Mahjongg Investigations: Under Suspicion

Mahjongg Investigations: Under Suspicion

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Gumshoe's Guide to Tile-Matching Crime Investigation!
By HelenAngel
This comprehensive look at Mahjongg Investigations: Under Suspicion provides an overview of the game from the eyes of an experienced Mahjongg Investigator. Tips are included to help any new investigator climb the prestigious ladder of the precinct by solving cases through tile matching.
   
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Welcome to the beat, gumshoe!
As you open the door, you see a red-haired woman in a detective hat and three piece suit sitting at a polished mahogany desk. Small tiles are scattered on the desktop. She looks up at you as you enter, smiles, and leans back in her black leather chair that squeaks pleasantly. She motions for you to have a seat in front of the desk.

The name's Helen, but it's Deputy Inspector Helen to you.

That's right, I've been working this beat since before you were a twinkle in your daddy's eye. So stick with me, kid, and you'll go far. Yessir, you'll go far.

She leans forward and eyes you critically. Her pale green eyes seem to examine your very soul.
This isn't for the weak of heart, kid, and it's not for the inexperienced. If you've never played the classic board game mahjongg before, you're not going to make it. These are not classic tiles- you won't find any pretty little flowers here. The tiles are gritty and depict the evidence you'll need to solve the case. You'll be hunting through bullets, knives, fire hydrants, and poorly made submarine sandwiches. This isn't your granny's game of mahjongg, no sir!

She grins and leans back in chair. The leather creaks as she reaches over for a file on top of one of the two steel grey filing cabinets that bookend the back of the room. She gently slides over some of the shiny plastic tiles and drops an accordian file in its place.

Take a look at that, gumshoe. That's a standard case file. Each one has three sections- Case Info, Clues, and Suspects. Don't worry, I'll go over each one with you.

She leans forward and looks intensely at you again, as if she is summing up your entire existence in a single glance.

I'll tell you now though, kid, the thing you need to remember above all else: leave no tile unturned!
The Basics of Tile-Based Investigation
Your First Case- Welcome to The Precinct!

When you start a new game, you will be greeted with a wall of text. The TL;DR version of this is that you solve mahjongg puzzles to get clues but ultimately need to solve the crime and issue warrants for the arrest of the perpetrators before the time runs out on the case. Getting hints, reshuffles, and going from area to area will take away from your time so it is best to use the hints & shuffles sparingly, if at all.

Every case begins with a general rundown of the crime and what happened. When you click "start case" you are taken to the first mahjongg board at the scene of the crime. The timer also starts counting down at this time.
As you match tiles, you will get various clues about the suspects. This particular precinct specializes in interrogating people on their musical preferences, hobbies, and EXACT height and weight. They also take the blood types of all their suspects. If nothing else, you will soon learn if your suspects prefer rap, jazz, or classical music.



Navigating the Tile Screen

The "main" screen is the tile-matching screen. As much as I love to pretend that I'm a real detective solving crimes, the main purpose of this game is to play mahjongg and therefore it makes sense that the screen where you solve the actual mahjongg puzzles is the main screen.

1 - Location: This tells you where you are. You do have various locations you can travel to in order to solve more mahjongg puzzles for each case and get more clues. You can also visit the same location more than once.

2 - Options: This button brings up the options screen where you can adjust your sound, etc. It also pauses the game when you bring up the options screen. This is handy because each case is timed so you'll need to pause if you want to message your friend on Steam to tell him all about the hobby of your latest suspect. (I actually failed my first case because I kept excitedly telling poor Jared about all my suspects and how they loved birds, jazz, etc.)

3 - Time: This is how much time you have left in the case. If you're in Classic Mode and not case-solving mode, it tells you how much time has passed so far.

4 - Reputation: Sadly, your Mahjongg Investigations rep doesn't affect your trading rep or really anything outside of the game. ;) It is essentially your "score" and the higher your score, the higher you move up the administrative ladder of the precinct.

5 - Magnifying Glass: Gives a larger view of the tile when your cursor is on a tile.

6 - File button: This pulls up your case file that I will describe in the next section. Be aware, however, that pulling up your case file WILL NOT pause your game and the timer will keep running!

7 - Phone button: Occasionally your colleagues at the precinct will call you just to inform you that one of your suspects likes birds, card games, or smooth jazz. You will hear a traditional cellphone ring and pressing that button will bring up the clue. As you progress through the game, more of the clues you unlock through tiles will have to be "sent off for analysis" and the results will come through the phone.

8 - Goggles button: This activates your high-tech ability you get from matching the x-ray tiles. This is explained below.

9 - Map button: This pulls up a map of the city showing locations of other mahjongg puzzles that have clues pertinent to your case.

