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WindowsComputer Games Magazine
Shanghai: Second Dynasty may very well be the first "dynasty" ever established after only two generations. Few packages come close to the utter completeness and provision for just about everyone as this one does. With no major shortcomings to speak of in its quality and entertainment value, Shanghai: Second Dynasty proves undoubtedly that "if at first you succeed, try, try again."
The system requirements really bug me, but the fact that anything sold in the last 2 years qualifies mitigates it enough for me not to care too much. Activision is penalizing itself more than I ever could by closing out most of its potential market on the Mac. Presuming you've got a recent enough machine to handle it, this is a decent choice for puzzle enthusiasts.
WindowsPC Player (Germany)
Dass die Umsetzung des genialen Knobelklassikers in den 80ern verdienstvoll war, sei unbestritten. Über die üppigen Spielvariationen und Aufbauten lässt sich nicht meckern, vor allem das frische Sturmwind-Shanghai ist wirklich interessant. Dennoch lässt mich diese "zweite Dynastie" nicht in Ehrfurcht erstarren, weil mich kaum sichtbare Randsteine bei Classic Shanghai (in 800x600) ärgern und sooo viel Neues nun auch nicht geboten wird.
Shanghai: Second Dynasty ist mit Sicherheit kein Spiel, an dem Sie wochenlang am Stück spielen werden. Vielmehr ist es geradezu prädestiniert für eine entspannende Partie zwischendurch und wird immer wieder gerne hervorgekramt. Dank äußerst moderater Systemanforderungen läuft es auf schwächer bestückten Rechner problemlos.
Well lets see, if you have played Shanghai, or Mah-Jongg before then give this game a try, you might like it. If you haven't or if you are a hard core gamer and Quake 3 is your thing now is not really the time to start learning Shanghai or Mah-Jongg. Lets face it if you like puzzles or you have played Shanghai or Mag-Jongg before fair enough, otherwise don't bother.
The biggest downside to this type of game is that it can take on a slow pace, and it therefore doesn't serve the quick solitaire challenge of other desktop diversions. It certainly isn't for everyone, but as far as this type of game goes, Shanghai: Second Dynasty is a classic. The best part is that there are no tiles to lose, and cleanup is a snap!
WindowsComputer Gaming World (CGW)
SHANGHAI: SECOND DYNASTY is sort of a strange game to evaluate. While it would seem to be the ultimate collection for aficionados, it doesn’t add much to the core experience offered by its predecessor. While it appears to be the perfect title for the Shanghai/mah-jongg newbie, it lacks teaching modes to get newcomers up to speed quickly on the latter. These two audience-limiting factors, combined with the rather high sticker price and the ready availability of freeware tile- matching and mah-jongg titles on the Web, render the game rather mediocre to my eyes, despite the absence of glaring flaws.
Bottom Line: The biggest, slickest, most complete Shanghai title to date. New modes of play, high resolution options, and multiplayer access make this the slickest offering of its type to date. Not that much of an improvement over the last title. Hard drive requirements are extreme for a game of this type.
WindowsAll Game Guide
Unfortunately, the game is basically the same, simply played with variations. You may enjoy each one the first or even second time, but interest fades quickly unless you have several friends willing to sit in front of the computer and play a few hands. Gameplay just isn't compelling enough to warrant extensive play.