The next title in the long running Pretty Girls series by EastAsiaSoft, Pretty Girls Rivers is nothing more than a tile-matching mahjong game with static anime babes wearing weird outfits pictured on the side of the screen. On the final stage, each girl will change clothes as you clear pieces but it never exceeds anything beyond PG-13.
Rivers is not a typical mahjong game because there is something going on with the tile selection mechanic. In any other mahjong game, you can only select and clear tiles that are free. Meaning, tiles that are not enclosed by other pieces are the only pieces that can be matched and played. However, if you watch my stream embedded in this article, I get frustrated because pieces that should be accessible are not and pieces that shouldn’t be accessible are. After clearing several stages, I finally realized that pieces are cleared when a literal line can be connected to them via a couple 90 degree angles (or less). So if there are pieces or a wall in the way, they cannot be connected and cleared.
On normal difficulty, the player is tasked with completing each stage before the timer expires. Wait too long and its game over, forcing players to fully restart. Unfortunately, there are some unfair advantages stacked against the player besides the tile activation issue. Selecting a piece is easy; just tap the X button. However, in order deselect this piece, you need to move the cursor back to that piece and tap X again; you cannot tap O to deselect. This wastes way too much time, especially since the piece activation seems random at best and cursor movement is slow. Clicking on pieces that do not match will result in extra lost time and unleash a horrible ear-piecing sound effect. In fact, this sound effect is so unsettling, I had to turn down the sound effects volume completely in the options menu. The soundtrack loops much too quickly too.
Thankfully, there is an Easy mode in which the timer is removed and Trophies still unlock. This mode also gives the player access to a limited use hint system but the highlighted tiles are so difficult to see it might not be there at all. It wasn’t until I got about halfway through the game did I start to stumble as some boards wouldn’t let me connect the pieces I wanted resulting in game over. Some trial and error will be required if you want to earn that Trophy as it does not come as easily as other Pretty Girls titles (but still doesn’t take too much effort).
Out of the Pretty Girls games I have covered, this is my least favorite despite all of them having limited gameplay. The pay off, seeing the drawn anime girls in crazy outfits, does not justify the amount of work needed to clear the game as the Dressing Room feature is next to pointless.
Similar To: Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire
Not As Raunchy As: Waifu Discovered 2: Medieval Fantasy
Wait For It: the next Pretty Girls game to be released in another few weeks
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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