10 - Undo: This undoes your last move. I use this button a LOT.

11 - Shuffle: This reshuffles your remaining tiles but costs you time.

12 - Hint: This gives you a hint of two tiles that are able to be matched but also costs you time. Keep in mind that if there are no available matches, the game will tell you that no more clues can be found at that location.

13 - Evidence Bag: Displays the current tile you are matching and any tiles you are "holding"



Matching Tiles... with a twist!

One improvement that Mahjongg Investigations has over the traditional game is that you have an Evidence bag. You can "save" tiles in there to match later. Just be careful, though, because you can get stuck- once you place a tile in your evidence bag you can only remove it immediately with undo or remove it by matching it to its twin tile.

Several tiles repeat and you will soon see "special" tiles as well. For instance, each fingerprint tile gives you a clue about the crime. These clues theoretically can help you figure out who committed the crime.

We now know we must search for an apple-devoring suspect!


Magnifying glass tiles will tell you something about one of the subjects. For instance, we now know that one of our suspects likes swimming. Theoretically these clues may also help you find out who the perpetrators are. However, you do get a LOT of extraneous information. You may find out a suspect's weight, height, hobbies & musical tastes only for them to later have an alibi and be eliminated from the subject pool.

We've got a rogue knitter on the loose, boys!

You will also see other special tiles. Tiles that look like an X-ray will activate the Goggles Button. When you activate your Goggles, a special "high-tech" screen will come up that illuminates special tiles that give you hints- even if they are stacked under another tile.



Navigating the sub-menus
Mahjongg Investigations: Under Suspicion has three main sub-menus: Options, File Screen & Map Screen

Options

This is pretty straight-forward. The options screen lets you adjust various options of the game. It also pauses the game, and thus the timer, when it is open.


Map Screen

This shows you the various locations where you can do more mahjongg puzzles that will reveal clues related to your case. All will have clues, and you can visit a location more than once. However, going to another location will deduct time so be sure you take that into account first.


Case File Screen

Opening the case file will not pause your game. The timer will keep running while you have it open, so keep that in mind.

The case file has three tabs: Case Info, Clues, and Suspects. You can Issue a Warrant (which is essentially telling the game who you think the perpetrators are) from any of the three tabs.

Case info is the default tab and will give you a rundown of the case and automatically update with important information and relevant clues about the perpetrators. You will check this screen the most often as it updates with important info.

Clues shows all of the clues you have gotten from matching evidence tiles. You can sort them as well. Note that this shows ALL the clues gotten in a case, even ones that turn out to not be relevant.





Suspects shows all of your current suspects. If you match special handcuff tiles, you will get more suspects. As you match Lotto tiles, you will get solid alibis that will exonerate some of your suspects. When you click on a suspect, you can Interrogate, DNA Comparison, Or Exclude them. Excluding them is handy if you know they didn't do it because they have characteristics the perp doesn't have (like hair).


Interrogation brings up a mini-game and its own matching game. This is a memory mini game. All the tiles are face down and you can turn over two at a time. If they are the same, they stay face-up. If they are not, they flip back over. The goal is to match all the tiles before you run out of "questions". Each "question" is you flipping over two tiles. Sometimes if you're interrogating the actual perpetrator and you win, the perpetrator will just confess to the crime and you can move on to the next case.
Now I know why the only thing they seem to learn through interrogation is musical preference!



So you ready to snag your first criminal?
Deputy Inspector Helen leans back with a smug smile on her face. Your hands tremble slightly as you gingerly place the accordian file back on her desk.

I'm not going to lie to you kid, you gotta think fast and work through things quickly. It's not for the faint of heart or the slow of mind.

Now once you've got a lot of evidence, you can lower down your suspects until you are ready to issue a warrant. Just be careful, more than one detective has gone off half-♥♥♥♥♥♥ and issued a false warrant. Your reputation will take a hit for a bad warrant- that's pretty shoddy detetive work after all!

Helen smiles kindly at you and leans slightly forward.

I don't think you'll have a problem with that though, kid. You look like the type who will wait until there's enough evidence that it'll be easy to issue a warrant for the right person. The best situation, of course, is if you can crack 'em and get them to confess. That takes time and talent, but you might just have both.

She stretches out her arm and extends her hand for a handshake.

Welcome to the beat, kid. Now get outta here and go get 'em!
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2 Comments
PC007 Jan 1 @ 4:44am 
:cupup: :SpeakM:
Nice guide; thanks for the Info. Have a great day and stay safe! :ccHappy:
BootstrapBruno Sep 28, 2015 @ 10:32am 
Nicely done! :steamhappy: