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.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Shinta avatarShinta
MGS Online Day 3. I have 3 character up to level 10 now, one in each class. They're all pretty handy, but I do miss the scout's mark speed the most on other classes.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
The SW: Battlefront is pretty and has great sound design, but the gameplay is so shallow and has seemingly no depth! If the full game is like this I will be disappointed.
Torchman avatarTorchman
*looks at Amazon preorder* This one's for you Chib'
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Dear Playboy: Love your video game coverage, but how about you start making some topless unboxing videos? Seeing someone unwrap a copy of Call of Duty is boring. Seeing a topless Playmate unwrap a copy of anything is awesome!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
In happier news, Level-5 is already talking Yo-Kai Watch 2's Western release, and better/worse yet, they're considering amiibo support for the series! And hey, if they can't get Jibanyan into Smash, that'd be one way to get the West's attention.
gajknight avatargajknight
I drank a glass of Ovaltine for the first time in years today. It was nice. Like drinking a glass of my childhood, complete with ignorance, embarrassing angst, tears (so many tears) and night terrors. Ah, the good 'ol days.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[img][/img] This is just depressing. Digital classics on consoles are such a great idea, but it's like not a single company wants to really go through with it.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
My heart will always be yours, Papyrus #2spoopy4me
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I recently beat Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow again, but this time I played on Hard mode from scratch. Outside of dying a few times due to me being an idiot, and enemies hitting harder, it was actually easy. Like really easy.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Today I replated bacteria that I made take up a plamid hopefully stitched onto the genes generatlight. Taken from other dead bacteria and put into a non glowing species, to make it glow. Fucking microbiology is the best.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
It seems fairy farts are a fragrance, a soap, incense, a vaping liquid and a kind of nail polish. I'm clearly in the wrong line of work and need to eat more chili.
Cannibal Steven avatarCannibal Steven
"You gave the Lost Soul a big smile, like you remember she likes to do... For some reason she sort of wants to smile back..." I'm not crying. Not one bit.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Just tried 'The Last Of Us' on PSNow Trial, only to be told... 'Something went wrong. Try again.' Game-appropriate error message or quickie plot-summary?
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
I hate when people say crap like "I admit that [thing] in games is problematic, but I still enjoy it" because it's an underhanded way of contradicting your own views while convincing yourself that you aren't a hypocrite.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Well shit. I knew I was more than likely going to enjoy Star Wars Battlefront (cause you know, giant Star Wars nerd and all) but holy cow, the beta is fucking great! I need the full game like, now.
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Anyone here going to NYC Comic Con? Always wanted to go and lived so close, but alas, it wasn't meant to be.
Mark Plechaty avatarMark Plechaty
Well I haven't seen any levels like this on mario maker so maybe it's unique the I'd is 55BD000000961CBA GIVE IT A GO and let me know what you think
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Hey Stranger ... wadda you buying ? Want some crack ? Here ya go... [youtube][/youtube]
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
My brother caught me this Pokémon in our room yesterday. How should I name it? [img][/img]
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Yay, I got off of work early and may have Friday off! I have a sinking feeling I'm going to work 10 hours on Saturday as a result, though :/ We ran out of stuff to make stuff with so they must ship us stuff so we can ship stuff.
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
Mahjong Cub3d

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


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 -