Whether it is for gambling or pure, clean entertainment, Mahjong has remained one of the most popular tile-based games around the world. From its conception back in the 19th century, and its spread throughout the world in the early 20th century, Mahjong has since evolved to include a plethora of variants, giving rise to a diverse selection of rules to consider with each variant.
Mahjong Journey: Tile Match is a Mahjong Solitaire game, also known as electronic or computerized mahjong given that it is easier and more commonly enjoyed on a computer rather than played using actual tiles. Mahjong Journey: Tile Match is a single-player adventure where a player’s goal is to remove all tiles on the board by matching pairs of tiles.
As simple as it sounds, the solitaire part of this mahjong variant will only let you move open tiles much like you can only reveal and move the top cards in a pile in a game of solitaire. Instead of the usual layout used for conventional Mahjong Solitaire games, Mahjong Journey: Tile Match provides unique layouts for each level you play in, with the initial ones not fully utilizing all 144 tiles.
Seeing Mahjong Journey: Tile Match as a match-2 puzzle in contrast with the conventional match-3 puzzle genre of games makes it all seem too easy. As you are introduced to the simple gameplay mechanics during your first dive into its world, the initial levels will likewise leave a first impression of how almost effortlessly you can complete levels. As you move further into the levels, however, you will inevitably feel the level of challenge increase as you find yourself having more long pauses to find open tiles to match.
If you have reached levels that seem impossible for you to clear or if you have just started your adventure and want a much better understanding of Mahjong Journey: Tile Match’s rules and strategies, then be sure to stay with us. We have come up with a guide for Mahjong Journey: Tile Match, that includes useful tips, tricks, and strategies to help you dominate every level!
1. Master The Basics
You do not necessarily have to know and understand the rules of Mahjong to play and enjoy Mahjong Journey: Tile Match. Rather, having a good enough understanding of Mahjong Solitaire will most certainly improve your performance across the different levels and challenges in the game. For basics, knowing of the types and numbers of tiles available should better set your expectations as to how huge a puzzle utilizing all 144 tiles can become.
For added information as well, it is best to know each tile you can encounter in Mahjong Journey: Tile Match. Mahjong tiles are primarily categorized by sets, which are the Suited, Honors, and Bonus sets. Suited sets are further classified into Dots, sometimes called wheels; Bamboo or sticks; and Characters, which are Chinese numbers. Each subset has 36 tiles and adds up to 108 tiles in total, making up the large majority of a complete Mahjong Tile Set. Note that each subset is numbered 1 to 9, which means that each of these tiles has 4 copies in the set.
The Honors Set is composed of 16 Wind Tiles and 12 Dragon Tiles. Like the Suited set, there are just 4 different Wind Tiles and 3 different Dragon tiles, each with 4 copies. Finally, there are 8 Bonus Tiles subdivided into Flowers and Seasons with each subset only having 4 tiles with different designs. The Flower Tiles are introduced in one of the early tutorial levels, with emphasis on how pairs of these tiles will not look identical.
Although the rules applicable to each type of tile is different in Mahjong, each one practically works the same way in Mahjong Journey: Tile Match. However, it is still important to have a good enough level of familiarity with tile types, especially how they appear in the game. In some stages, especially in the earlier areas, you can expect less than 144 tiles used on the board making it a little more challenging to predict tiles you cannot readily see.
However, fewer tiles also mean fewer impediments toward reaching your goal, perfectly balancing the difficulty level of gameplay in Mahjong Journey: Tile Match relative to other Mahjong Solitaire Games.
Another core mechanic in Mahjong Journey: Tile Match is that the Mahjong Tiles are arranged in layers. While the rule in conventional mahjong solitaire games is 4 layers, Mahjong Journey: Tile Match will have levels with fewer layers especially in the early game to make challenges a little easier. With this, there will be hidden tiles initially and strategies will have to be adaptive with every new tile revealed moving forward.
Finally, tiles in play are also divided between open and locked tiles. Although this rule is explained early on in the tutorials, it can still be confusing for complete beginners to fully understand. For one, tiles you cannot see like the ones beneath upper layer tiles are certainly locked but just because you can see a tile does not mean it is open or free.
To easily distinguish free tiles from locked ones, you only need to imagine if a tile can be moved to the left or the right. This means a tile that is blocked by other tiles on either of its side is locked and you will have to match those tiles first to free the tile in question.
2. Keep The Level’s Goal In Mind
The basic objective in conventional mahjong solitaire games is to find pairs of tiles and remove them from the board one after another until all tiles have been free and subsequently eliminated. Mahjong Journey: Tile Match. However, provides various goals to make some levels extra exciting and to eliminate monotony across each challenge. This is by setting goals of freeing specific tiles, which may or may not be the actual tiles we mentioned above.
