Bad habits in ‘Gravon’s World’
- Created on Saturday, 29 May 2010 15:25
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 18:00
- Written by Adrie van Geffen
The last mahjong server Adrie Van Geffen reviews in his series, is situated in Germany. A remarkable job by amateur Thorsten Jungblut - but does it stand the test of criticism?
Next to - and probably before – the large commercial sites that offer mahjong online, there are some amateur sites. In my search I stumbled on The Gravon Project, a.k.a. Gamers’ Paradise, a site located in Germany and programmed by Thorsten Jungblut in his spare time.
The site starts with a vast list of card and board games. Clicking on one of the options gives you a description of the game. You can enter ‘die Welt von Gravon’ (Gravon’s World) by clicking ‘Launch Gravon’ (‘Gravon starten’ on the German page). A Java applet is loaded and by just giving yourself a nickname (no password needed) you’re in. Then just click on the game you want to play, mahjongg that is, and get to a free seat. To start, choose ‘options’ from the menu en then click ‘join’. That will give you the choice of variant and you can start the game.
You may think that this is a rather elaborate manual to get started, but I put it down for it took me a while to find out how to start a game. The descriptions of the games are both in English and in German, but not very accurate.
It is obvious that Thorsten started his site in German, since the applets of the games show signs of it everywhere. Also by choice of language it is mentioned that you will get some German remarks once in a while.
The starting window can be enlarged. It makes the tiles blur a bit, but all in all it is not very hard to distinguish them. The discarded tiles are put in the middle and at some point they will be stacked. A clever solution to be able to see what was discarded earlier is the use of an X-ray button.
Apart from some delay in seeing the discards of the other players, playing the game itself is not all that great. The players I’ve seen playing all go for pung hands as do the robots that take empty seats. The computer won’t discard any dragon or wind either until late in the game. Although the effort of Thorsten Jungblut is to be admired, playing this site just teaches bad habits (going only for pungs and kongs) and trust solely on luck rather than develop some strategic skills.
variants: HK, EC
language: German, English, Dutch, Spanish
download needed: no