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ATPM 17.03
March 2011


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Software Review

by Ellyn Ritterskamp,

Mahjong In Poculis 3.5


Function: Tile memorization and matching game.

Developer: In Poculis

Price: free (donations accepted)

Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4. Universal.

For those of us who love solving things, mahjong games are high on the list. It’s easy enough to match up same-looking tiles, but to win the game, you must match up similar-but-not-exactly-the-same tiles. Plus, you must plan ahead.

I wanted to love Mahjong In Poculis, and it started off charmingly enough, but then it gave me a headache.

I tried again on another day with different settings, and again it bugged me.

I will presume that it’s something about the lighting or the music that triggers a problem for me and that everyone else will like it just fine. With that in mind, here’s the rundown.

We open with a choice of six tile sets and a layout path of a couple of dozen layouts. The sixth tile set (Santa) is locked for a while, until you earn it.


The layouts are predetermined in the path on the right.

There are six tile sets of varying cuteness. The Asian tile set is the most difficult and challenging to work with, as the pen strokes create relatively subtle differences.


The Asian set is the most challenging.

I loved the Halloween set, but the music associated with it got old quickly. It was a little harder to see which tiles were on top of others than in the Asian set.


The patterns are large and colorful and easy to distinguish.

I loved the endings for all three sets I played, which included animals or other items created from fire.


This way-cool Halloween pumpkin was a nice reward for finishing the game.

For a free game, I think the graphics and music on this are acceptable, but it’s not a game I want to play again. It’s hard to explain, but somehow, the colors got in the way. As if my brain or eyes were busy sorting out lots of visual cues instead of being able to concentrate on the problem. I also found myself hating all of the musical scores and turning them off after a couple of minutes.

Quite possibly, this game will appeal to children or to people with a different kind of attention span than mine. I prefer peace, and this game was not so much a peaceful experience. I would very much recommend the Wonderland tile set on the child setting as a way to introduce kids to problem-solving. Unless it also gives them a headache.


The large, clear symbols are easy to read.

This In Poculis game has been around for a little while and has potential in future releases. I would return to it on two conditions:

  1. I’d like to have the music be a little less distracting.
  2. I’d like to be able to see more easily which tiles are on the second and third levels. There is a 2nd/3rd level button that shifts the playing field, but it distorts it in a painful way.

Solving those two issues would make me be willing to pay for the game. As it stands, we’re getting a little bit more than we paid for.

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