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For those that know what Riichi Mahjong is, you may have heard of the few online games that people play for this Japanese variation of Mahjong.
The most well known is likely Tenhou. However, Tenhou is Japanese-only (but, with the help of browser add-ons, you can play the game in english).
Following Tenhou, many play Mahjong Soul. A Riichi Mahjong game created by developers in China. This game mixes Riichi Mahjong with Anime, creating a game that many will like, whether it is for the game of Mahjong itself, or just the anime characters that you can collect.
However, not too long ago, a new “Anime” Mahjong game was released. It is called “Riichi City.”
Just seeing the name of the game, you should already know that it is another game that specializes in the Japanese version of Mahjong, Riichi Mahjong.
I recently started playing it and even though the game is new, it does some things right that Mahjong Soul hasn’t done.
This list is as simple as using the actual Japanese names for the Yaku (or hand-points), showing the tile wall on the game table, and being a bit better for free to play players.
I also noticed that the skill level of players in Riichi City seems to be a bit more challenging.
My issue with Mahjong Soul
I love Mahjong Soul. It has allowed me to continue to play Mahjong with my friends ever since COVID started back in 2020. However, the playstyle of those playing Mahjong Soul seems almost… rushed.
Everybody is calling tiles left and right, not caring if there hand is going to be worth only 1000 or 2000 points. It has also made predicting when players are about to win a lot easier.
Granted, I am playing in the lower rankings of Mahjong Soul, so I can not compare it too playing in higher ranks.
But, it is just off putting when the game is not enjoyable because those you are playing against seem to be playing a different style of Mahjong than what I came to learn and love about Riichi Mahjong.
Riichi City is a bit better
Jumping into Riichi City last week, I started playing some online ranked matches.
The game itself is not as polished as that of Mahjong Soul, but it does its job of being a Riichi Mahjong game.
Better yet, the players in ranked matches are rather challenging.
I quickly learned that those I play against are more strategic. Less calling of tiles, and more keeping hands completely concealed until they call their winning tiles.
Heck, I rarely see anyone call Riichi anymore! It’s insane, and fun!
After playing Riichi City for a bit, I have changed up my playstyle. I have started focusing more on defense, reading tile discards, and forming larger hands. I no longer am forced to play the “speed game” and try to win before someone else decides to call all their tiles and win with a 1000 point hand.
I am actually enjoying Riichi City a lot better than Mahjong Soul.
Will I still play Mahjong Soul?
Most likely. I definitely want to get a higher ranking, and make it to the harder tables to see how everyone plays. However, Riichi City is definitely going to be my main online mahjong game going forward, that is until I decide to move to Tenhou.