Giveaway of the Day - Alice’s Magical Mahjong

Alice’s Magical Mahjong
May 25, 2014

Head down the rabbit hole for fanciful Mahjong fun with a hidden object twist! Join Alice from Lewis Carroll’s classic story, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in this imaginative journey. Help all her quirky friends, including the mad hatter, the white rabbit, and the caterpillar, in this charming world. Step through the looking glass and into the world of Alice’s Magical Mahjong today!

Features:

  • Create and share custom layout.
  • Hidden object mini-games.
  • Gorgeous graphics.
  • Over 175 challenging Mahjong layouts.
  • Your favorite characters from the classic book.
User Rating: Rate It!
  • 254 (79%) 
  • 69 (21%)
34 comments
System Requirements: Windows XP/ Vista/ 7; CPU: 800 MHz; RAM: 128 MB; DirectX: 8.1 or higher; Hard Drive: 60 MB
Publisher: Playrix Entertainment
Homepage: http://www.playrix.com/ga...
File Size: 60.5 MB
Price: $19.95

This software was available as a giveaway on May 25, 2014, this giveaway is not available any more. You can download the trial version of this software at http://www.playrix.com/games/p....

Terms and conditions

Please note that the software you download and install during the Giveaway period comes with the following important limitations: 1) No free technical support; 2) No free upgrades to future versions; 3) Strictly personal usage.

THIS SOFTWARE PRODUCT IS PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED. WITHOUT LIMITATION, TO THE FULLEST EXTENT ALLOWABLE BY LAW, END USER ASSUMES THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE DOWNLOADED SOFTWARE PRODUCT.

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34 Comments »

  1. Alice’s Magical Mah-jong v1.05:

    In Brief:

    Alice’s Magical Mahjong is a colorful Mahjong game with a hidden object twist! Scores 8 out of 10. This is the same version we were given last year.

    Capture

    alices Magical Mahjong049 zps92e7386a

    Installation:

    Alice’s Magical Mahjong downloads to a 60.5 MB zip file that unpacks to a read me and a wrapped setup activation file (the orange colored file with the key symbol), plus there’s a setup file with security (setup.gcd) that’s protected from being hacked. This file may case some security software to alert the user to a possible malware attack, but it will be a false positive.

    The game giveaway team check all game giveaways for malware using several well known anti -malware suites. There has never been a game giveaway infected with malware since the project started back in Dec 2006. The installed game is 56.1 MB in size. and installs to:

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Playrix Entertainment\Alices Magical Mahjong

    by default but can be changed to suit whatever your wishes are. There is no uninstaller, but this game is free standing so to delete just remove the installed folder from your hard drive.

    Shortcuts are installed to both the Desktop and Start Menu /Programs folder under Playrix Entertainment, (not sure where in Win 8) and you’ll also find an uninstaller in the programs folder as well as a link to Playrix Once the game is installed you can delete the giveaway setup files.

    alices magical mahjong review col15

    alices magical mahjong review col13

    I’ve only tested the game on Win 7 and Win 8. Anyone running Vista or XP, please confirm whether this game works Thanks.

    If you miss the giveaway or have problems installing the game is available 24/7 from MyPlayCity, Jenkat Games and Gametop. Do remember to uncheck any tick boxes, otherwise you may find your home page changed, a new browser installed or tool bars installed.

    Introduction:

    Head down the rabbit hole for fanciful Mahjong fun with a hidden object twist! Join Alice from Lewis Carroll’s classic story, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in this imaginative journey. Help all her quirky friends, including the mad hatter, the white rabbit, and the caterpillar, in this charming world. Step through the looking glass and into the world of Alice`s Magical Mahjong today!

    Reference accessed HERE March 2013

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    alices magical mahjong review col3

    The Game:

    There are over 175 unique layouts to play through. Although not true mahjong IMO (I play the four player variety) I’m sure most community members know how to play mahjong solitaire games. Basically you have to remove all the tiles from the level by matching pairs together. That said, its not as simple as that. You can only match ‘Free’ tiles. These are tiles that have no tiles on top or directly on either side of the tile. Its always advisable to remove pairs that have tiles on the tallest stacks or long rows first; also try to remove tile matches that free up the greatest number of locked tiles first. Always be aware of 3 matching free tiles. Choose the pair that will free up the greatest number of locked tiles first and leave the tile that is blocking fewer important tiles.

    alices magical mahjong review col4

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    Suit tiles (red and blue) are unique in the game of mahjong solitaire, they are the only tiles in the game that can create matching pairs with tiles that differ. The four blue suits can be matched with any combination of blue tiles and the same goes for the red suits.
    To help complete a level try to plan as many moves ahead as you can. To complete a level you don’t have to completely clear a level, just clear the gold tiles.

