Single player Windows 8 version of the classic tile-matching game designed to test the memory
Windows 10 / Windows 8
Microsoft Mahjong Windows 8 is a game of skill, strategy, and luck designed for one person, and while it doesn't have the flashy graphics or narrative of a big budget action game, it's a great way to put off some work or waste away a few extra minutes. Solitaire has been an integral part of the Windows operating system since it first launched. But while the bouncing cards that signify a won game have become a trademark of the Microsoft brand, classic solitaire has grown a bit long at the tooth. Microsoft Mahjong is designed to give those cards a break, but the basic principles will be familiar to anyone who grew up with classic solitaire.
Despite being based off one of the oldest games in the world, solitaire Mahjong is relatively new, and all it really has in common with its older sibling is its use of tiles. That's what you'll find here. Stacks of tiles constitute the game board and it's your job to identify paired tiles and clear them off of the board. The layered structure forces you to only match tiles that are uncovered, and this provides an extra element of strategy to a game that could otherwise just devolve into a scavenger hunt. The basics are simple, but Microsoft still supplies a tutorial right at the start to help get new players eased in. New players probably won't want to start with the challenge mode. While typical gameplay offers traditional mah jong on randomly generated boards set to the level of difficulty designated by the player, these challenges operate more as discreet puzzles. These challenges rotate in and out on a daily basis, and that ensures there will always be something fresh or new to engage in when you log back in to the game. Three different varieties of challenges are available, and they do a good job of mixing up what could otherwise be a somewhat redundant game. These include levels where you have to identify and remove lighting tiles in a certain number of turns, a match challenge where your target is a number of matches, and a high score challenge where you're trying to reach a score target within the confines of a time limit.
The difficulty system operates a little differently from traditional solitaire. Twenty-seven different spreads are available, and while one layout from each of the difficulty levels is available from the start, you need to keep playing through to unlock the rest. But you'll have plenty to look at while you grind your way to new levels. This game comes with four unique tile sets and a respectable variety of backgrounds. Both a free and a subscription-based version of this game are available.