Taipei is a mahjong solitaire puzzle video game developed by Dave Norris in 1988 and published by Microsoft in their Microsoft Entertainment Pack for Windows for Windows 3 in 1990, and later re-released in their The Best of Microsoft Entertainment Pack bundle. Both Entertainment Packs used version 4.0 of the program. Version 5.0 was released as shareware by Norris in 1991 which included the ability to create custom layouts, change the background, and watch the tiles as they are placed. With the release of Windows Vista in 2006, Microsoft began bundling a completely new mahjong solitaire game with their OS called Mahjong Titans.
My first experience with Taipei was on my family's Packard Bell 386SX computer my parents bought back in 1991. The PC was a showroom floor model loaded with various demo software including the first Entertainment Pack. Because Windows 3 was such a spartan operating environment, I was grateful for the few additional games that were loaded on it. I played a fair amount of Taipei, beating each layout numerous times, but I've never kept track of which game numbers I've beaten. This was the very first mahjong solitaire game I ever played, and I had to read the in-game help document to understand the rules. I particularly like the flower and season tiles because they're unique, the one of circles because it's so colorful, the one of bamboo (the bird), which I originally thought was a samurai warrior. In the end however, like solitaire, this game is little more than a time-waster.
I do not own this game, but I have beaten several games in each layout.
Best Version: Windows 3 v5.0
— This section contains spoilers! —
- The game is a fully competent mahjong tile-matching game.
- The addition of several layouts, some of which can only exist in a computer because they have hovering tiles, is nice.
- This version also lets you specify which seed number you want to play which is good for challenging friends.
- Even with only 16 colors and a tiny resolution, the graphics are quite clear.
- The later released version includes a way for you to create your own custom layouts.
- The fortune cookie wisdom you get for winning a game is a bit Americanized and quite underwhelming.
- The game is lacking in media. There aren't any sounds, music, or animation.