A review by Jeremy Hardin
Gameplay and Controls
Players will follow in the footsteps of Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi on his campaign to conquer and unite China. Across 7 different worlds and over the course of 80+ puzzles, players will engage in battle, building and debate rounds as they seek to conquer opposing kingdoms. Taking a shot at something different, Mahjong 3D incorporates non-linear gameplay, power-ups, allies, and leveling up. As you level up you will be able to use more power-ups to help you conquer your enemies. In addition, your allies will provide you with power-ups and they too can be upgraded. In Battle and Build modes, you are timed as you race to clear the board. In Debate mode, you are no longer time, but you will be competing against an A.I. opponent for the highest score as you work to clear the board.
In addition to the standard Campaign mode, there is also a Quick Play mode featuring 90 puzzles. These puzzles also offer 3 modes of difficulty, plus high score records. The game also features a robust level editor which allows you to create original levels, plus the Street Pass mode allows you to share your puzzles and hi scores with anyone you pass who owns the game. There is certainly an abundance of content, plus the level editor combined with Street Pass ensures that the content won’t run out anytime soon.
Using your stylus on the bottom screen you control a cursor on the top screen. At first, the controls are a little different and take some time to get used to. Once you pass the initial stage of acclimating yourself to the control scheme, you should have no trouble playing the game, selecting tiles with precision. Oh and if it makes a difference, you can adjust the cursor sensitivity as well as switching between relative and absolute positioning.
Visuals and Sound
As the title suggests, Mahjong 3D – Warriors of the Empire presents the puzzles to you in 3D and it looks quite nice. The levels all have a different design and theme, each of which look nice, but ultimately you won’t spend much time looking at them since the tiles are your main focus. After all, they are the main attraction, and they look good. The use of 3D to showcase the multiple layers is done very nicely. Plus, you have the ability to move the camera a little bit in each direction, giving you an even better view of the tile set when some stacks of tiles might get in your way. The soundtrack is good and fits the Asian theme, but it can be repetitive at times. I found myself turning down the sound as time went on.
Concluding Overall Impressions
Mahjong 3D – Warriors of the Empire is a modern take on a classic game with surprisingly good results. The core concept is the same as any other Mahjong game, but the execution is what sets it apart. With the 80+ puzzles in Campaign mode, non-linear gameplay, 90 puzzles with varying difficulty in Quick Play, plus level editor and Street Pass mode – there is plenty of content to keep you busy and entertained for quite some time.