Mahjong-based solitaires are one of the main reasons why I am grateful for having a computer; otherwise, I never would have come into contact with the game, much less played it. For those who are not familiar with it, let me cover the basics: unlike other solitaires, which require at least a deck of cards, this game consists of a number of tiles arranged at random on a [virtual] board. Each design is featured in two or four tiles, and the objective is to clear the board by matching each tile with its corresponding counterpart very carefully: picking the wrong tile might mean getting stuck and therefore losing the game.
As with Sudoku puzzles, BGames actually offers a wide variety of Mahjong games. This also puts forward the same questions: how many times can you possibly redo the same thing without getting repetitive? How many variations of a same concept can you have? Is the offer justified?
Mahjongg is the classic, most traditional version of the game. You have five different levels of difficulty which are translated into five different tables or sets: five different ways of arranging the tiles. There is a tutorial, just in case, and the game also offers hints, should they be necessary. Other options include changing the background and tile style, and even though you do not play against the clock, there is a countdown that shows how many pieces you have left. All in all, pretty comprehensive.
Mahjongg Game is the exact same game, only with a different background and a lot less options regarding aesthetics and difficulty. The basic version of the basics, let’s say.
Whatajong is pretty similar, really. You have a regular version of the game, with a tile countdown and a clock to measure your performance. Novelty here is the presence of a training phase (which is exactly like the normal phase in all the rest of the games) and a multiplayer level that allows you to challenge other people. That, in itself, is reason enough to consider this one a whole different game in its own right.
Mahjong Burger changes the premise or, better yet, gives it a framework to work with. In this version, you are the owner of a fast food chain. The design in each tile has to do with all the things you can buy at one of these places, so matching the corresponding tiles is equivalent to sending an order for a burger or a milkshake, for example. At least there is something entertaining about this variation.
The most notorious upgraded version of this game, however, is 3D Mahjong. This one features 3 different levels of difficulty according to which you have a varying number of tiles arranged as a 3D figure of sorts in the middle of the screen. The disposition is odd enough to guarantee the need for a given period of adaptation, even for the most expert player.
One thing is certain: these five are equally entertaining. Which one is best, is something that you have to figure out yourself.