    From the main menu you can select options to change the volume of music and sound effects, toggle off voices, change from full screen (default) to widowed and vice verca as well as check out the credits. Also from the main menu you can check out game play by clicking on the ‘how to play ‘ button, which basically says the same as what I’ve written above. The extras button allows you to play the game in classic mode (with no HOG elements) and also create your own levels via the editor. If you want to play the game with HOG elements just click on play from the main menu. The game is introduced by a short storyboard, which pops up throughout the game that follows the story of Alice in Wonderland. You can skip these boards by clicking on the continue button to the bottom right of the screen, but there’s no way of completely avoiding them. Once you’ve left the initial introductory storyboard you are introduced to the level map that takes you through the adventures of Alice as told by Lewis Carroll. You can continue on playing the game, or return to the menu to select the traditional game if you wish.

    Before you start in the main mahjong mode you will get your first HOG, which is a find the White Rabbits. ;) If you get stuck, there is a hint button. Thankfully there’s no clouds of glitter to indicate where you can find any objects unless you use the hints. Sometimes you’ll get to a point where there is no moves. A small window will pop up that allows you to either start the level again, shuffle the tiles or exit the game. If you exit part way through at this stage you will lose progress on the level, but when you return will start from the beginning of the level. levels do have a timer, but this isn’t for stopping the level after a specific time, its just for recod purposes. At the end of a level it will tel you your best time.

    You can create multiple profiles, so the game is ideal for a family.

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    The background music is entirely appropriate to the story and game IMO, but can be turned off as already mentioned elsewhere via the options menu. The narration is by a female. Each level has a hint button that will highlight a single matching pair. Each time you click the hint button it will highlight a different pair (if there is any) and will cycle through the pairs if you continue to use the hint button. There doesn’t appear to be any penalty using the hint button. You can also highlight all free tiles via the ‘show free tiles’, button. Along the top of the playing arena from the left you can see how long you’ve taken on the level, with the best time below. If you pause the game (by clicking on the pause button, or if in windowed mode clicking outside the window) the timer also pauses. In the middle is the level number and to the top right the number of matching pairs available and the number of tiles remaining. Along the bottom from left to right are the menu ,hint, show free tiles and pause buttons.

    To exit the game either click on the menu button, which opens a small window with several options (main menu, options, new layout, how to play and resume), then click on the main menu button, this brings up another small window that tells you that exiting to the main menu will save your current game with a small button that says don’t display in the future. Click on the Okay button to proceed to the main menu where you can exit the game properly; or, alternatively click on escape key which brings up a window that enables you to leave the game immediately. Your game will be saved at the beginning of the level or HOG you left it.

    The only negative I have with this game is its boot up time. It takes over 40 seconds for the game to open up to the main menu.

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    On the surface, the concept of combining the ancient Chinese tile-matching pastime of mahjong with British author Lewis Carroll’s classic fantasy story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland seems as far-fetched as… well, a white rabbit in a waistcoat carrying a pocket watch. But thanks to outstanding production values, solid mahjong gameplay, and well-executed hidden object rounds that don’t manage to feel tacked on, Alice’s Magical Mahjong is a thoroughly charming outing.

    Like the book on which it’s based, the plot of Alice’s Magical Mahjong begins when the young girl Alice chases an odd-looking rabbit into a hole and emerges in a strange Wonderland. The game’s 10 chapters are more or less faithful to the whimsical events of the story, as Alice races a Dodo bird, is given advice by a smoking caterpillar, has tea with the Hatter and the March Hare, encounters the grinning Cheshire Cat and plays croquet with the Queen of Hearts.

    The scenarios are brought to life by soft and beautiful visuals, wonderful voice-acting and atmospheric music. Each chapter begins with a bit of narrative to set the stage, then dives into a hidden object challenge. There are two types; one is a traditional search for random items like an umbrella, crown or clock, while the second is related to the story at hand. For example, in the first chapter, Down the Rabbit Hole, Alice must find five white rabbits hidden in a painting.

