Monday, January 08, 2007

Video Mahjong

I've been playing a lot of mahjong lately, mostly of the electronic variety since it is kind of hard to get a group of Americans together to play mahjong. Luckily for me, there are many great electronic versions. MAME(the multi machine arcade emulator) should be any electronic mahjong enthusiast's first software acquisition. Once you've installed MAME, the excellent Mahjong in MAME site has everything else you need, other than roms, to get started: rules, controls, mahjong game reviews, etc. The site is more or less essential if you don't speak Japanese since most of the mahjong arcade games originate from Japan. There are also some interesting differences between japanese rules and the traditional chinese game.

There are also many versions of mahjong for game consoles, provided you can play japanese imports on whatever system you may have. I have Minna no Mahjong for the DS(which is region free), but I wouldn't recommend it to the non-Japanese capable. One nice thing about the console versions is that they often allow you to play standard 4-person mahjong while most arcade games are 1-on-1 versus affairs.

The only other mahjong game I have played outside of emulation is Devilish Mahjong Tower( 麻雀 惡魔 塔) for the megadrive. Devilish Mahjong Tower is a product of the Taiwanese company C&E, Inc. and is a 1-on-1 versus style mahjong game where you face off against all manner of aliens in a cyberpunk future! To the death! As you can see, I am somewhat enamoured of this game. The best thing about it is that it is in Chinese, a surprisingly hard thing to find considering that mahjong is a traditional chinese game. And, as you can see, the game is also the source of my Blogger avatar.

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At 2:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been hunting for a DS MJ game that's capable of download play and ran across Minna no Mahjong as well. Do you know what rule set it uses (HK, Japanese, etc.)? Since your original post, have you found other MJ games (specifically for the DS) that you've liked? -Kevin

At 4:17 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Although I can't read Japanese, I am almost positive that Minna no Mahjong uses standard Japanese rules, as do most Japanese-developed mahjong games. It definitely uses the sacred discard rules.

So far, Minna no Mahjong is the only mahjong game I've played for the DS. I would love to try some others, but I'm reluctant to buy another one due to my lack of language ability. Post here if you know of any mahjong games with translation guides online.

At 9:02 PM, Blogger JadeB said...

Jon, if you're after real people to play against, you should try one of the amazing online multi-player mahjong sites. There's quite a few good ones these days. My list of the (Top 10 online mahjong) may help!



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