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Shanghai is one of the first video game adaptations of the tile-based game played with the Chinese mahjong stones - essentially a puzzle game that has little to do with real mahjong rules.

The gameplay involves 144 tiles, each depicting different images, which have to be removed by matching them into pairs. The tiles are arranged in a gridded pattern, which is higher near the centre. A tile can only be removed if it has no tile next to it on at least one side.

This computer implementation can generate a random board layout to take on and features five preset challenges, some of which have time limits of five or ten minutes, as well as a multiplayer mode.


Shanghai Atari 8-bit Activision logo / loading screen
Shanghai Lynx Copyright screen
Shanghai SEGA Master System Title screen
Shanghai TurboGrafx-16 Starting a new game.

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Critic Reviews

Happy Computer Amiga 1987 94 out of 100 94
Power Play SEGA Master System Oct, 1988 82 out of 100 82
Atari ST User Atari ST Mar, 1987 8 out of 10 80
Le Geek Lynx Sep, 2007 4 out of 5 80
Joker Verlag präsentiert: Sonderheft Commodore 64 1993 80 out of 100 80
Commodore User Commodore 64 Mar, 1987 7 out of 10 70
Atari Gamer - XL-XE Game Review Edition Atari 8-bit Dec, 2013 7 out of 10 70
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Amiga Feb, 1987 7.2 out of 12 60
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Atari ST Feb, 1987 7.2 out of 12 60
Computer and Video Games (CVG) SEGA Master System Jan, 1989 48 out of 100 48


Topic # Posts Last Post
Project Manager 2 Sciere (316657)
May 15, 2008



Some boxed games had a Shanghai postcard as bonus Front - original game cover artwork. Back - Game title and subtitle. Offer to a free demo disk for $3.00 at the specified address. Blank space for recipient’s address and stamp.


Apparently inspired by a Chinese game called "the Turtle" or "Destroy the Turtle", played with Mahjongg tiles, Brodie Lockhard implemented the first digital version of mahjongg solitaire in 1981 on the PLATO system (released for free, played via a CDC-721 touch screen terminal, according to Wikipedia), which in turn led to a commercial online version run by the Control Data Corporation in 1983 before this, Activision's 1986 home version, made the biggest splash yet.


  • Amiga Power
    • May 1991 (Issue #00) - #44 in the "All Time Top 100 Amiga Games"
  • ´
  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #146 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
  • Happy Computer
    • 1986 - Runner-up as Best Game Idea of the Year
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1992 – Best Lynx Game in 1991
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