You can’t have high expectations when playing a new Mahjong game, but sometimes you will be surprised to find out that things can really get better in terms of gameplay and fun factor. Lost Amulets: Stone Garden is a really pleasant surprise, a well done Mahjong game with mini-games to keep up the fun and great, crisp graphics that won’t tire your eyes.
There is also a storyline that doesn’t matter that much, but it’s nice to see that the developers did more than create the tiles and throw them at us: the Wind, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth amulets are missing and it’s your job to find them all and put them back together. In order to do so, you’ll play countless Mahjong games and have a relaxing fun time while doing so!
Lost Amulets: Stone Garden has some really nice touches added to the traditional Mahjong game: you start with matching round stones – beautiful round stones, I might add – and you use the stones at the bottom to create matches. The longer you can go, the more points you get. Some stones have Jade Pearls which can be used in the game to buy various power-ups: hint or shuffle, plus some really powerful power-ups that remove 10 or 15 stones from the board! Eventually, you will unlock the traditional Mahjong stones too, but you will fall in love with the round-shaped ones and you will never want to play Mahjong differently again! You also have multiple tile choices for your stones, including the option to add specific colors to make things even easier to see.
To make things even more fun, between levels you have the option to play some mini-games: either choose your favorite from a list or randomly play one. The mini games include matching games and memory games, but the clear winner here is the minigame called Bingo. In this game, you play a Zuma-style game where you have to click the tiles you have on your “Bingo” ticket to create matches. Really fun and I’d play that minigame over and over again, for real!
Visually, the game delivers more than expected. The crystal clear graphics and the good contrast between tiles makes them easy to spot and match and even after longer periods of time, your eyes won’t feel incredibly tired. The music adds a lot of value to the overall experience, with great Asian-themed tunes playing in the background and increasing the relaxing effect the game will have on you.
In conclusion, I rarely play Mahjong games, but when I do, I play Lost Amulets: Stone Garden!