We aren’t going to talk about age but I will say that I am old enough to remember the days when Solitaire, Minesweeper and Mahjong were the “online” games of choice. Not because they were high tech, fancy or even technically “online” but because they were simple, fun and pretty much came pre-installed with any PC purchase. I went through phases of playing each but specifically remember my Mahjong days. I was so enamored with the game that Scott purchased a real Mah-jong set for me. Even though it was many years (and a few moves) ago, I still have it; it is currently located with all our other board games.
Mahjong is pretty timeless and I smile when my daughters sit and play it at their grandma’s house. Just because it is timeless doesn’t mean it can’t be updated. That’s where Big Fish Games comes in. I kind of have an addiction to their games and play them whenever possible. My favorite was Fairway Solitaire Blast until they introduced me to Awakening Kingdoms. Both have puzzle aspects to them which is why I have gravitated toward them. Now, they’ve taken a classic, Mahjong, and used it as inspiration for their latest release: Panda Pandamonium. Available starting today for a whopping (hold onto your wallets, folks) price of… FREE!
The premise of the game is simple: match like tiles to release the pandas from being trapped in the grid. Just like with traditional Mahjong, you can only grab from the edges. In the beginning, the directions are pretty basic. As I said before – match like tiles and free the pandas. As the game progresses, more and more features are added. What gives this an interesting twist are all those little extras the developers have added to the game. As an example, there are some pieces (rocks) that can only be removed when something has been matched beside them. Other tiles can be selected and sweep and entire row or column out. While that sounds all fine and dandy, you have to make sure that a tite you’ll need to match with something else doesn’t get swept away in the process. Don’t worry about being confused – whenever a new feature or obstacle is introduced, it pops up a tutorial on how it to use or destroy it.
Just like other Big Fish Games, there are different levels. As you complete one puzzle, another becomes available. You can complete each puzzle with one, two or three stars representing the amount of achievements you had for the particular phase. It only takes one star to get the next puzzle to open up and you can always revisit a level if you didn’t get the maximum 3 stars. To keep things interesting, each puzzle offers a different requirement to achieve each star. Sometimes it requires a streak of certain tiles, other times a particular score. It changes each time so you have to pay attention! When it comes to puzzles, I want to get it perfect so I like to circle back to the ones I didn’t get three stars on. It isn’t a requirement but it does add another layer of challenge.
It’s cute but still requires some thinking while the puzzles and features continue to evolve through the levels to keep you from getting bored. Overall, it is a simple game that can interest both kids and adults – challenging each in different ways. If this sounds like your kind of game, download it today. You can’t beat the price!
What kinds of apps do you like to play?