This version of mahjong is beautiful on the iPad, and once you’ve played a few games and learned how to expand and shrink the playing area, it is fun. But there are couple of headaches that prevent the game from being as fun as it could be.
- Many of the levels have tiles hidden under other tiles in such a way that you can only see what they are by rotating the board nearly 90 degrees. It takes all of the fun out of the game by having to fight the game rather than being able to play the game. And the appearance of those layouts is random, sometimes they show up at level four, other times at level 11. Those levels would be acceptable if we were playing against another person, instead of the “clock” opponent. Or if there were a way to disable those levels when playing in “Scramble” mode.
- Sometimes tiles which are very close to the bottom of the pile are open, but there are shadows on them which hides their appearance.
- Also, how is the score calculated? On one game I got to a high level, but ended up with a lower score than when I didn’t get as high. I know the time bonus is a significant part of the final score; it just seems that the different tile layouts have a different base score. They also have a different number of matches, making strategy difficult. We should know up front that each set needs to be matched three times for example.
- Add a hint button. Yes, we can hit the little thing in the bottom left to see how any matches there are remaining, but how about an option to highlight one of the two tiles in a remaining match? Maybe we forfeit the level’s speed bonus if we use the hint?
- Are the Game Center high scores hacked? 2.7 million points? Really!? What level is that? If it was a custom level, the scores shouldn’t be in the GameCenter.
- After the tilebot “wins” you should show the player the matches that were missed.
Overall, Moonlight Mahjong Lite is a fun game, but the levels with difficult to see tiles significantly hinders its enjoyment. I rated it “4 stars” on the iTunes Store.
The Moonlight Mahjong Lite version is free, with ads. The full version of Moonlight Mahjong is currently $0.99. Created by Midnight Martian (Apple Store link or their web site or on Twitter). (some of these are affiliate links, clicking them can earn me a referral fee.)