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FunTown Mahjong (Xbox 360)

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Description

FunTown Mahjong is a simulation of the Chinese tile game. Unlike many other electronic conversions, it is the classic game and not the two-tile-matching casual variant. It can be played in singleplayer with anime-like avatars against AI opponents, online against human players, and there is a tutorial that explains the basics. The game is played around a table with the other opponents visible and the tiles are formed in the middle.

The game is played with 144 tiles. These are divided into three categories (Suits, Honors, and Flowers). Suits again consist of three categories: Dots, Bamboos, and Characters, and each of those if further broken down in sets of nine, with numbers from one to nine. The Characters category comes with nine styles with four identical tiles for each one, and the same principle applies to Bamboos and Dots. The amount of Honors is much smaller: there are seven, one for each wind direction, and three dragons. Finally, Flowers consist of eight tiles - four flowers and four seasons.

In the beginning of the game each players rolls dice and after that the tiles are distributed. To win the game, the player has to make a complete Meld. It consists of five sets of Straights (three suited tiles) or Triples (three tiles of the same), and a pair of Eyes (two tiles of the same). Players do not only need to watch the numbers, but the categories as well for combinations. When a complete Meld is formed, it looks like a human figure with eyes, a trunk, arms and legs (consisting of six combinations), but that structure is not shown in-game, it needs to be visualized internally.

A typical Mahjong is played with four players. One of them is the dealer. He provides sixteen tiles to each player and also makes the first move. The tiles are placed in front of the player, similar to Scrabble, and can freely be arranged. When it's the player's turn, he receives a new tile and at the end of the turn a tile needs to be discarded on the board in the middle. When you receive a flower tile you need to leave it face-up in front of your other tiles and draw another one to replace it. Four types of moves are possible: Chow, Pung, Kong, and Draw, for which the rules are out of the scope of this game entry. It is possible to keep track of the other players' progress by watching their exposed Kongs and Pungs.

Pulling the trigger changed the angle from top-down (best to view the board) to first-person. FunTown Mahjong is based on the Taiwanese variant with 16 tiles and does not include other rulesets, like Hong Kong or the official competitive Chinese rules for example.

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The Press Says

IGN Jan 28, 2009 4.5 out of 10 45

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Sciere (268550) added FunTown Mahjong (Xbox 360) on Aug 04, 2010