Having developed a keen interest in Richi Mahjong this past year, turns out there isn’t much on most devices to sample for those seeking to dance with the tiles on the go. Fortunately there are a few for the PSVita, and one of those options is what I’ll be taking a look at today…
There isn’t really a story to speak of for this game, with the Mahjong itself taking centre stage. 3 heroines are offered that you must defeat in a battle of wits & tiles to further your relationship with each one. Each match played will come with a few challenges set by the heroine, complete all these and wining the match will unlock a new CG of the girl. There are 5 in total for each girl, and the challenges get progressively more difficult as you complete them.
The game does feature a store that you can buy boosts from with in-game currency earned at the end of each game, you can also win ‘gacha’ tickets to use here, but the store doesn’t really offer anything else of note. 3 more heroines can be added to the game via DLC to offer some more variety to playstyles, but as they don’t come included it won’t really factor into this review.
Presentation is actually more of a key aspect than you would expect given the game we are looking at and the platform in question. Thankfully the game looks crisp and detailed on the Vita’s small display, with the UI intuitive enough that you’ll hardly lose track of the game. The tiles are well detailed so you’ll never get them mixed up and the backgrounds are subtle enough that they don’t cause a distraction to the Mahjong game in question.
Calls by the heroines come with additional detailed CG’s that spruce up the matches a little, though the other two players in the game are generic and don’t feature anything as such. Each heroine is fully voiced, and gets their own BGM during the games, with the music changing at times depending on how the game is going ie a Richi is called. Overall it’s a pleasing game to look & listen to, any fears of playing on a small screen with regards to tiles etc are quickly allayed once the first draw is in.
As the name of the game implies, gameplay here is entirely of Mahjong – the Richi variety you may have come across in manga, anime etc. Richi Mahjong isn’t necessarily a game that’s pick up & play, but only a basic idea of the rules is needed to make a start here as the intuitive UI means the games are easy to keep track of without any knowledge of Japanese. Starting with only 25,000 points and lasting 2 hands, the games can flow thick and fast which makes it perfect for portable play, and it won’t be long till you’re winning with a naked wait or knocking out an AI with a dealer sanbaiman.
The only real stickler comes from the rules of the game and how quickly you can adapt to them, that pesky Furiten rule is the main one that’s always a thorn in your side as the game doesn’t notify you when you are. Some of the challenges for the heroines later in the game can also provide a barrier, but this can be mitigated with items bought within the in-game store to boost your hand. Personally I don’t use any of the items and look to play as purely as possible, though this meant I’ve been stuck on the same challenges for several days at times – but the satisfaction of passing the challenge without using the items would be better after all.
Tottemo E Mahjong is perfect for those looking to dip their toe into the world of Richi Mahjong, or those looking to brush up their skills on the go, with the fast paced games and clean presentation making for a game that’s perfect with portable play. Some basic knowledge of the game is required when starting out though, it can become a slog when the challenges spike up, but overall its certainly worth a look if you have a JPN Vita account – there’s even a Plus version for Ps4 if you want to hit the tiles on the big screen
Smooth & slick Richi Mahjong
3 different heroines to best
Clean & detailed graphics
Plays well on the go
At least a basic knowledge of the rules is required