Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Mahjong Cub3d

Review: Mahjong Cub3d

7:30 PM on 10.20.2011 // Dale North

Wait! Where are you going?

Portable mahjong games aren't going to hold up to all the high profile fall and holiday releases that are coming out, especially with this year's huge line-up. But what if I told you that this particular mahjong game was in 3D, and that it turned the classic time waster on its head with 3D controls? Still no? Fair enough. Hey, I think it's cool. It may not be your Call of the Battlefield: Revelations, but it's a good time for your 3DS, especially for puzzle game fans.

Mahjong Cub3d (Nintendo 3DS)
Developer: Sunsoft
Publisher: Atlus
Released: October 11, 2011
MSRP: $29.99

Classic mahjong has you matching tiles to remove them from a pile, two by two, with the goal of taking them all down without breaking the age old rules of removal. You've played this before on a phone or on an old Windows PC, I'm sure. In Mahjong Cub3d, you're still matching tiles to remove them from the game board, except this time it's not really a board, but more of a floating shape in 3D space. Yes, it sounds strange, but stick with me here. 

Floating mahjong in 3D sounds like something that wouldn't work, but it really does. It works well enough that my first play session, which I only intended to be a quick introduction, lasted about 2 hours. I ended up taking my 3DS to bed and played until I got sleepy. 

The game slowly eases you into its 3D Cube Mode with some simple puzzles. You'll match tiles, which are now actually little cubes, on or in some basic shapes, like larger cubes and other geometric designs. Like in classic mahjong, you'll pick from any of the available 'free' tiles to match them to other ones. In this mode you're working against a countdown timer, but the basic shapes of the mode's alpha stages are pretty easy. They're easy enough that they'll let you get used to rotating and manipulating the shapes. You'll turn these shapes in any direction by holding down either the L or R button and pushing a direction on the circle pad, while the d-pad lets you zoom in and out. Tile selection is done with the circle pad and it works surprisingly well. I assumed that trying to select a little tile among a bunch of others in 3D would be troublesome, but somehow they made it work.

When you get good at the alpha level of puzzles, beta steps it up a bit, and then it gets nuts with complexity from there. Worry not, as the game slowly eases you into it by gradually increasing the difficulty with each puzzle. As you complete puzzles you'll unlock additional ones. I've been playing Mahjong Cub3d almost non-stop since I received a review copy, but it feels like I'm nowhere near seeing all of the available puzzles. 

In classic mahjong, if a tile is buried under another, you cannot remove it. This rule is still in play in Mahjong Cub3d's Cube Mode, but being able to freely rotate the game's board in any direction forces you to think a bit harder about what tiles to remove. You'll also have to rotate the game board to see its undersides, sometimes even down inside a shape, to see the tile types. You'll have to keep your eyes open and stay alert so that you can match tiles from all angles. The 3D doesn't make for a hard game, mind you. It just increases the challenge so that it never becomes mindless. They literally took this time-wasting standard to the next dimension.

There is a classic, non-3D mahjong mode included, but it's not very good. The main problem lies with the tile selection method, which is done with the analog pad. I was driven to near insanity in less than five minutes trying to select the little tiles in this mode, and the zoom in/out controls do not help at all. Worse, the angle that the board is presented at is tilted back just enough to be fully frustrating; good luck trying to see some of the lower level back tiles behind a large pile. The final kick in the eye is the too-large countdown timer, which moves so fast that it makes you nervous and unable to concentrate. I truly hope that gamers try the perfectly fine 3D mode before trying this standard version, as it seems tacked on and rough. 

My only other gripe is on the music. It's bad. Like, volume switch to minimum at all times bad. Distracting and regular bleeps and cymbal crashes are not a great idea for a game that requires concentration.

I can't give you much more here: Mahjong Cub3d is simply mahjong in fully rotatable 3D. I can tell you that it's easy to get into and control, and that it seems to have this gravitational pull on me as a puzzle game fan. I've always liked mahjong, and this 3D twist on the classic formula makes it even more enjoyable and challenging.



Mahjong Cub3d - Reviewed by Dale North
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Dale North, Former Dtoid EIC
 Follow Blog + disclosure DaleNorth Tips
I am Destructoid's Editor-In-Chief. I love corgis. I make music. more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Mahjong Cub3d

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Comments of the Week - バーガーベスト, ですよね?

My Month in Games - November 2015

Cblogs of 11/28/15 - Lonely Thanksgiving, Gatchaman Crowds, and more

Recap: Metal Gear Solid 1

Thankful it's Over: Bioshock Infinite

Is Toei using Kamen Rider Ghost to address suicide in Japan?

Let's talk about Xenoblade Chronicles

Cblogs of 11/27/15 - Life is Strange, and Sad

Top 5 Reasons Star Wars Battlefront KICKS ASS!

Attack of the Friday Monsters: A Little Slice of Childhood

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
Well, that's a wrap for the Bloodborne DLC. I liked it. More thoughts and maybe spoilers in the comment section.
Confuseddalek avatarConfuseddalek
a rainy afternoon, and too sleepy for games. Time to go to the animal shelter and try not to fall asleep, surrounded by kittens.
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Following from yesterday's Community Question, how would you feel if reviewers began assigning two scores to a game? One specifically for the technical aspects/performance of the game, and the other for their own personal enjoyment?
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I went back to Persona 4 Golden this weekend, asked Chie to be my girlfriend but then accidentally maxed out my social link with Yumi, changed my relationship status to "It's Complicated" on Personabook. [img][/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Why am I hyped? Just cause :D
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
You know what Fallout 4 mod I want to see? One to fix the interior lightning. It's like the silliest thing to get fixated over, but I can't seem to ignore how white and bright some of those inside lights are.
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Just wrote my first C-blog. It's me talking about the games I have played this month; I'm quite excited
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I wish the Squid Girl outfit was still a dress for boys. I want to live through my Inkling boy and be a cute girly-man, dammit. [img][/img]
Zer0t0nin avatarZer0t0nin
Goshdarnit...just stood in front of the camera to record an intro for the advent calender thingy and actually got stage fright >.>
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Well, it seemed like for two seconds people were finally going to give Star Fox a fair shake, but nope! GameXplain's YouTube audience seem pretty insistent that it's just a Star Fox 64 clone down to the graphics. Sometimes I just don't understand peopl
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
I don't think it will happen, but if the NX is turns out to be a VR device, I will be the saddest boy in the milky way.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
There's something so fucking delicious about a toasted Hawaiian roll, smoked ham, Swiss, some spinach and a dollop of mustard. #FatKidPosts
Still in work clothes.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, wrote up a blog for that there bloggers wanted. Its me bitching about Bioshock Infinite! Again! Yay!!!!!!
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
Just finished watching The Phantom Menace. Yeah, Jar Jar is as bad as people say. Baby Vader is so cute and also kicks some serious ass. One of the best lightsaber battles of the series, if not the best one. It was pretty neat!
Roxas1359 avatarRoxas1359
Can't decide where I should upload my latest project. Either on my YouTube Channel or on Game Anyone. On the one hand YouTube gets more exposure, but Game Anyone is where some of my more popular walkthroughs are. The game is 3D Land if anyone is wondering
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Thanksgiving dinner for days!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Anyone know if the Bethesda games on sale on Amazon for a certain amount of time, or through Monday?
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
In light of the fact that Xenoblade Chronicles X is fast approaching, I suggest we start planning out a Destructoid Squad! NNID is TysonOfTime. From what I've heard, it doesn't appear Squads are region locked (except for Japan), so everyone's welcome!
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Typing of the Dead > all other typing games.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -