Shanghai Pocket

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US release.

Shanghai Pocket is a mahjong solitaire video game developed and published by Sunsoft for the Game Boy on 1998-08-06 and later for the Game Boy Color and WonderSwan. The game is part of the Shanghai brand. It has a story mode and two competitive play formats. The WonderSwan port also includes an additional "challenge" mode.

In the story mode, the animals of the Chinese zodiac once lived in a giant tower of tiles, but it was struck by lightning and their Orbs were trapped under the tile heaps. By solving a layout, you will uncover their missing Orb and allow them to return to their tower.

Personal

After beating Shanghai Mini and seeing how many other Shanghai games there were, I decided I wanted to try some of the other ones as well. I beat the story mode on hard difficulty and both competitive modes of the Game Boy Color port at fast speed on 2022-08-25.

Review

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4 4 3 5 6

Best Version: Game Boy Color

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • The ability to switch the tile graphics to simpler images that are more visible at low resolution was very helpful. Unfortunately, this only takes effect in the story mode.
  • The added competitive modes adds some enjoyable play. At fast speed, the AIs are good enough that you'll have to try several times to beat them, but not so good that it makes the game impossible.

Bad

  • The story mode is just 12 different layouts that are generated at random. Each has a guaranteed path to victory, so they're typically pretty easy. When I played through all 12, I needed to retry once on three of them, and only one was so hard I had to retry about a dozen times. All the others I finished on my first attempt. This made the story mode especially short.
  • I know the screen space is limited, but, not showing your opponent's layout in the competitive modes makes it much hard to gauge their progress. In either mode, you only ever get a vague idea of what stage they're at.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Media

Box Art

Documentation

Videos

Long play - Game Boy Color - Story mode.
Game play - WonderSwan.

Representation

Bechdel test?FailThere are no named characters.
Strong female character?FailThere are no strong women.
Strong non-white character?FailThere are no human characters.
Queer character?FailThere are no queer characters.

Credits

Roles Staff
Producer Hiroaki Higashiya (GB), Kazuo Nii (GBC)
Director Kazuo Nii
Main Programmer Kazuo Takahashi
System Programmer Yusuke Kamei
Graphic Designer Satoru Aoyama
Character Designer Hayato Ishiguro
Music Composer Satoshi Asano
Sound Effects Naomasa Nakata
Sound Programmer Kazuo Nii
Super Game Boy Design Akira Muramoto
Super Game Boy Programmer Kazuo Nii
Associate Producer, Shanghai Eveline M. Cureteau
Senior Producer, Shanghai Tom Sloper
Special Thanks (GB and GBC) Masato Kawai, Akito Takeuchi, Seiji Kadowaki, Kenishi Oshika, Shizuya Furukawa, Kazuko Harman, Kazuyo Umemura, Kiyoshi Ohkawa (GBC)
Special Thanks (GBC) Yoshiaki Iwata, Kenji Yoshioka, Ayako Honma, Hiroaki Higashiya, Atsushi Naono
Executive Producer Kiharu Yoshida (GB), Mitsuharu Kitajima (GB, GBC)

Links

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