Reviewed: December 11, 2011
Released: October 11, 2011
Mahjong Solitaire is a classic game. Itís a timewaster that just about everyone has played at some point. Atlusí Mahjong Cub3D takes the venerable tile-matching game to the 3DS to take advantage of the third dimension. The game features three modes of play: Cube mode, Versus Mode, and Classic Mode. All three of these follow the same basic rules that have always existed in Mahjong Solitaire. Players are presented with a set of tiles arranged in layers, and their goal is to remove tiles. They can only remove tiles in matching pairs, and before a pair can be removed, the pieces must be ďunlockedĒ, meaning the pieces cannot have any other pieces blocking it.|
Cube Mode is where the meat of Mahjong Cub3d lies, if the title wasnít a dead giveaway. Its puzzles are sorted into alpha, beta, and gamma difficulties. In each of these puzzles, players are given a three-dimensional Mahjong puzzle to solve, starting with, appropriately enough, a cube. As play progresses, the shapes become more complicated and fantastic, taking on shapes such as animals and even fighter jets. On top of that, these are 3d puzzles, and not every tile is facing the same direction. Youíll have to rotate your view if you want to remove pieces. For someone new to Mahjong Solitaire, this might be a bit overwhelming at first, but before too long, the puzzles are appropriately challenging.
I was unable to experience Versus Mode, but the ideas behind it are unique. The goal of Versus Mode is to remove special gold tiles before your opponent can. There are also special item tiles that perform special effects, such as quake tiles that shake up the screen and disrupt your opponentís concentration. As a nice bonus, the multiplayer only needs one copy of the game to function. Your friends can join in via download play, a useful addition considering the likelihood of two people owning this title.
Thereís also Classic Mode, which works just like any other Mahjong Solitaire game that ever was. No fancy 3D tricks here. Itís a nice change of pace, being able to return to the familiar after trying the 3D puzzles, although this isnít without its flaws. Mahjong Cub3d displays its tiles on the top 3D screen, so there are no touch screen controls. In Classic Mode, when you have to move a cursor to pick from over a hundred tiles, you canít help but wish that you could just touch the tiles you wanted to pick out.
Overall, Mahjong Cub3d is a solid title if you enjoy puzzles and have a fondness for Mahjong Solitaire. At $30, itís a budget title for the 3DS, but itís still a considerable amount of cash. Still, the title packs a solid amount of play time, and itís a refreshing take on a classic game. If youíre a puzzle fan looking for a title on the 3DS, Mahjong Cub3d is a good choice.