Mahjong Escape is a wonderful new version of the Mahjong classic. Mahjong Escape is from the well known pc gaming company, Game House. Although Mahjong Escape is not their only Mahjong game, it is quickly becoming their most popular one.
The scenery in Mahjong Escape is breathtakingly beautiful. Unlike some games where the backgrounds are hidden by the tiles, the images are displayed before, during pause and after games. The images shown are not removed until after the player says to continue.
With the accompanying oriental music, one could lose them selves in the digital art. Some players admit that the game’s artistry actually helps them to meditate! Personally, I wish it could be my desktop’s wallpaper and screensavers.
Of course, it takes more than a pretty face to win over gamers that are loyal to the competition. Mahjong Escape has a new twist on the old tile game. Previously the game was over when the last two tiles of the layout were matched. Now, the game has a single pair of hidden gold tiles that ends the game when they are matched. All the unmatched tiles are counted as bonus points, so to end the game profitably is to end the game with as little moves as possible.
Other Mahjong game advances are magnet tiles which will move a desired tile to another spot, and key and lock tiles that require each other to open locked tile row ends or columns. Of course, using only what you need to finish the game gives you more points at the end, especially from special tiles.
Another great thing is the tiles themselves are very easy on the eyes, and the un-free tiles are slightly darkened as a visual aid. While some may say that is taking the cheater’s way out, I disagree. At times people need to enjoy them selves without having to suffer the handicap of tired eyes.
Mahjong Escape creators definitely have created a new version of an old game that will not go out of style. Many others have tried, and partially succeeded, such as Mahjong Towers Eternity produced by Big Fish Games, of which I own.
Mahjong Towers Eternity has beautiful scenic images. Unfortunately, there is not as many chances to appreciatively view them as in Mahjong Eternity. These images are nice enough to want to have as wallpaper, but the option is not there. Also, I was content with the sentimental Chinese melody that added character to the game play. I still am, but it seems a little monotonous after hearing the variety of melodies in Mahjong Escape.
The character of each game is equally vibrant and unique. Whereas playing Mahjong Eternity has more of a feeling of visiting of ancient artistic authenticity, Mahjong Escape is similar to visiting Fantasy Island.
One of two main advantages of Mahjong Towers Eternity is the layouts are created and shared by the players. There is dozens, maybe hundreds, of new layouts everyday. If you find a player that makes spectacular tile layouts, you can search the entire list of puzzles that they created.
Most layouts are made for a specific game play type. The three modes are classic, concentration or speed. In classic, all tiles are visible. In speed, only the matching tiles will show. Concentration is just like the old fashioned matching game, you only get to see two tiles at once.
The second major plus is the forum. The player can talk to the other players about specific layouts or problems. And threads aren’t necessarily limited to game topics since some of the threads are humorous in nature. The game does have a nice feature included in the software, a messenger! This is a great way to have more personal discussions among players without losing any personal security.
Completing layouts earn the player points, which in turn earns the player rank. Rank is depicted with a cartoonish animal and a title, such as Fire Rat or Lightening Pig. It is always nice to find out you’ve gained prestige in the game. Of course, it is still a child-like enjoyment.
Over all, while both Mahjong Towers Eternity and Mahjong Escape are great games, Mahjong Escape is my favorite. The new tile types and music alone would have made the game equal to its peer, but the grander amount of time to view the imagery is unbeatable.