We all have that game we go to when we have just a little bit of time to waste. For some people it’s Solitaire, or Minesweeper, or Bejeweled. For me, it’s always been Mahjong solitaire or other tile matching games. Coffee Mahjong doesn’t do much to differentiate itself from the million other Mahjong solitaire games out there, but it’s not bad, and it is free.
You’ve got a 15 minute countdown timer to make as many matches and clear as many levels as you can. Any tile you that is not greyed out can be matched – it does the work for you of determining whether or not a tile is properly exposed for matching. All the tiles and backgrounds are at least coffee-related (it took me several screens to realize that those little white things are actually spoons, in case you were wondering). Each completed level gives you an additional 500 points onto your score and new board.
None of the boards I played through were the most common Mahjong solitaire layout, but only one or two felt entirely too simplistic. You can shuffle the board at any time, and if you do run out of matches, it will automatically shuffle it for you. There is also a hint button, although I can’t tell you whether or not getting hints shaves time or points off your total – I didn’t use it.
There is music and sound effects throughout, and some of it sounds just like running water – this game is probably better played with the music off. The board is also pretty damn small, and I couldn’t find any option to increase the size, so this isn’t a great choice if you have any kind of visual issues. Coffee Mahjong is also available for iOS and Android.