Atlus And Sunsoft Match Up To Make Mahjong

By Ishaan . April 19, 2011 . 1:01pm


Puzzle games are something that haven’t quite started to take off on the Nintendo 3DS just yet. The closest thing available at the moment is Puzzle Bobble Universe, but if you want a more strictly puzzle-oriented game, Atlus have got you covered.


This summer, Atlus will be publishing a Sunsoft-developed Mahjong game on the 3DS, titled Mahjong Cub3D. The game consists of 200 such matching puzzles, where you have a map made of Mahjong tiles and have to match identical tiles to clear them away. That’s the “Cube mode”.


There are two other modes included here as well: Classic mode, where you play classic Mahjong Solitaire, and a 2-player Versus mode.


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  • malek86

    I never quite understood, is this really called Mahjong? I thought that was a different game. You know, the one from Akagi and such. This is just tile matching.

    There are a lot of games like this one on services like Steam, Android, etc. On the other hand, I don’t see many games of the second type.

    • It’s called “Mahjong Solitaire” because you’re using mahjong tiles to play a one player game.

  • This game is for $29.99 or something…

    More power unto Atlus, hopefully they at least put up a demo, I am interested to see how the 3D effect looks in this game.

  • Yukito

    I would love an actual 4P online Mahjong. I doubt we will ever see that though….. overseas atleast. The US idea of Mahjong and it’s pairing stuff isn’t really what I would call “Mahjong”

    • There has been an American variation of Mahjong since at least 1920s. There are even two leagues for the game.

      For the record, the game Atlus and Sunsoft is coming out with is a variation of “Mahjong Solitaire”, a solitaire game that is played using mahjong tiles. The name’s simple and straight to the point, is it not?

  • I never understood how to play Mahjong, too complicated for me…

  • Fantastic use of the bottom screen there, sunsoft…

  • Darren M

    I kind of want Atlus to just come out and explain their departure over the past year or two from niche RPGs and the kind of games that made them popular amongst their fanbase. I’m really curious.

    • Its pretty difficult to publish niche rpgs on the 3DS considering that the Nintendo 3DS library has only one thus far…

      Surely the answer lies mainly in market conditions in the portable landscape in America.

      • The reason why Golden Sun was able to get as popular as it is because it was one of the first original JRPGs on the GBA.

      • Darren M

        I know that’s more than likely the case (assuming you mean piracy and oversaturation)…I just hate that there are so many great looking games for NDS and PSP lying untouched! I think I just want to blame someone haha.

    • kylehyde

      I think that the answer is “Index Holding”. I always know that the things weren’t going to be the same after the movement. Before that Atlus USA taked a lot of risks.

      • Darren M

        Even before the Index buyout, weren’t they just doing ports, mini-game megamixes, and publishing Naruto games for NamDai? Their foray into publishing PSN games for indie developers also began before Index. I also think I recall a statement that Index had no say over what happened at Atlus USA and nothing would change, but maybe I’m just imagining it. Off the top of my head, I can’t even think of the last non-Atlus game they published (Sting doesn’t count, they have a publishing deal w/ Atlus Japan).

        edit: I think the change became REALLY noticeable around/after Demon’s Souls and 3D Dot Game Heroes. Which is weird, considering how successful those 2 releases were for Atlus.

        • I dont think they should be faulted for starting with publishing a Naruto game (that I highly doubt they had anything to do with the game beyond marketing and releasing it) in Fall of 2010.

          They bring out P3P, SMT: Devil Survivor Overclocked for the 3DS, Radiant Historia in quick timing and people are still bitter, I just do not understand. Catherine gets announced in quick speed and P2P is most likely next.

          What other non-Atlus titles do you want them to publish?!

          • Darren M

            When Atlus announced their partnership with NamcoBandai/D3 to release the Naruto games, they kind of implied (at least on the forums) that they had a reason for it…it would be interesting to see what it was, I know I let my imagination run a little wild, but perhaps it was just an innocent justification.

            And I can’t help but see both P3P and Devil Survivor as quick and easy cash-ins for the most part, but having Radiant Historia as a near-simultaneous release was a bonus. I’m pumped for the announcement of Innocent Sin, which I can only imagine begun as a nod to the west (considering how the first Persona remake shattered expectations here), as Sony refused to allow the release of the original or a simple port. I was, however, hoping for a quicker turnaround on Catherine considering they really didn’t have much of anythng on their slate (that we know about) prior to release, but maybe that could be more of an issue with Atlus Japan not having the resources to dedicate staff to the localisation implementation and animation edits at that specific point in time.

            There are several interesting PSN/XBLA games that nobody’s picked up from Japan (XSEED just grabbed the Wizardry games, which is great news), and I wouldn’t even know where to start with the mounds of portable titles that fans have been clamouring for – but it’s been almost exactly a year since titles slowed down and the release of any non-Atlus developed games. Who knows, maybe I am wrong, and Index Holdings is the one at fault. I just wish we could know the answer!

          • While Atlus published Namco Bandai games in the past like Super Robot Taisen: OG, the Naruto games are not from Namco or D3. They’re from Tomy…

          • Darren M

            Definitely right, my bad. I guess as D3 and friends have published Naruto games in the past (I’m not just going crazy right!?), I confused myself. Atlus just served publishing duties though, correct? None of their manpower was focused on the actual game content?

          • D3 has published Naruto games, Tomy’s Naruto games specifically. While D3 helped Tomy localize the text for the Naruto RPGs, most of the actual Naruto localization and so forth are handled by Tomy themselves.

            The original announcement listed Atlus as the distributor for Tomy’s Naruto games. Atlus helped with promotion too like sending out press releases and probably making hats, but I believe most of the actual work was on Tomy’s side.

            Many publishers pine about the portable market in North America which may explain why niche Japanese games are coming out in general. There are number of reasons for this – the high yen to dollar ratio, changes in retail shelf space, declining interest in portables from Western gamers, etc…

    • Hraesvelgr

      Atlus has pretty much always released games like this on the side, though. Even during the late 90s and the turn of the millennium, they released plenty of games that differed greatly from what their “core audience” expects from them.

  • Apache_Chief

    That looks…incredibly complicated

  • WyattEpp

    Yeah, that’s not Mahjong. Every time I get my hopes up, it’s another stupid matching solitaire game! Gaaah!

  • This looks like a conservative step for an early 3DS game.
    I hoped Sunsoft would go more crazy, e.g. a new Trip World. Yacopu would look super fluffy on the 3DS, and you could pet him using the touch screen.

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