Mahjong with a magical twist.
If the world ever needs a hero who’s good at video games, let’s hope there’s a list with our names at the top. Maya found herself in a similar situation, facing impending doom with little more than a handful of magical mahjong cubes to use to save the world. Good thing she whiled away the hours practicing on games like Taptiles Saga, right?
In the land of Lumeria, the young Maya observes the forest guardian Thikket as he carefully arranges sets of tiles. She then observes a mysterious purple cloud appear out of nowhere, kidnap Thikket, and engulf the land in chaos. Not a good day. Now Maya needs your help releasing magical energy back into the forest, a process that requires playing a good old fashioned round or two of mahjong solitaire!
Each level in Taptiles Saga is presented in an isometric point of view with a series of cubes stacked in the center of the screen. Use the arrows on the sides to rotate the screen in case you need to peek at hidden tiles in the back. All you need to do is click a tile, then click a second tile with the same symbol, causing both tiles to vanish. Standard mahjong solitaire rules apply, meaning you can only remove cubes if they’re free on multiple sides. Aim for the edge pieces and keep chipping away at the stack!
You have a time limit in Taptiles Saga, turning this into a game of speed and finesse as opposed to thoughtful puzzle solving. Levels have a few conditions you must meet in order to proceed, usually a simple “clear the board before time runs out” kind of goal. You earn points based on speed and can rack up some impressive scores by chaining together matches of the same tile type. All of this feeds into a magic orb feature that, when charged, can be unleashed to clear a few sets of tiles in the blink of an eye. Every second counts in a game like this!
Many levels in Taptiles Saga feature purple cubes and locked cubes that like to linger around towards the end of the stage. To clear them, simply match them like you would any other tile, freeing up locked tiles and allowing you to complete the stage. Locked tiles still hanging out with no way to clear them? Not a problem! Thikket dropped bottles of gold dust you can use to turn locked tiles into gold tiles, allowing you to clear them with a few quick clicks.
There’s one mildly annoying feature in Taptiles Saga. The game insists upon checking the “share results” option each time you complete a level. At best, you have to close the Facebook pop-up to remove the status update message. At worst, you start spamming friends every time you complete a level. It’s an easily avoidable situation by unticking the share option, but when you forget, you’ll never forgive yourself. The usual Facebook features of turn-limiting energy and currency are present but mercifully minimized in Taptiles, giving you the quiet option to indulge in a microtransaction but never forcing your hand.
Taptiles Saga is from the same development team that created Mahjong Dimensions. Both games are speed-oriented and feature great visuals and simple 3D mahjong solitaire gameplay. Taptiles has a story to follow, however, along with a map to chart your progress and a few power-up bonuses to light some sparks during gameplay. It’s the same high score-centric basic premise, but Taptiles goes to greater lengths to produce a lighthearted experience that will keep you coming back for more.