    These are no run of the mill hidden object mash-ups, however. Instead, each picture is a hand-drawn in the style of a Where’s Waldo book, where the objects to find are actually part of the scene in some playful way. For example, in a later chapter you’re given a painting of a flooded room and have to find five gray mice. Instead of just being super-imposed onto a scene, one mouse is balancing on a life-preserver, another is perched next to a gargoyle, and a third is poking its head out of a flower pot.

    Once the hidden object portion has been passed – and admittedly these scenes won’t be overly challenging to complete, especially if you use the available hints by drinking from Alice’s Drink Me bottle – it’s on to the mahjong phase of the chapter.

    The goal of mahjong, for those unfamiliar with it, is to clear a board of tiles arranged in a certain pattern by removing pairs of matching tiles. A tile can only be moved if it’s “free,” meaning it can slide to the left or right. In this case, traditional Chinese symbols have been replaced by Alice-themed symbols like mushrooms, top hats, playing cards and question marks.

    While the goal of traditional mahjong is to clear the entire board, Alice’s Magical Mahjong takes a page from the Mahjong Escape games where you don’t actually have to clear the board to win, but rather just uncover and match two special golden tiles.

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    What does playing mah-jong have to do with the story, you ask? Well, the item depicted on the golden tile is an important plot item; for example, the rabbit’s white gloves that he asks Alice to find, or the caterpillar’s hookah (smoking pipe), or invitations to the Queen’s party.

    Although the first few levels are easy, don’t be fooled. They quickly become more challenging as the board layouts become more intricate. If you reach a point where there are no more matches to be made, you can shuffle the board or restart with the same tiles to try a different strategy. You can also toggle on or off a mode that shows you which tiles are free, and use a limited number of hints to reveal a possible match.

    There’s the occasional power-up, but the game isn’t inundated with them. There’s a special lock tile that can only be paired with a door tile, for example. Also, matching two special silver-colored tiles clears all tiles of that type from the board (i.e. if the two tiles have blue symbols then all the blue tiles will be removed).

    During the mah-jong rounds, Alice and other denizens of Wonderland, like the Cheshire Cat, will pop in with the occasional comment. It’s just one example of a dozen little extra magical touches that help elevate the game above the status quo, including menus that sprout flowers when you run the mouse over them, the beautiful map that charts Alice’s progress, and the charming animations that occur when you match two silver tiles, like water washing the extra tiles away or butterflies fluttering away with them.

    Granted, Alice’s Magical Mah-jong has a few bumps as well. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a tile is free because of the board’s top-down perspective. Some of the hidden object items are hard to see, and the text during the narrative scenes doesn’t cover everything that’s actually being said, so if you can’t hear the voice-overs you’ll miss a significant chunk of the story.

    However, these are small quibbles in the face of the overwhelming number of things the game does right. And as if the features I’ve raved about already weren’t enough, there’s also a Classic mode featuring 108 additional mah-jong layouts to try (again, reminiscent of the Mah-jong Escape series), as well as the ace up the game’s sleeve: a full-fledged level editor where you can create your own custom mahjong boards.

    Reference accessed HERE May 2014

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    System Requirements:

    OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8

    CPU: 800 MHz

    System RAM: 128 MB

    DirectX: 8.1 or higher

    Hard Drive: 60 MB

    Video & Images:

    You can see a slideshow of almost 60 images of the game showing the menus, href=”http://s571.photobucket.com/albums/ss160/Whiterabbit04/Alices%20Magical%20Mahjong/?albumview=slideshow” rel=”nofollow”>HERE. Also several videos of game play HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE,
    HERE
    and HERE(French)

    Music:

    You can change the music by swapping the music files via the following path. You will need to rename each file and convert them to the .ogg format:

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Playrix Entertainment\Alice’s Magical Mahjong\resources\x.ogg

    where x.ogg represents the music files. Most of the files are sound bites for the various sound effects and these shouldn’t be changed unless you want the game to sound crazy. The music files are not that obvious as they are mixed up with a few hundred other files. Look for files such as snd_intro1.ogg oand snd_game_background_1.ogg

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    Conclusion:

    Overall I’ve really enjoyed playing this game. Mahjiong solitaire is an excellent game and you’ll find loads of levels to work through as well as create your own via the level editor (which I’ve not had time to check out yet) . The addition of a level editor is always a bonus.

