|Genre: Board & Card|
|Min OS X: 10.5 CPU: Intel RAM: 256 MB Hard Disk: 40 MB|
|Mahjongg Dimensions Deluxe|
March 19, 2012 | Ted Bade
Mac OS X: 10.5
Review:Mahjongg Dimensions Deluxe from Arkadium is a variation of the ancient Mahjong game, this time utilizing the third dimension, height. The tiles are stacked in 3 dimensional shapes, giving additional access to tiles lower in the stack and creating new challenges. You can choose either un-timed leisurely games or games with a time limit to challenge your puzzle skills. Mahjong fans will enjoy the variations in this title.
In general, Mahjongg Dimension follows the regular rules of Majhong. A set of tiles is placed on a board in some fashion. The object of the game is to remove all the tiles from the board. You remove tiles by matching two tiles of the same type (same image). Tiles can only be removed if two or more sides are uncovered. In traditional Mahjong, the challenge is to carefully remove tiles so that you don’t create an impasse, where the tiles left on the board block the removal of other tiles and you cannot continue. Mahjongg Dimensions offers slightly different challenges. You are timed on how long it takes to clear the board and are also rewarded when you remove sets in quick succession. Because of the third dimension aspect of this game, one rarely runs into a situation where there are no further moves. However, realizing potential matches can be a task in itself.
Adding the dimension of height adds unique challenges to the traditional two dimensional Mahjong board. Tiles located at corner positions up the side of the board can be removed, and the board floats, so tiles on the bottom can be removed just as those on the top. Sometimes the object is hollow, allowing the removal of tiles inside, once you open the object. You view the board from the side. There are controls that allow one to spin the board to view other sides. After you select the first piece, a copy of its image appears on the screen, this is handy since you might need to select a tile on one side and need to spin the board to find a match. The board spin controls are a bit on the clunky side, in that when you click on the arrow, the board spins one quarter of it’s circumference, then you need to click again to get to the next quarter and so on. It would be a bit nicer if you could just grab the board and spin it with the mouse.
As you complete sets of Mahjong boards you progress through different “dimensions” of the game. Each dimension is defined by different aspects like roots, ether, ocean, and so forth. The images on the tiles vary based on the dimension you are in. The tiles are colorful and often have an image related to the current aspect such as fish in the ocean aspect. The rules are the same, match two tiles of the same image that can be removed from the board, and they disappear. There are over 60 different levels of two or more boards that can be completed as you move through the game. Once a board is completed, you can return to it at any time.
There are special tiles that add interest to the game. They generally offer features that make completing the game easier. Some special tiles are related to the aspect you are in, others just add a benefit. For instance, in the timed game, you can uncover tiles that add seconds and even minutes to the clock, giving you more time to finish. Another set provides additional points when matched. At the higher levels, these tiles lose value the longer it takes for you to uncover them. For instance, the time adder might start with 2:45, but if it takes you 30 seconds to uncover the set (two time tiles), then it is only valued at 2:15. The value of the point tiles also counts down. Both can eventually reach zero.
Other specials include one that changes all tiles to the same mono colored form, allowing any free tile to match any other free tile; and a freeze tile set that slows down all counters, so you get more time to free up other special tiles as well as remove any tiles. Special tiles add a little strategy to your method of removing tiles, since their benefits can be used to improve your total score for each board.