Atari ST A to Z: Shanghai

Any time you undertake a project like this, you have to accept that some elements of it are just going to be less of a “spectator sport” than others.

Such is the case with today’s Atari ST game, the not-much-to-look-at-but-fun-to-play Shanghai by Activision, an adaptation of Mahjong Solitaire that makes use of the ST’s built-in graphical user interface GEM as the foundation of its aesthetic. This was not at all an unusual approach back in the day, and is akin to more modern PC games running on Windows 95 and beyond making use of a windowed interface and standardised Windows controls. Not the most beautiful look, no, but perfectly functional — and a lot more intuitive to those who perhaps don’t play a lot of games.

Compared to more recent adaptations of Mahjong Solitaire, Shanghai is fairly limited, but it nonetheless remains a pleasingly relaxing, Zen sort of experience. Once you figure out how to read the screen properly, that is…

Follow Atari A to Z on its own dedicated site here!

4 thoughts on “Atari ST A to Z: Shanghai”

  1. It’s a bit strange to me how developers behind these Mahjong Solitaire games came up with different names for the adaptations; I remember one version for the PC calling it Taipei. Strangely, I still managed to catch on the game’s real name as a kid. Have you ever played the competitive Mahjong? It’s supposed to be quite complex.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Competitive Mahjong is nigh indecipherable until you learn all the lingo. I’ve never managed it, despite Yakuza 3 attempting to train me. They recently added it to Final Fantasy XIV, so it will be interesting to see how that does.

      Yes, I remember there being a couple of games called Taipei, one was mahjong solitaire and the other was a weird (and not very good) strategy game about becoming a merchant sailor and/or pirate in China.

      Liked by 1 person

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