Mahjong Solitaire

Mahjong Solitaire is a fun puzzle game for Kindle. Before I tried the game, I thought it was going to be similar to the card game, but it the “Solitaire” part of the title is kind of misleading in terms of that association.

You need to match tiles until they’re all gone. The tiles are stacked up kind of like stair steps. You have to match tiles have one side free and does not have a tile on top of it.

The Easy level is just a set of tiles that consist of one letter or number. You shouldn’t have too much trouble matching those. The hardest part is getting across the tiles to match one from each end.

The Traditional level has more complex images and symbols. It even has foreign characters.

When you first get into Mahjong Solitaire, you will be in a main menu. There is a selection called “Instructions” that tells you how to play the game and provides shortcuts.

In each game you have 3 hints and 3 shuffles. Shuffling means that you can switch the tiles around, which might make it easier to match them. If you mess up, you can always undo your move.

The graphics are well done. I like the Jungle theme. Overall, navigation is pretty intuitive. Don’t let the cursor get away from you. That is a common issue with all of the Kindle games, at least it is for me.

You also have a variety of tile layouts to choose from. The stacks are arranged in a number of ways. Some are more straightforward, others are more complex. Pick the one that fits your preferences.

The following reviews show that this game has a lot of variety and can be played by anyone regardless of technology abilities.

Sam

“This game has gotten me through quite a few 7+ hour rides. What I’ve really come to appreciate about this game is that it’s always different. With other Kindle games you only get so many puzzles before you have to start repeating, not so with Mahjong! Fantastic game, and a must-have for me. ”

P.M. Scogin

“Wasn’t sure how this would work on the kindle but for the price, why not? I love it and it’s kept me amused more times than I want to count in waiting rooms and doctor’s offices. Great game, easy to use even for an old techie illiterate broad. Hope these folks come up with some more fun stuff cause I’ll be standing in line to buy it. “

Match Genius

Many of you might remember playing the card game where you lay down a certain number of cards facedown, and you try to find two that match until you have revealed all of them. It is a good game to work on memory skills.

Match Genius for Kindle is the same idea. Except with this game, you are matching geometric shapes instead of the numbers on playing cards.

I recommend that you start with the easy level and work your way to Genius. Easy consists of a 5×5 grid. I completed it pretty quickly. If you uncover a Joker, it matches any symbol, like a wild card.

As you move up in difficulty level, the grids get bigger. The Genius level consists of a 10×10 grid. I went ahead and gave it a try, and it sure does require some powerful memory skills!

When you first enter the game from your Kindle’s Home screen, you’ll be in the Main Menu. I encourage you to review the “Help” section before you begin because it does a good job of explaining the rules and navigation in Match Genius.

One thing you’ll need to watch for is the details of the geometric shapes. They appear to match at first, but one might have a different shading that would make it not work. So, that adds a more challenging twist to the game.

The graphics are good in Match Genius. The only issue I had was with the 5-way cursor. I had to be careful about how long I needed to hold it down, or I’d accidentally hit the wrong card. So, watch out for the runaway cursor and make sure you’re selecting the right card!

I didn’t notice this problem when I was playing the game, but there were quite a few complaints about the cards leaving a “ghost” of their symbol behind when they flip back over.

kalonkakon

“If you turned over two cards, say a square and a circle, and they are obviously not a match, they turn back over but you can still see a faint imprint of the square and circle. Once you see the imprint, you can’t stop seeing it.”

I’m guessing this is probably an issue with the way the Kindle e-ink works.¬† I’m sure the upcoming updates on both this game, and the Kindle product line, this issue will be resolved.

So, overall, Match Genius is a great game for all ages and skill levels.

Match Genius is now compatible with the latest generation keyboardless Kindle.

Notepad

Notepad is a great quite note taking tool for the Kindle. I use it for my “to do” list, but it can be a quick way to note interesting tidbits on the go, grocery lists, etc.

Another handy use for Notepad that would fit right into the Kindle’s purposes is creating a book list. I see books all the time that I would love to read, but I have a hard time keeping up with their titles and authors when it comes time to purchase them. I also have a tendency to lose paper.

When you first get started, you’ll find a welcome note that tells you the keyboard shortcuts to tasks such as saving the note, scrolling up and down, deleting the note, and more. I think it is a very helpful quick reference guide.

You will also find a note where you can provide contact information in case your Kindle gets lost. This is a really handy tool, but I’d be scared my Kindle might get into the wrong hands.

Notepad is pretty easy to navigate. I was able to move the 5-way cursor around to get in and out of the note. The Kindle’s keyboard can be awkward, but it works fine for short notes.

Kathleen B

“Before, when I had a brainstorm, I had to open the browser, pray Google Docs was wanting to work, and squint to read what I’d just wrote. Notepad makes things much, much easier. ”

One thing that took me a few minutes to figure out was how to move to the next line in my “to do” list note. But, then I found the “return” button on the bottom right hand side of the keyboard.

I like that the text in the notes are easy to read. The navigation buttons are not too bad either.

You can search your notes, back them up in case they get lost, and go to your most recent notes. To access these options, just press “Menu.”

One big improvement that I’d like to see is the ability to access Notepad while I’m reading a book. The Kindle does have annotation options, but if you’re out and see something you want to remember, but don’t want to have to get out of the book you’re reading, you can quickly make a note of it on Notepad.

Welcome!

I’ve been blogging about Kindle for a while over at blogkindle.com. However with a recent explosion in the number of eBook reader devices the blog has gravitated from solely covering news related to Kindle to comparative reviews of eBook reader that are competing with Kindle. Amazon’s announcement of Kindle SDK gives me a chance to recapture the focus on my favorite device.

Since there is quite a number of posts published over at the old blog on a regular basis, I’ve decided to start a new blog here. I’ll post reviews of new and upcoming applications for Amazon Kindle. I’m also interested in developing Kindle applications myself so once I get on board the KDK program I’ll write about my KDK development experience here too.

Stay tuned for more posts.