Review By: Len | Posted: 10/02/2000
The Final Word
If it has lasted hundreds of years already then it is not really going to go away.
Shanghai, no I am not swearing at you in Chinese, it is a collection of classic Chinese games that have been around for centuries. And this latest offering from Activision® includes the following games: Classic Shanghai, Pandamonium, Dynasty, Shanghai for kids, Windstorm, Two-Player Mode, Arcade Mode, Power Dragons Eye and Mah-Jongg..
Classic Shanghai is a single game where you choose which layout you want to use and then attempt to clear all of the tiles. You can only click on a free tile, that is if it has no other tiles around it blocking it. And then click on another tile that is the same as the first and is also free. Then that pair will disappear off the screen. Once all tiles have been cleared the game is one.
Pandamonium is where you play against up to 4 computer players each with you own layout of tiles. The first to clear there tiles wins. Dynasty is like Pandamonium except all players are using the same layout of tiles. The player to have cleared the most tiles at the end wins.
Shanghai for kids is the same as Shanghai, but with easier layouts and easier to understand tile designs. Windstorm is supposed to be Shanghai but where the tiles move up and down, left and right, but when I played it only the background moved about. The two player mode is where each player takes a turn to remove a pair of tiles and you can win by either clearing the most tiles are at the end to have taken the shortest time to clear the tiles.
Arcade mode is where you can do lots of Shanghai layouts against the clock. Power Dragons Eye is where you play against the computer. You each take it in turns. The computer is trying to fill up the layout space and you are trying to clear it. You win by keeping the layout space from being filled up by the computer. Finally Mah-Jongg, now this is just too complicated to explain in a short review. People have written books on this game so I will just give you an overview. Basically if you have played Rummy with cards then it is the same idea. You start off with 13 tiles and you have to make sets e.g. 4, 5, 6 of bamboo or 4 east winds, until you have no tiles left. Each set is then worth a certain amount of points and the one with the most points wins.
Now I have described the games, How do they play? Well the animations are quite good and the game can keep you hooked on a particular level until you complete it. But lets face it, it's not exactly Quake 3 standard is it! The game does get very repetitive after a while with the same games, and layouts. There is not much variety either, all of these games are virtually the same, they really couldn't have got anymore variations of the game in there.
Graphics, well from this kinda game you don't expect much and you don't really get much either. The sounds aren't brilliant either so not really much else to say.
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.