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Review: Mahjong Land by NuriGames Inc on the Zeepad 7″ ICS Android Tablet

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Tile matching titles are everywhere on Android and iOS, the most prevalent are Bejewelled clones but there is another matching game that is older- Mahjong/Shanghai.  There isn’t much that can be done to the base gameplay to change things up without breaking the formula for these types of games that has worked since their inception. and NuriGames has no intentions of being the next to try.Tiles that are not blocked on the right or left side are “open” tiles for matching- everything else has to be cleared before being able to do anything with them.  Pretty simple.  Mahjong Land does offer some powered up tiles such as ones that when matched will show you the next available move, allow you to pick a tile and it will be removed along with its match no matter where it is on the board.  Cool.  Other versions have offered similar powered up tiles but it is nice to see them here too.  Mahjong Land is not so much a “plain Jane” version of Shanghai (Mahjong is actually the other way around, played more like poker than Bejeweled).

Other additions include levels rated on a three star basis, similar to Angry Birds.  The problems arise in the fact that you are practically forced to use In App Purchases to play for very long at all.  You are only allotted so many “hearts” at the beginning of the game, they replenish at a rate of one for every four minutes, and you are limited on using “shuffle” in the game based on how much  gold you have (don’t worry, you can buy more with real money in the store).

A cool feature in Mahjong Land is the progress bar in the bottom right area of the screen.  It shows the competition, if you have Facebook integration turned on, and friends playing this game, you can see how you rank against their time on each board.  Nice feature.  If you don’t log into Facebook for Mahjong Land then you see the top players for the board instead, still cool having an idea of being in the lead or not.

Crossing the lands of Mahjong Land is not going to be a simple task, nor one you will complete in one sitting without spending cold hard cash on in game upgrades.  If you only play for one or two attempts at a board per play then you will be fine with Mahjong Land (such as if on a coffee break).  Everyone else, there are other versions of Shanghai on both platforms that don’t have the limitations that Mahjong Land has, maybe check them out instead?

Mahjong Land by NuriGames Inc.
Platform: Android
Genre: Puzzle
Rated: Everyone
Score: 70/100
Available now on Google Play and the iTunes App Store.

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