Monday, May 30, 2011

Mahjong Famiclone

I came across this unusual Famiclone at Omocha Souko the other day - the Mahjong Famiclone.

Mahjong is an old Chinese game played with tiles. I used to have a set, but I never figured out how to play it myself.

There are still some Mahjong parlors to be found here and there where the game is played (usually for stakes). I ride past one on my way downtown sometimes. Most of the ones I have seen are tiny little establishments in hole-in-the-wall places that look like they are run by shady characters.

It isn't just a gambling game though, people play it at home as well and it seems to be popular among a segment of the oba-chan set.

Anyway, I found this thing kind of funny. It was only 780 (about 9$) but I didn't buy it. According to the box it has a built in Mahjong game and can also be used with regular Famicom carts.

Interesting too is the note on the left of the cover which says it is for those "aged 12 and above."

Related Posts:
-Pachinko and the Famicom: AKA The Stupid Side of Japanese Gaming


  1. Because 12-year-olds like playing Mahjong...?

    Well, I suppose some might, but I can't really imagine a little kid playing it. Nice find!

  2. LOL, yes. More of an adult game, really.

    What I find curious is why they bothered making this thing in the first place. Famicom Majhong games are a dime a dozen, so why bother making a Famiclone just for Mahjong?

    My only explanation is that this thing is meant for older people who probably don't know anything about video games, have never heard of the Famicom and just want to practice Mahjong.

    And, for 780 yen, it would be a pretty good deal for such people. So I guess it is actually a good product and I shouldn't wonder why it was made.

  3. Yeah, I could see it being for someone like my mom, who would be interested in playing mahjong but wouldn't really understand things like inserting and removing cartridges to play games, etc. In fact, I should get my mom one of these should I ever make my way to Japan :)

  4. Yup, its for moms!! I'm sure your mom would love one! :)

  5. Thanks, it is kind of cool, eh? I would buy it but I am officially out of room for more redundant Famicom consoles!

  6. Haha, it looks like a green PS1! :P Aren't Mahjong parlours usually fronts for Yakuza activity? Or have I been watching too many films? :P

  7. Some of them are probably yakuza connected, others not. It is one of those worlds that I know little about and, though intriguing, prefer to keep a distance from!

  8. If you find the right people that could be worth quite a bit. I wish I could take it off your hands!