Ever wondered what Mahjong would be like as a slot game. Well, wonder no more. Mah Jong Madness created by Vegas Technologies is a tribute to the original strategic game which mythically dates back to around 500 BC and follows the teachings of Confucius.
Mah Jong Madness features five reels and twenty-one pay lines. Just as with the original game of Mahjong, Mah Jong Madness features seven tile combinations. Each of the five reels spins to reveal one of these seven tiles which may or may not occur in winning combinations. The tiles used in this games design are identical to the ones seen in mahjong video games today. These tiles, however, are not the same as the ones used in the original Mahjong games.
The Mah Jong madness pay table starts with the lowest winning denomination of flowers, which seem to be stacked. These flower combinations payout between five and fifteen cents. The pay table then moves up to orchids, bamboo, and orbs. These combinations are slightly less common than those of the minimum paying flowers. However, these combinations pay between five cents and five dollars. Finally, the pay table tops out with the jackpot, a rarely seen almost mythical dragon. Finding two dragons is enough to payout, though the payout will be minimal at twenty cents. In contrast, lining up five dragons will net you twenty-five dollars. As clearly detailed above, the minimum payout is five, while the maximum is twenty-five-hundred. These denominations are in cents, so that’s five cents to twenty-five dollars.
Sadly, the design of Mah Jong Madness fails to introduce a bonus round. As gamblers well know the bonus round is often the round in which you have a series of choices that combine luck and skill in order to generate higher payouts. This round is also often the most entertaining aspect of a slot machine and the lack of a bonus is very disappointing. Likewise, there are no free spins and no additional tiles. Only the original seven tiles are included in this slot machine. Sadly that makes this machine a lot less entertaining than it could have been. Having a bonus round is something that would have made the game far more entertaining. In addition to providing more entertainment value, the bonus round could have introduced a small measure of skill to bet on. Perhaps a Mahjong board to clear would have been an excellent addition. Alas, it was not meant to be.
While the slot machine may be entertaining and similar to its predecessor it does seem to lack the strategic and intuitive design of the original game. One of the things that made Mahjong so great was the measure of skill involved in playing. Skill is something that is often lacking in slot machines and it’s something that would have taken a great deal of effort to reproduce in slot form.
An overall review of this slot machine reveals its many flaws in design. Five reels means diminished chances of earning top payouts which is a definite drawback. Three reels that never seem to line up at least offer the illusion of a potential jackpot, however five reels makes it blatantly obvious that jackpotting is highly unlikely. The minimum pay of five cents to your bet of twenty-one cents is additionally very uninspiring. This slot machines only salvation is in the elegant design and historically loved and appreciated game it based this design off of. On a scale from one to ten, this slot machine would barely get a three. Aside from its Mahjong inspired origins, this machine lacks many of the things that make any game great. First, the mythical bonus round where you are guaranteed a win and only the denomination is in question. Second, flashy appeal, this games design doesn’t lend well to drawing your eyes in, there are no bright colors and no fancy music. Third, the illusion of skill in which you test your mettle against a backdrop of tiles which may or may not hold winning denominations underneath them. Overall this game is simply not as enjoyable as it could have been with several drawbacks, the first of which is simply being a slot machine which lacks any measure of skill. The biggest drawback is the lack of a bonus round. It is sad to see such a great game get such a poor design that fails to capture the beauty of its original skillful artfully crafted counterpart. Mah Jong madness just doesn’t make the cut.