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Mahjongg Artifacts is a comprehensive mahjong solitaire game. It includes a quest mode, which follows a story in comic format about an archeologist's supernatural quest for ancient artifacts; an endless mode, in which layer after layer of tiles is presented; a "classic" mode with 99 selectable levels; and a variety of achievement awards that apply across all modes.
The game mechanic is standard mahjong solitaire: given a pile of assorted tiles, match and remove pairs of outer and upper tiles until there is no pile left. Match without strategy and you could end up in a jam with no matches left. For that situation, the game provides a shuffle tool, where up to five shuffles can be earned and used at will with each certain number of points (similar to a system of lives). It also has a built-in hint system, although using it will make it impossible to get the bonus points for making successive matches speedily.
It's unclear, given the expansive nature of this program, why any but the most desperately addicted would want to purchase the sequel, which simply promises more of the same. But, probably, I'm just saying that because I'm not a huge mahjong solitaire fan in general.
Sam's Protip: Target the tallest towers of tiles first, in whichever dimension they happen to be linked. Getting stuck with a very small number of big stacks could mean a restart no matter how many shuffles you've saved.
- Different tilesets, backgrounds, and play styles to choose from
- Variety of achievements keep the metagame interesting
- Spotty English localization
- Mind-numbing gameplay mechanic