Designer: Robert Sun
Publisher: Suntex (English Edition)
Weight: Light / Meduim
Play Time: 15 minutes
Type: Card Game, Set Collection
Mhing is a card game based on Mah Jong where players use rummy style mechanics to create sets and runs. Players take turns by drawing from the face down deck or the discard pile until a player goes ‘Mhing’ in other words, plays all of their cards. You may think this is a simple game, but do not be fooled! A player can go Mhing and still lose the round! In Mhing, players not only have to collect sets and runs, but they must collect certain types and combinations of sets and runs as indicated by the player aid. This adds a nice twist on the classic rummy.
Why review Mhing?
Although Chinese culture has permeated the borders of the US, rarely does our culture stop to truly recognize, value, and celebrate it. When we think of Chinese culture, we often think of Chinese food, lots of people, pandas, math geniuses, and things made cheaply. These are stereotypes and although you might have experienced these stereotypes as truths, they are only one story. And it is very dangerous to only have one side of the story, invalidating many experiences and painting a narrow picture of a culture and race. A concept I want to bring up is nationalism – the systemic belief that Americans and American culture is better than other cultures. While it is okay and natural to have love for one’s country, it is destructive and harmful when it is taken to the extreme. Most of us who reside in the US descend from immigrants who came to this country and potentially took this land by force. How and why is it engrained where we fear, hate, and destroy other cultures? We should all celebrate and embrace cultural differences in the world.
We can start celebrating culture through playing board games and learning the history and value behind the game. The next time you sit down to game, take a minute to think about the theme, the designer, and the cultural values and experiences poured into the game. Please share your thoughts, opinions, and questions!
Overall Rating 9/10
Neat and clever card game based on Mahjong. While the mechanics are simple, the scoring keeps me wanting to play the game over and over again. Definitely staying in my collection!
Component Quality 1.5/2
The cards are really great quality – thick and durable. The art of the cards have a similar style to Mahjong and preserve the feeling of playing a classic game. The box was not the best of quality and has gotten pretty beat up over the year I have owned the game. The card holder/insert is also very low quality. The insert does not hold the cards snuggly in the box and does not function well as a cardholder while playing the game. Although this did not detract from my liking of the game, a more useful package would make the game even more appealing.
I gave the theme a 1.5 because classic and abstract games usually have no theme or very little theme. I guess I can say the theme of Mhing is Mahjong and portrays it well in the form of a card game. I do not think Mhing needs a theme, rather, I urge you to enjoy the authenticity of a classic game.
The gameplay is relatively simple – draw a card and discard a card. There are a few “fiddly” mechanisms where a player can pick up a discarded card and play it out of turn. But wow! I love the twist on scoring points in Mhing and it radically changes the way players approach the game. Although similar to rummy, in gameplay, the scoresheet outlines different “hands” that can be played. A player may go out and only score 3 credits (or points)! There is a handy dandy player aid outlining all of the different hands you can achieve. For max points, a player will have to have a combination of many hands. A good suggestion for those learning the game is to stick with the one credit and three credit hands. This will allow you to get a hang of the gameplay before trying to go for complex scoring.
While some games overstay their welcome or have too much downtime between turns, Mhing is exactly the right length for a filler. First, you can choose how many credits (points) to play to or you can choose to play a certain number of rounds. Second, since the game turn choices are pretty limited (draw a card, discard a card), I have found very little down time between turns.
I love this quick filler game. It is easily portable and I can play a round or two rounds at a coffee shop or while I am waiting with other people. I always enjoyed rummy growing up and I was very happy to find a similar game with a little more challenge and strategy.
See more at http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1452/mhing