In some challenges in Mahjong Journey: Tile Match, you do not necessarily have to clear the entire board. Some goals only require you to unlock and successfully pair some special tiles and some may even set you on a course toward freeing some cats. You can expect a variety of other unique goals as you venture further through the different locations in Mahjong Journey: Tile Match. What is important is that you have to pay attention to the goal and keep your focus on accomplishing it rather than clearing all the tiles.
It sounds a little too basic to even have to mention this but immersion in every puzzle leaves a natural tendency for players to get lost in finding pairs one after another. Although there will naturally be instances when you almost have to clear the challenge to get to your goal, there will be times when you can lunge in on the prize while leaving some tiles behind.
3. Work On Combos For Higher Points
Although the first couple of levels in Mahjong Journey: Tile Match appears to be a breeze, you will eventually find yourself in a scenario where you will run out of moves and fail to clear the table or reach your goal. On the completion side, there are star ratings that determine your overall performance in the puzzle and while a lowly 1-star rating is enough for you to move on to the next level, there will expectedly be an insatiable itch to secure a perfect rating across every level you play in. You can always hop back to previously conquered levels to attempt bagging a higher completion grade.
Star ratings obtained after clearing a level are based on the total points you earn every step of the way. Each tile you successfully pair with another earns you points and points are likewise multiplied by the combo number you can see at the upper left side of your screen. Combos can reach as high as 5, which is critical to reach and maintain if you aim to earn a high score.
While simply matching tiles one after another increases the combo bonus, there is a countdown timer that continues to go down until after you have made another successful match. In this sense, Mahjong Journey: Tile Match does not impose a time limit similar to conventional puzzle games in that running out of it results in an instant attempt failure. Rather, what matters in Mahjong Journey: Tile Match is that you continue to match tiles as quickly as you can to increase the combo number and maintain it at its peak value with subsequent tile matches.
In all honesty, this is not as easy as it sounds. Being able to seamlessly match tiles one after another within the limited period in between requires quick wits and really good eyes. Planning and strategy are, as much as possible, necessary every step of the way with the latter shifting in response to the newly unlocked or revealed tiles. Of course, there is also the factor of luck involved relative to how the tiles are arranged on the level.
4. Remember There Could Be 4 Similar Tiles
Considering the abundance of different mahjong tiles available and the basic premise of Mahjong Journey: Tile Match is to match 2 similar tiles, you can easily fall prey to thinking that there are only a pair of each tile in the current puzzle you are trying to solve. Given that most of the actual tiles in mahjong have 4 copies, it is possible to have all 4 similar tiles in a given puzzle. Additionally, remember as well that each of the 8 tiles for the flowers and the seasons may look unique, but these can likewise be paired as well.
As a beginner, even knowing about the possibility of having 4 similar tiles in the level may not seem to impact gameplay. In a sense, it can be regarded as merely 2 pairs of tiles just like any other 2 pairs on the level. However, 4 similar tiles in a level present huge opportunities to strategize around how to work on clearing the table. These opportunities, however, will only present themselves if there can be more than 3 of the same tiles accessible at the same time.
In case 3 similar tiles are free or unlocked at the same time, you can strategize around which 2 to pick and remove from the board. At this point, it should become apparent that your objective every step of the way is not just to remove tiles a pair at a time but rather to ensure that doing so will leave unlocked tiles ready for pairing. Despite some instances where the tiles in the lower levels cannot be seen, there will be times when you can see a portion of them and in these instances, you can pick the one that best promises to let you move forward.
5. Strategy Can Come From Options
There will surely be instances in Mahjong Journey: Tile Match when you only have 1 possible match to make to move forward in the puzzle. For the most part, however, you will be presented with 2 or more possible moves to make and just like in a game of Solitaire, your choice in the dichotomy or fork in the road can be a determinant of how you will fare moving forward.
Just like in our earlier discussion on the quartet of similar tiles, having available options to choose from allows you to strategize. Therefore, in contrast with simply matching tiles one after another, a quick yet tactical determination and examination of potential moves should be performed. Choosing the most promising move to make relative to the tiles that can be unlocked or freed by the move you make matters a lot in every subsequent step through the level.
On one hand, a good choice to make is to go for the match option that leaves more open tiles for your subsequent moves. On the other, you can prioritize going for the matching tile you need, especially for a pestering top-level tile that gets in the way of other tiles you need to free. In any case, make it a habit to see beyond the first possible match you see and despite there being a countdown timer as to how long the combo multiplier will last, there should be enough time to look for alternatives if you think fast and act even faster.
Although strategy in this sense relies on the presence of choices relative to tile matches you can make, keep in mind that you can begin forming a strategy as soon as you see the board and before you make any moves. It will certainly take a long while to master a strategic approach to Mahjong Journey: Tile Match but having an idea of how to approach from the get-go and prioritizing tile matches based on perceived needs and benefits is possible.
