Mahjong games are an interesting bunch. Many of them pass as adequate, but few manage to be unique. Mahjong Elements HD, the spiritual successor to FDG’s iPhone mahjong game Mr. Mahjong Touch, defines itself though interesting tile layouts and an upgrade system.
Like any mahjong game, you match tiles of the same pattern or nature elements. Only uncovered tiles with one long side open can be selected. The trick is to try to pull from the top to uncover lower tiles. The game ends when all the tiles have been removed or you can no longer make any matches.
Mahjong Elements HD has different themed tile layouts, such as one based around other FDG games and another with zodiac signs. You’ll need to complete a layout to advance to the next one. Joker cards can also be put down to skip over a layout you’re having trouble with.
Zen and the art of tile games.
Where Mahjong Elements HD separates itself from the crowd is its upgrade system. Depending on how efficiently and quickly you perform on a level, you’ll be rewarded with a number of coins. You can use these to purchase more joker cards, new music, and various gameplay enhancements such as hints, shuffles, undos, and open tile highlights.
Despite not really being a feature necessary for mahjong, OpenFeint is included. Posting your high score requires you to tap an extra button at the end of every level. Though it’s a minor barrier, this might seem too much of a hassle to make you want to utilize the leaderboards.
Of the mahjong games we’ve played on the iPad, Mahjong Elements HD is the most fluid and well-designed. Fans of this age-old tile matching game should certainly give this version a go.