just a moment. First of all clikc the icon and let the game turn on. This will take seconds. Once the screen comes on you can enter a saved game, or start a new one. You can enter your name now. Then you have a few options. This includes setting your game to half or full screen. I choose full to minimize the distraction of other things. Now choose your tile set up.
The tile set ups that you can choose from in this game are also much like the original. You can choose a star shaped boards, 3d square, layers of all shapes and sizes and more. The one I choose is the diamond shaped tile set up. I choose it because it was the one I learned to play the original game on and so it was easy for me to breeze through how the tiles would go.
Now that you are playing the game you will see that there are many Disney themes tiles. These can include characters such as Mickey Mouse, MinnieMouse, Donald Duck, Simba from Lion King, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, Oliver, Chip and Dale, Tarzan characters and many more. These can also include many versions of the same character. Instead of North, South, East and West like the original game has, this one may have Mickey facing in those directions in different poses. Or perhaps another character doing so. Some are even made to look very similar, yet be different enough to confuse you. I love that. It makes the game much more challenging.
This is a matching game sort of. The object is to remove as many matches from the tile board as you possibly can. If you complete the whole board you get to be on the highest score board for the first time. There are five high score positions. High score is based on how much time it took you to remove all of the tiles from the board. You have the option to pause the game, or save and quit the game and come back to it later. This is good. Because trying to fidn the matches can some times be time consuming.
A new player to that game could take up to ten minutes to either complete a game orrun out of moves, as you get to know the tile board and the positions you must remove the tiles from it gets easier. The trick is to remember where every edge of the tile board is. This is because in order to remove the tile matches you must pick from the outer edge first. There are several or more layers per tile board stemming from the out side and the middle. If a tile you need is hidden along side or under another tile. You must first remove the upper tile with it's match and or the side tile with it's match.
You may think "Well, Mickey and Minnie go together!" But they do not. Minnie must match her corresponding tile to a T and both of those must be at the edge or the only one in the middle in order to remove them. Although characters are from the same shows or movies. They need to match only the one identical to the tile your trying to remove. It sounds a lot harder then what it is. But that is all there is to it.
The mouse is all that you need during the game play. You just click the tile you want, the tile you clicked on will get a highlight effect around it. Then you find the match and click it. If it is not a match both of the clicked tiles will lose the highlight effect and you need to try another tile. But it is all done with a click of the mouse. There is nothing more simple then that.
The sound and graphics:
The graphics are fine. There is not a whole lot of special effects going on. Although I have one complaint here. There are fire works or twinles that come out when you get a match. They last a few seconds. This is cute but can throw off the game a bit because it is distracting and will some what stop you from quickly moving on to finding another match. Other then that effect the video consists of pictures on the tiles and back drops behind the tiles. They are bold and colorful. I would say they are fun to look at and also easy on the eyes as well.
The sound is alright as well. There is subtle music in the backplaying. It is not overly loud and not annoying either. I do not find it distracting at all. Although this brings me back to those fire work things. When that happens it tends to make the noise just after the fire work thing goes away, rather then when it is really there. But it is not annoying to the point where it bothers me. I just happened to notice it while playing.
Who can play and fun factor:
This game is rated E for every one. It is a non violent game that is much like playing a board game. One player can play the game, but it is fun to compete. What do I mean by compete, if it is only one player? Well, my daughter beats the game in as little time as she can, then I try to beat her score when I get a chance to play. That is how we compete. Simple, yet fun to do.
My daughter is six years old and has been playing the game since 8 months ago when I first got it. Of course I threw the game a few times to get a low score so she could beat it. But now we do compete for high score position. She has come so far that it is a challenge to beat her. In fact she has 4 out of 5 high score positions as I write this review. My daughter took all of 2 minutes to figure out how to play the game. She got very good as she played it more.
We play pretty often. In fact this is one of the games that my daughter chooses to play on a daily basis. I am fine with it because it is a fun game, and it challenges her to do her best. I also have noticed her ability to find the tiles faster and her mouse moevments have gotten quicker. So it has helped her build her skills as well. I am appreciative of anything that helps or teaches my daughter.
As for myself. I am addicted to playing this game. I play it every night when the kids go to bed. It is one of my favorite games. I am more in to adventure type games and games with a plot to them. But this is a classic brought up to date and I enjoy it very much. It is very easy to play, and just gets easier every time that I play it. I am glad that my daughter and I have this game in common. I even enjoy watching her play.
My recommendation, was it worth it?:
Was it worth it? Of course it was. For just over $10.00 we have gotten endless hours, days, weeks and months of play out of this game. It is Disney too which is a lot of fun. I love Disney characters. It is not too often that you find a game for the PC that suits both you and your child. This is a game that can challenge me just as much as it challenges my six year old. The bottom line is that the game has brought us a lot of joy and at such a small price. I am very pleased with my purchase choice and I would highly recommend this game. However, I would love to let you in on the fact that it has since been discontinued by the maker. Ebay sellers, Ioffer and Craigslist often have the game listed. Keep your eye out. Grab it when you can because ti would be a shame to miss out on such a fun game.