Mahjong City Tours Review

Mahjong City Tours

Mahjong City Tours sends players on a globetrotting adventure tailored around individual cities. While you play through each city you collect trivial things that are tied to that city. Hats, pictures, tourist items such as binoculars and cameras, and more. Gamers that must have EVERY little thing in a game before they are happy will have plenty to keep them busy in Mahjong City Tours – there are a ton of things to collect.

Levels are varied by what you must do. Some require you to uncover little gummy bears. Other levels require you to collect all the gold tiles, or simply remove all tiles on the screen. The tile layouts are challenging and different between levels – quite a feat when dealing with the number of levels that Mahjong City Tours features. You can even go back and repeat early levels to complete daily goals or collect missed items that you need to complete the city with a 100% rating.

Tile sets are available to players that can complete the challenges to unlock them. I have not been able to find a way to buy them with the coins so it is apparently going to be a challenge if you want to play a certain tile set as only one is available at a time. This is an interesting design choice as I would have certainly thought that tile sets would be a boon for In-App Purchases in a game like this.

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It seems that all puzzle games today must copy a few tidbits from Candy Crush Saga. For the most part, this is fine as it just gives fans a familiar angle with a new game. I am not complaining about the three-star rating per level, nor the “map” that is just a level select screen. I am just pointing out that those are a couple of things that Mahjong City Tours has copied. These are not the only things that this tile game has snagged from King’s popular Bejeweled clone.

In-App Purchases (IAP) are abound in Mahjong City Tours. Yep, this is one part where gamers will find themselves getting pulled back in, and possibly even being separated from a few bucks. While in other similar titles tiles that are available for pairing will be highlighted – not so in Mahjong City Tours – that convenient addition is locked behind an In-App Purchase. Want a hint as to what piece is available because you are not able to find one? There is a IAP backed power up that will tell you.

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Speaking of IAP backed power ups, we may as well discuss some of the others. There is a bomb option that will remove two matches from the board – either opening more matches or leaving you looking at the screen with the same bewilderment as to what pieces to click as before. Want to reshuffle the pile because you are simply at a loss? Yep, another IAP boost at the bottom of the screen awaits you.

Now, before you write off Mahjong City Tours as an IAP mess, let me reassure you that it is indeed not such a mess. These boosts are available to you while playing using coins you collect while playing. There is no set price in local currency for the boosts. Instead, each cost a set amount of coins once you run out of the allotment that you earn while playing (I use them sparingly and have quite a few saved up as it is). For the low price of 90 coins you can use a boost that you are out of. This is better than simply not being able to use that boost at all until you finish a level (either by winning or losing) and then going to another screen to make a purchase with the coins. At least 231 Play made their IAP convenient for the player.

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Considering Mahjong City Tours is copying a few things here and there from Candy Crush Saga it is only natural to bring over the lives, or attempts, part too. Here you are limited to five level losses, represented by hearts, before you are done. There is a timer that counts down to the replenishment of one more heart. If you have the coins available, you can purchase infinite hearts for one day, 30% bonus for a set period, and so on.

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Once you run out of coins, and are tired of grinding to earn them at a rate of 5 to 30 per level beat, you must pony up some real cash. Now, I don’t bother spending money on games I review, unless it is to purchase the game outright. That is just me. I like to let people know just how long they can play these freemium games before they will hit the proverbial pay wall. Some games like Dead Ahead Zombie Warfare kind of suck at getting gamers to drop cash on them (and I am compelled to actually do so as a “thank you” to the devs).

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Playing Mahjong City Tours is quite addicting. There are levels that are timed, there are little goals that end the level without matching all the tiles, and generally it is hard to put down. The further I get into the game I am starting to see more “no more moves” popping up and ending my game (unless I want to use 90 coins to shuffle the board). I don’t consider this a paywall because I often attempt the level again and am able to complete it (the tiles are randomly placed each time you play).

Playing Mahjong City Tours is as easy as it is to play similar tile matching games. Sometimes, due to the tile layouts, it is tough to click on the tile I wanted. This occurs more when there is a tall pile in front of a single tile right beside it. There is no way to zoom in or out, nor rotate the screen so these moments can become frustrating.

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I really like playing Mahjong City Tours but can already see I will need to delete it sooner than later. I have an addictive personality and that is not good when playing a game like this. There are so many things to collect, different level types, and challenges to take on that it is easy to get lost in playing and forget to do other things. Considering I must play more games to have content for future reviews, Mahjong City Tours will eventually find itself deleted from my phone. I will say, it is going to be quite a fight as to what goes first, Facebook’s app or Mahjong City Tours.

Mahjong City Tours by 231 Play
Platform: Android (ZTE ZMAX 2 used for review) and iPhone
Genre: Puzzle, tiles
In App Purchases: Yes
Rated: E for Everyone on Google Play and 4+ on iTunes
Available now on Google Play or the iTunes App Store.

Carl is a portable gamer (mainly PSP and Android) currently getting his butt handed to him in MIniclip’s Beast Quest on Android. Got a cool tip or inquiry about Gaming on Batteries? Contact Carl and he will be in touch ASAP.