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Instructions and Information About Arcade Mah Jongg

NOTE: This game requires the installation of DirectX 8.0 and a sound card.

Basically, here's the core idea behind game play: fire bullets to hit the tiles, and clear all of the tiles to move to the next level. Complete all of the levels to finish the level pack.

If you hit two tiles, that are different, consecutively (there are a few exceptions to this explained below), you score one point each for those two tiles and your life bar, located in the paddle, is reduced by one point.

You have 40 life points at full health as represented by the color bar in the middle of your paddle. If your life points are reduced to zero your paddle explodes and you are then able to enter your high score if you have one for that level pack. Each level pack has its own high score table. You may view those high scores by pressing F4 at the main menu and then select the level pack you are interested in viewing.

If you match two tiles by shooting at them consecutively, you get a match! The first match gives you 100 points. If on the next two tiles you hit you don't hit a match, the next time you make a match you only get 100 points. If you hit matches consecutively your score for those matches go from 100 to 200 to 300 to 400 and then to 500. Upon hitting the 500 mark your life bar gains 6 points. That's a great way to stay alive!

So following that course of action, you may attempt to regain health after you make mismatches. Sometimes mismatches are not preventable.

Now, there are some tiles that look different but will actually make matches. The empty tile, which is blank, when hit will act as a pair to a match. Then there are four additional groupings of tiles that when hit in pairs also make matches. An example of this is in level 5 of the "Getting Started" level pack (level pack one). These are Seasons (four tiles), Directions (four tiles), Flowers (four tiles), and Dragons (two tiles).

Now for some cheats: When playing in a level, press F1 to jump to the next level. Pausing is not necessary as there is no time pressure. When in the main menu you can change the tile sets by pressing F2. The default one is the classic Mah Jongg tile set. The alphabet one is the other one available at this time. That option changes the appearance of the tiles when playing the game. Some people think the alphabet one is easier to use.

The difficulty level, which you can change in the main menu by pressing F3, has two settings. The harder setting makes these two changes in game play: there are no powerups (a word about those in a minute), and the tiles for each level are totally randomized. During normal gameplay on normal difficulty the tiles are preconfigured to allow for arrangements of tiles that match as I have designed for each level.

Powerups: there are a number of powerups that are good and a number that are bad. Here's a breakdown:

Increase bullet speed
Decrease bullet speed
Guide bullets with your paddle
Add bullets that fire from top
Add life bar points
Add a smaller number of life bar points
Deduct life bar points
Add a match
Add a mismatch
Add 100 points to score
Add 200 points to score
Add 300 points to score
Add 400 points to score
Add 500 points to score

That's it! Thanks so much for playing!

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