Mahjong Dimensions Deluxe: Tiles in Time is more 3D solitaire mahjong fun, with a time-travel twist.
Mahjong Dimensions Deluxe: Tiles in Time takes the basic concept of the first Mahjong Dimensions and expands it into a game that will be a treat for PC mahjong fans. Where Mahjong Dimensions was basically Mahjong Blitz, Tiles in Time challenges you to run a gauntlet of mahjong patterns in order to “unlock” an object that’s been lost in time. You begin searching for dinosaurs, then move on to other period-appropriate objects as you travel into eras like Ancient Egypt, Feudal Japan, and (eventually) the future.
Each of the game’s six time periods hosts twelve missing eight objects. There are eight you can search for at the game’s default difficulty level. If you get a gold medal on all eight of the default levels by achieving high scores in them, then you unlock four bonus levels that let you retrieve four bonus items. Bonus levels begin gently and eventually become more difficult than the default levels by an order of magnitude. Struggling through them to get more objects to add to your diorama for an era is satisfying, though.
To get each object, you solve a series of puzzles that slowly increase in difficulty. Some puzzles are mere clickfests while others require you to deftly turn around the 3D pattern without losing your speed chain. This game can get genuinely challenging and seems designed with veteran PC mahjong players in mind. Repeating a particularly challenging level can be frustrating, but timerless mode makes the game accessible to players who prefer to use PC mahjong games as a way to relax.
Tiles in Time‘s high difficulty level means it’s not a game that most players will blitz through in a single sitting. Some stages, particularly the bonus stages, will need to be played and replayed several times before the secret to quickly defeating a pattern clicks with you. Part of figuring out how to beat each pattern is learning to quickly bring special blocks that unlock parts of the missing object or extend your timer to the pattern’s edge, then matching them as quickly as possible. Matching special blocks unlocks a bonus mode where you get extra points for quick matches. You get gobs of extra points for matching the special blocks quickly when you reach the last pattern in a level.
For a certain type of player, Tiles in Time‘s emphasis on score attack play is going to be utterly compelling. Others may find the game’s blend of high difficulty and block-clocking play too repetitive to hold their attention. It’s really going to depend on what kind of player you are and how much you enjoy the tangram-like puzzle challenge of unraveling patterns in Mahjong Dimensions Deluxe: Tiles in Time. The only way to find out if the game clicks with you is to try it out, and trying it is highly recommended for any fan of PC mahjong games.