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Mahjong Safari – It’s a jungle out there!

I was scanning Pogo game titles, trying to figure out what to pick next. My eyes settled on Mahjong Safari and I thought, “I haven’t played a Mahjong game in ages. I’ll try it!” But as soon as the game loaded, I realized this was not an ordinary Mahjong game. No, this was something better!

Mahjong Safari easy difficulty Ooooooohhh!!

As with traditional Mahjong, your goal is to find matching tiles and put them together. But unlike regular Mahjong, here you have to connect matching tiles with a path. The path can have up to 2 bends in it, and it can only go through empty spaces!

legal move Cephalopods, unite!

If you try to match pairs that are separated by too many obstacles, the line will turn grey at the point of fail.

illegal moveDarnit.

Some of the tiles don’t have an exact match. These tiles show just half an animal instead of a whole one. Find the other half and put them together!

pairedtiles Don’t eat me!!

Whenever you match up these tiles, you’ll see an enlarged picture of the animal on your screen, and then a mini-version will shrink down and join the stack on the left.

capturedpenguin PENGUIN!!!! *Squeals*

When you collect 10 of these special animals you’ll complete the safari and get a jackpot spin after you finish the game!

successful safariWoohoo!

It takes a few games to collect all 10. ^_^

There are three difficulty levels and oodles of patterns in Mahjong Safari. Heck, you can even pick between two different tile sets!

picktilesClick the blue & yellow buttons to switch patterns.

I love it when a game provides both challenge and variety! Read on to learn what else you can do.


Bonus Features

As you play, keep an eye on the Available Matches number.

hard difficulty Ah-hah!

This number tells you exactly how many matches you can currently make. If all you see is one match and nothing else, take a peek to see if there is only one match left. It’ll prevent a few “Doh!” moments.

Animal Combos

Most animal tiles are just a pair, but some are four of a kind! If you can match both sets one after the other, you’ll pick up an extra 30 tokens! This is called an Animal Combo, and it’s worth the extra effort to get as many as possible!

Regular Combos

Whenever you match any tiles in quick succession, you create a combo. Each match on it’s own is worth 20 points, but for each successive match a multiplier is added. It’s equal to whatever combo number you’re on. A sixth combo match is worth 6x the regular value, so it’s 120 points!

IMPORTANT THING #1: You have a limited amount of time to make the next match and have it count as a combo, so plan out a few matches before you start clicking away.

IMPORTANT THING #2: You get 1 token for every 100 score points. To get the same amount of tokens that you would with one animal combo, you’d need to make a combo that’s seventeen pairs long. Regular combos are great for boosting your score, but if you only want tokens, focus on the animal combos!


In every game there are 4 Star blocks. Whenever you match two of them up you’ll get three powerups!

  • 1 Shuffle – All of the tiles switch places.
  • 1 Long line – Create a long path with multiple bends!
  • 1 Hint – Highlights a valid match.

Matching the second pair of star blocks gives you one more of each powerup. Any unused powerups at the end of the game is worth 10 tokens.

Long line is useful for when you see an animal combo (four of a kind) that’s just out of reach.

longlineThis is not an example of an animal combo.

Yes, you’ll earn 10 tokens if you don’t use the bonus. But you’ll get 30 if you make an animal combo. It’s worth it!

I like to use hint when Mahjong Safari tells me that I have one available match, but I just can’t see the darn thing!

hint Oh! There it is!

Sometimes I feel a little silly after I realize what I missed. *^_^* Don’t tell!

I save shuffle as a last resort. If I’m out of matches and have no other bonuses left, I’ll use shuffle to mix up the board. But remember, in order to have any powerups at all, you have to match the star tiles!

Assorted Bonuses

If you finish any puzzle on any difficulty level within three minutes, you’ll get 30 tokens! (Usually I can only get that on the easy difficulty.)

And lastly, you earn more points for matches that are further apart.  I generally don’t worry about that too much when I’m playing, but it’s something to keep in mind.


Final Rating

Mahjong Safari isn’t what I expected, but I LOVE it! I’ve had a lot of fun staring at the board, trying to figure out how I can make an animal combo. ^_^ (No time bonus for me. Ah well!)

My one complaint is that the “special matches” are distracting. (Those are the matches where you get both halves of an animal together and the board is covered by a large picture of the animal.) The pictures are lovely and all, but the disruption makes me lose my place, and I pause long enough to lose whatever combo I was building. >_< Not a good thing.

If there was a way to turn that off I’d give this a 5 star review. But it’s annoying enough that I’ll rate this a 4 star game.

Of course, that’s just my opinion! What would you rate it? Do you have any tips to share? (Remember, the best tip of the week gets 100 points in Points4Prizes!)


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