Pretty Good MahJongg 2.3

The latest update for this excellent game is now available.

On Monday, Goodsol Development released version 2.3 of Pretty Good MahJongg, a unique solitaire game based on traditional Chinese MahJongg tiles. Of course, it includes tile matching layouts, as one would expect, but it also contains 55 other games. Many of these games are Solitaire variants played with tiles instead of playing cards, and all of these games were invented specifically for our title. There are also different types of puzzle games to play.

One can get more information from the web site, www.goodmj.com, or better yet, directly download the evaluation version.

Pretty Good MahJongg was programmed entirely by us, SophSoft, Incorporated, for Goodsol Development. More specifically, I am the only person who has written code for this game, with the obvious exception of libraries used. However, the primary library utilized is a private framework known internally as the Goodlib library, which we also wrote. This library is used in all of our work for Goodsol and it contains common code for handling tasks such as memory management, interface control, and image manipulation.

As I have written previously, Pretty Good MahJongg is the game of ours that I most enjoy playing for fun (as opposed to testing). Often when one finishes developing a game, there is an element of burn out, and the game is put aside for a while, if not forever. In the case of PGMJ, though, I never felt the desire to take a break from the game, and I still play it regularly for relaxation. The only other game on my quick launch menu is Most Popular Solitaire, in which I am simply playing, and winning, all of the FreeCell games in order. (As I write this, I am currently on game #3205.)

In my opinion, the sleeper category of PGMJ is the ‘Wall’ games group, which includes the flagship game, Great Wall, where one removes colored tiles by clicking on a group of two or more of the same color, as well as related games such as Cumberland, using the same gameplay mechanic but applying it in a deeper way. My personal favorite from this category is Wall Pairs, where one removes pairs of adjacent tiles of the same color. Because the player gets to select the two tiles, rather than just removing an entire group, this provides more opportunity for strategy. Almost every game of Wall Pairs can be won, and I have personally been able to beat the first 500 games (so far).

The other two games on my ‘Favorites’ list are Free Klondike and Short Spider. Free Klondike is a variant of MahJongg Klondike, which in turn is a tile version of the traditional (playing card) Solitaire game Klondike. In this variant, the player only gets one pass through the stock, but any tile can be played in an empty pile. Most games are winnable, and I have only found one game (#48) in the first 546 (and counting) that I could not win. Short Spider is a variant of MahJongg Spider which only uses 108 tiles, making it easy and relaxing. I have won all of the first 126 games of this variant (and the first 245 games of the standard 132 tile version).

Oh yeah… For those who just want a nice tile matching game with a good interface and plenty of features to make gameplay enjoyable, we have added many more layouts, including 10 that I created myself, to bring the total up to 280. Should this not be enough, the full version includes a layout editor that makes it very simple to create custom layouts as desired.

This is just one of several projects on which we have been working recently, so expect more announcements of releases, including some from the past, after the imminent (US) holiday and throughout the next few months.

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