Mahjong 88 (Play'n GO): Review
Play'n GO is back with yet another grid slot, a type of game engine they have learned to master exceptionally well, resulting in several successful titles such as Reactoonz, Moon Princess and Viking Runecraft to name a few. This new offering takes inspiration from Mahjong, a tile-based strategy game originating from Qing dynasty China that has spread throughout the world since the early 20th century. While real-life Mahjong is a game of skill, Play'n GO's take on the ancient mind sport is, of course, a game of chance.
Played on an 8x8 grid from 10 cents to 100€ per spin, you win when clusters of matching symbols line up horizontally or vertically adjacent to each other. If you're already familiar with Play'n GO's other grid slots, you'll feel right at home with Mahjong 88 as it shares many of the same characteristics of those games. For example, it comes with a meter that is so typical of the genre, which triggers the Fortune Frog feature when fully charged. You'll also benefit from a Super Charge feature where all wins are multiplied by 5. As if not enough, you'll also see seasons change during gameplay, bringing unique wild features with them as they come and go.
Visually, it's made to look like, well, a game of Mahjong. With a traditional Chinese feel, you'll see tiles from the bams and dot suit on the grid as well as 4 types of flowers and 4 wild symbols representing winter, autumn, summer and spring. It's the lotus flower that is the most lucrative as it yields 500 times your stake if you match 12 or more of them. You'll also come across blank tiles that will rotate to reveal a secret symbol.
Mahjong 88 (Play'n GO): Features
All wins contribute to boosting the Fortune Frog meter. If you fully charge it with 33 symbols from one chain reaction win (it'll reset to zero if you lose and don't reach all the way up to 33), the Fortune Frog feature is activated to give you 1 of the following 4 extras:
- Croak - a random symbol set is chosen to pay scattered as opposed to in adjacent positions.
- Spawn - a random symbol set is chosen to morph into another symbol.
- Tongue - 2 edges are chosen at random with any symbols landing between morphing into another symbol.
- Hope - a random symbol is chosen to destroy and transform adjacent symbols.
If you overcharge the meter with 88 or more tiles, the Super Charge feature comes into play. When activated, all winning combinations will benefit from a 5x multiplier boost. You'll also see Seasons change in Mahjong 88, each associated with unique wild extras. Triggered randomly on a losing spin, here's what you can expect:
- Spring - can give you up to 12 wilds randomly appearing on the grid.
- Summer - can give you up to 5 wilds while also destroying adjacent symbols.
- Autumn - can give you up to 11 wilds with symbols destroyed from edges or turning wild.
- Winter - can give you up to 4 wilds that stick even if part of a winning combination.
Each season will last between 25 and 99 spins and go from spring to summer to autumn and then finally winter before starting over again. Moreover, all wins contribute to increasing the Season Bonus which is rewarded when a new season is activated. The bonus grows by 10% of each win amount.
Mahjong 88 (Play'n GO): Verdict
Obviously, what you get here is not Mahjong but a visualisation of the ancient game. Consequently, the result is a slot with a rather dull and cluttered theme with eye-straining tiles along with a backing track so shooting there's a real risk of falling asleep. If you can live with that, you have a grid slot as good as any other released by Play'n GO, which should not disappoint you.
As you've seen, there are plenty of extras on offer in Mahjong 88. The biggest wins, however, will come from the Super Charge feature where you'll benefit from a 5x multiplier, something that can result in wins of up to 5000 times your stake.
Mahjong 88’s cluttered design and a generic theme taints an otherwise solid grid slot outing.