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FAQ 12. "Where can I download a solitaire mah-jongg tile-matching game for my computer?"

A. Before I list the sites, I just want to clear up a common misconception. Many aficionados of these tile-matching games think they are playing "mah-jongg," but no. Although the tile-matching games are undeniably fun (and very helpful for training beginners to spot tiles among a plethora of other tiles), tile-matching (also sometimes called "mah-jongg solitaire") is NOT MAH-JONGG.

Tile-matching and mah-jongg are both games that are played with mah-jongg tiles, but they are very different games. One is mah-jongg, and the other is not.

Think of tile-matching as "Solitaire," and the game of Mah-Jongg as "Gin Rummy." Solitaire is not Rummy. Right? Even though they're both played with the same kind of cards, they are entirely different games. Just as Poker is not Bridge. Similarly, not all games played with mah-jongg tiles are rightly called "mah-jongg."

If you see a dead link on this page, please report it to webmaster at sloperama dot com. There are probably a lot of dead links here! Anyway. Here's that list of...


Activision's 1986 game, SHANGHAI, was the original tile-matching game (the one that inspired the vast majority of games on this list).

  • All of the Shanghai products have been discontinued by Activision. Maybe you can get a used copy on eBay.

    For STRATEGY HINTS for these Shanghai-type tile-matching games, see FAQ 13.3.

    If you have Windows Vista or Windows 7, you already have a free tile-matching game: Mahjong Titans. (Thanks to Chris Schumann for the tip.) But if you don't have one of those operating systems, and/or you want to download something or play something online, keep on reading...

    Other [non-Activision] tile-matching games (of the Shanghai type)...


  •"Shanghai Pocket Essentials" under license from Activision for Pocket PC and PalmOS
  • And another Pocket PC tile-matcher can be found at and the PalmOS version is at
  • "The Emperor's Mahjong"
  • "Palm Mahjong (Match Mania)" (It's a Shisensho-type, not a Shanghai-type game.)
  • "Mahjongg For Palm OS" by Global Star
  • (for the Newton)


    I don't know if anyone still uses WebTV, but here are some sites you can try, which should be WebTV-compatible:

    At the present time I do not think any of the above sites has a true mah-jongg game available for WebTV (you can find tile-matching software, but not true mah-jongg).

    OTHER (non-Shanghai-type, non-actual-mah-jongg) KINDS OF PROGRAMS USING MAH-JONGG TILES:



    This FAQ is mainly about software for the computer (Windows, Macintosh, PalmOS). Although game publishers in Japan do publish console and Game Boy tile-matching software (usually under the Shanghai brand name), those programs are not easily available outside Japan. If there are gray-market Japanese software import shops in your area, you may be able to find Shanghai software for your video game system. Note that your video game system would have to either be a Japanese system (made for use in Japan) or modified to support Japanese software, to run Japanese software.

    Here is the FAQ on handheld tile-matching:

    Handheld tile-matching games are readily available in Japan and Hong Kong. Sunsoft has the Shanghai brand name for Japan. See if you can obtain a copy of Sunsoft's "Shanghai Pocket," a cartridge that works in Nintendo's Game Boy handheld game machines --

    Another solution would be to buy a Palm or Visor handheld computer, and download Shanghai or other tile-matching software for it.

    The above list is not purported to be complete. I only listed the ones that I am aware of at the time of writing. And I did not list any that I know to violate any trademarks. Please send me any more links that you find.

    How I found the first couple dozen websites above:

    I just did a regular internet search. I knew what to look for, and how to look for it. You can do it too. (PS: I also found a site that listed a dozen other sites. You will, too, when you do your own searches.)

    Click here to learn how to search the Internet.

    Got a question about this FAQ? Ask the expert -- visit to get answers to your mah-jongg questions.

    Archive-name: mjfaq12.htm
    Posting-frequency: n/a (it's on the web)
    Last-modified: June 28, 2002
    Version: 1.40

    The other mah-jongg FAQ articles are located at:

    Update Log:

    July 26, 2000 -- first draft.
    August 7, 2000 -- added "Curse of Ra" (
    September 29, 2000 -- changed FAQ URL from to
    October 18, 2000 -- corrected the FAQs' URL
    December 8, 2000 -- changed FAQ URL to
    December 31, 2000 -- moved E. DeTocqueville's French-language site to other FAQ
    January 4, 2001 -- added Boardgamecentral site
    January 12, 2001 -- added Epsylon Games site (works on WebTV)
    Groundhog Day, 2001 -- added 3D Elite Mah-Jongg site
    Tuesday the 13th, February, 2001 -- changed "deja" to "google"
    February 26, 2001 -- added Andrey Krutikov's Jongpuzzle
    March 10, 2001 -- added Pysol site and did a bit of cleaning up (softening the old rant about what is and what isn't mah-jongg -- my apologies to Tricia for ranting at her this past week)
    May 14, 2001 -- added Nabisco World Mah Jongg sites
    May 18, 2001 -- updated info about the sites relating to Activision's Shanghai products
    June 19, 2001 -- added Picture Pieces site.
    June 30, 2001 -- Naoki informed me that there were still links to the old Shanghai sites in these FAQs, and pointed me to their present location in shanghai_remove.
    September 18, 2001 - I still had an old Shanghai URL in there!
    September 23, 2001 -- corrected a URL that had changed
    October 3, 2001 -- added a few new ones
    October 12, 2001 -- added Landware's licensed PocketPC/PalmOS "Shanghai Pocket Essentials"
    October 14, 2001 -- added more new sites
    October 31, 2001 -- deleted the now-defunct sites about Shanghai (by the way: Happy Halloween!)
    November 23, 2001 -- added WebTV section (by the way: hope everybody had a happy Turkey Day yesterday!)
    December 10, 2001 -- deleted (site no longer has anything to do with mah-jongg, either solitaire or true mah-jongg)
    December 11, 2001 -- deleted a link that no longer works (Taipei, v5.0 seems to have vanished); added one for Pocket PC; added the Activision Value site.
    December 11, 2001 -- added a couple more links.
    December 11, 2001 -- converted FAQ to HTML format.
    December 12, 2001 -- fixed a couple things.
    December 24, 2001 -- deleted non-functional links (or at least marked them) and added popup ad warnings.
    December 25, 2001 -- shortened the introductory rant.
    December 26, 2001 -- edited the introduction some more.
    January 18, 2002 -- added ArcadeMahjongg (weird combination of tile-matching and shoot'em-up)
    March 3, 2002 -- added the Clevermedia clone.
    March 9, 2002 -- noted the discontinuation of Shanghai by Activision.
    March 23, 2002 -- added's clone (in a clinch).
    April Fools' Day, 2002 -- revised Balewski's link (thanks to Roxie for the tip)
    April 10, 2002 -- moved the How To Search The Internet section to its own page
    April 27, 2002 -- added a couple new ones playable online.
    Cinco de Mayo, 2002 -- changed Flipside to iWin (thanks to Marvin for the tip)
    May 8, 2002 -- added the rondomedia link.
    June 4, 2002 -- added the Super MJ Solitaire link (RealArcade) - thanks to several folks for letting me know about this one today.
    June 10, 2002 -- no longer logging updates here in this FAQ. Instead, henceforth, all updates are logged at

    FAQ copyright 2001-2016 Tom Sloper. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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