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LandWare

PalmInfoCenter.com Bottom Line:

The Price:
  • $20
The Pros:
  • Layout editor
  • Multiple tile sets

The Cons:
  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Timer problems

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*Maximum Rating is FIVE (5) InfoPalms



Shanghai Pocket Essentials Review
By Pepper
11/29/2001


Overview
Shanghai is a classic tile matching game from LandWare. It features numerous layouts and original tile sets.

Game Play
In Shanghai, the goal is to remove all of the tiles as quickly as possible. To remove a tile you must find a match for it, and both tiles must be "free". For a tile to be free it needs to have either its left or its right side completely untouched by other tiles, and there can't be any tiles on top of it. Naturally, some tiles get caught in a pattern which makes it impossible to win. Once you've been playing for awhile you start to work faster and you may be able to clear all of the tiles in under a minute.

The options list is extensive and includes different tile sets, layouts, unique twists on the game. For example you can set it so that a pair is removed when two tiles are within three spaces of each other, rather then when they have a free side.

Layouts
There are a lot of layouts, and a lot of them are quite unique. Some represent shapes and pictures, others are a bit more random. The layouts are divided into different difficulty levels, with a set of simpler layouts geared towards kids.

The layouts can be selected individually or played in order. There's also a feature to have them play through randomly. I like the random feature, although I wish you could select which layouts are randomly used instead of all of them.

A really neat feature of the layouts is that you can create new ones! If you get bored of the default tile set you can make new ones. The editor is a little clumsy to work with at first, but it does come in handy.

Graphics
Shanghai has one default tile set, but you can instal additional tile sets which are included in the download file.

The default set doesn't have splendid graphics, and some of the tile sets leave a bit to be desired. my favorite set is "Japanese," but "Calculate" gives you an extra chance to think. Overall the graphics aren't great, but they're not horrible either.

Miscellaneous
Shanghai is a great program, and there are a few other things, both good and bad, worth mentioning. Although the game is good, it definitely takes up a chunk of space. The program is just under 200k, but the data takes up a fair amount. The combined result can be over half a Meg of space. Also, the timer for the games can be a little troublesome. As soon as you end a game, there will be a little confirmation for a new game. Unfortunately, the clock for the next game will start ticking before you hit OK. And if you turn your palm off during a game it won't pause the clock. So an hour later the clock is still going as if you never took a break.

Another notable thing is the highscore board. Its a wonderful feature, and it helps you keep track of your best times. Unfortunately the highscore board can't be divided based on the layout, but it still comes in handy.

Conclusion
Shanghai is a good game, and it will eat away those boring minutes where you just need to play a game. At just $20 it's a good deal, and definitely worth it for people who like this type of game.

Article Comments

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Sony is better and nobody releases Mac software!

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/29/2001 12:59:07 PM #
couldn't resist.

RE: Sony is better and nobody releases Mac software!
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/29/2001 1:44:05 PM #
GO AWAY, TROLL!
and
Why can't we all just get along?!

couldn't resist. :P

Power Drain

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/29/2001 1:48:48 PM #
It is a great game, but keep plenty of spare batteries handy (or get rechargeables) - this game eats batteries like candy.

No Demo version

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/29/2001 1:58:43 PM #
Unfortunatly there is not demo version downloadable.

RE: No Demo version
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/29/2001 2:34:34 PM #
There is a 14-day free trial download on Landware's web site.

RE: Demo version
Ed @ 11/29/2001 3:19:49 PM #
The demo is right here:
http://www.landware.com/download/step2/shanghai/index.html

---
News Editor

Good game but....

pstreck @ 11/29/2001 9:17:09 PM #
Shanghai is a great game and is extremely addicting! But the problems i found were that the tile patterns were to intricate on many of the sets that you couldn't distinguish between the tiles on the low res screen. They really need to add high res capability to it and it will get a two thumbs up from me... It does eat batteries like crazy though!

RE: agree
Cheetah @ 11/29/2001 10:56:58 PM #
I downloaded the trial version as I too like this game, but I couldn't see the graphics on the tiles on my 505. I think it would be great on Sony's higher res screen.

Spelling error...

fleegle @ 11/29/2001 10:42:57 PM #
Hey Ed,

The word is "phenomenally." :)

Alternative

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/30/2001 10:54:58 AM #
I have not tried Landware's Shanghai and probably won't. Only because I've been using PalmJongg 4.0 for a long time and have registered it. Only $12, works fine on my Vx, visible with low res, and doesn't eat batteries. It might not have all the other features or it might, I use standard tiles on a standard background, not much more, and am very happy with it.

http://home1.pacific.net.sg/~kokmun/palmjongg/palmjongg.htm

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