    I’m not really into Hidden Object games any more, but the ones provided with this game are very easy. This is a great game for all the family from the kids through to great grand parents; (though the older members may need a magnifying glass to find some of the hidden objects unless they don’t mind using the hints), The game is styled in the fashion of a well made cartoon, that shouldn’t put off the adult in anyone. Alice in Wonderland is one of those stories I’m sure we all had read to us as children and it brings back fond memories of my mother reading to me as a child. :) also my online name is indirectly associated with this story through the song White Rabbit sung by Grace Slick while with Jefferson Airplane.

    Pros:
    • Beautiful aesthetic. Stellar production values and attention to detail. Fun mahjong and hidden object -lite gameplay. Long-lasting modes, plus level editor.
    Cons:
    • Free tiles sometimes obscured by perspective. Hidden objects sometimes too well-hidden. Text captions miss out some of the narrative.

    Scoring

    Gameplay – 8
    Graphics – 8
    Audio – 7
    Re-playability – 9
    Originality – 8

    Total = 8

    Problems:

    If you are posting late in the day I would also suggest posting in the main giveaway forums in the game discussion section. If you’ve installed the game but it won’t work for some reason, it should still be registered, so someone may be able to help at another time. Unfortunately if your problem is actually installing it then once the giveaway period is over there’s nothing that can be done until the game is given away again (though that isn’t guaranteed). Today’s game is available free 24/7 from MyPlayCity, Jenkat Games and Gametop

    If you have any problems installing or getting to work today’s game please go HERE for help.

      ——————————————————————————————————————

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    A Request for help:

    Developers rely on good feedback to improve their games. If you download this game please take some time once you’ve played it a while to leave some constructive feedback either positive or negative. The more constructive feedback we get, the more likely developers are going to give more games away. The giveaway site already has a very good standing with the search engines. Developers want their products out there on the WWW, this site has the potential to do that. The game giveaway project gives away on average between 9 to 17 thousand downloads for each game depending upon what genre and how obscure the game is. That’s a lot of homes these games are being downloaded into and a lot of ‘potential’ cash that’s being lost by the developers. If we get better games because of better feedback, the community are likely to continue to benefit from the generosity of the developers. Satisfied community members are then more likely to visit the home sites of those developers and purchase games that they may not have bothered with before they discovered the developer via the game giveaway site, thus giving the developers more incentives to give away even more decent games.

    Please leave some feedback once you’ve checked the game out. It can be positive or negative, but please explain what your reasons were for the feedback you post. You could also leave suggestions for improving the game, for example, this game could do with more block types for the levels editor, add more power-ups, describing the ones you think would be suitable, add some mini games (which seem all the rage in some arcade games now) or enable the user to be able to change the in game music easily.

    Thank you in advance to all those who take the time to post a constructive comment.

    Regards

    Whiterabbit aka Stephen

      ========================================================
    Comment by Whiterabbit-uk — May 25th, 2014 at 3:04 am
  2. I love the look of Alice’s Magical Mahjong but sadly it won’t run on my PC. When I try to run it I get the message “Unexpected error occured when running the game.” I’m still on Windows XP SP3 (groan!) but I’ve seen somebody else report the issue on Windows 7.

    I had this problem when the game was given away last year and I reported it to Playrix. They offered to look at my system info (dxdiag) and then sent me a link to a fresh download for a new install. They really could not have been more helpful, but unfortunately the new download did not work either on my setup. There must be a clash with something else I have installed. Oh well, I’ll have to wait until I can afford another computer.

    ………………………Moderator Comment…………………………

    check out the FAQ’s I’ve linked to. you’ll find it in the Sticky section of the Game Discussion forums.

    Alternatively, try turning off background programs to see if there is a conflict. Game Booster is a good start. It automatically turns off system programs that aren’t required to run the game, plus you can configure it to turn off other programs. The beauty of this program is that with one key press everything reverts back to normal.

    Comment by Julia — May 25th, 2014 at 4:05 am
  3. Is it the same game that was given away before, or is it an updated version?

    ……………………Moderator Comment……………………

    as mentioned in my review above, it’s the same version.

    Comment by Sergey B — May 25th, 2014 at 4:24 am

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