Well, there is such a thing as luck involved in Mahjong Journey: Tile Match as well but beyond sound strategy and quick wits, Mahjong Journey: Tile Match also offers additional help you can count on if push comes to shove.
6. Exercise Prudence In Using Your Boosters
Mahjong Journey: Tile Match expectedly does not leave you to take on challenging puzzles all on your own as there are boosters you can turn to when the risk of failing to finish a puzzle and losing a heart becomes evident. Boosters are like magic tools you can utilize to aid you in a variety of ways. However, tools are consumable and are rather expensive since gems are not as easy to earn. Boosters, however, can be earned from accomplishing feats or partaking in special events.
It almost seems natural, especially for complete beginners and newer players to use their consumables sparingly in any puzzle game. Although we recommend employing a prudent approach towards utilizing these boosters, we likewise encourage you to use them if doing so will ensure victory in a puzzle that would be difficult for you to clear otherwise.
There are 6 different boosters you can use in Mahjong Journey: Tile Match and knowing what each one does should lead you to understand the best time to use them. You can check your supply of boosters through the bag icon at the bottom of the screen.
Even as a beginner, you can surely spot matching tiles easily in the early levels especially since there are only a few tiles on the board early on. Once you are situated in a scenario where there are overwhelming numbers of tiles present, it can be hard to quickly distinguish free matching tiles. The Hint (lightbulb) booster will highlight a pair of matching tiles for you. Without any notice that there are no moves left, you can be certain that there is at least a pair of tiles that this booster can point out.
In case distinguishing between free and locked tiles still confuses you and you are having a difficult time finding them, you can use the Eye Booster. This will show a maximum of 10 tiles that are open or free without necessarily marking which ones form a pair. The Super Firecracker Booster is a powerful booster that can instantly clear 5 pairs of tiles from the board. It would be a shame to use this though if there is only a pair available.
The tool that we consider to be the most important is the Shuffle (cycling arrows) Booster. This powerful tool allows you to shuffle all available tiles on the board if no moves are available. In essence, this saves you from failing to clear the puzzle and losing a heart.
The Undo Booster, on the other hand, is often not as practical in our opinion. This booster will simply put back the last pair of tiles that you cleared. If you happen to realize that you just made a wrong move, then this is the booster to use. Finally, the Frost (snowflake) Booster not only lets you freeze the multiplier but also raises it to 5 before freezing it for the next 5 pairs you match.
7. Take Advantage Of The Time Freeze Cheat
Most puzzle games are made challenging or even more challenging by the presence of countdown timers or similar limitations that pressure players into deciding fast and becoming prone to making mistakes in the process. Although countdown timers apply in Mahjong Journey: Tile Match in such a way that it drains your combo multiplier back to 1 and does not instantly lead you to fail the level, it can rob you of points you could earn, which is a requisite to earn stars.
Well, even a snail-paced approach and a consistent level 1 combo meter can lead to a successful completion of the puzzle. Just don’t expect to get anything more than a 1-star rating. However, even a slow and careful pace of finding and choosing the best pair of tiles to eliminate first can still lead to a “no moves left” scenario, and if you have no Shuffle Boosters in hand, then that means you will have to retry the level again.
Time is a crucial aspect of Mahjong Journey: Tile Match and any way to slow it down or freeze it tilts any challenge’s outcome in your favor. Fortunately, Mahjong Journey: Tile Match provides a pause button on the puzzle screen just at the upper right corner and any device you play on should have a means of taking a screenshot.
The start of the puzzle stands as the best time for you to prepare how to go about matching tiles but once you have cleared your first pair, you would want to move fast to keep on racking up combo points and increasing the multiplier, ultimately keeping it at level 5.
Once you have selected your first couple of pairs, you need to thoroughly plan out the next set of moves so if you are itching for that 3-star rating, then you should take a screenshot and pause your game. You can normally take a screenshot on an Android device by pressing the power button and the volume down button simultaneously while the volume up button and side button do the same trick on an iOS device.
You should then hit the pause button, minimize the app and check your screenshot in your device’s gallery. On top of being able to stare at the puzzle as long as you need to in preparation for the next set of moves to make after you get back to the puzzle, a screenshot will also allow you to zoom in as you please for a better view of the entire board.
And this ends our guide for Mahjong Journey: Tile Match. We are fairly confident that the tips, tricks, and strategies we shared with you will suffice to help you dominate each level in the game. If you stumbled upon other cool tricks or strategies that we missed, do not hesitate to drop us a line in the comment area below!
Saturday 20th of May 2023
How many levels or countries are in mahjong journey I feel as if I’ve been playing it for ages