Arcade Mode pits you against the clock. The game will present you with a series of 25 Shanghai layouts. You may use any tile set while playing Arcade Mode, and you may change tile sets at any time. At the end of the series, your score is a result of how fast you have cleared each layout.
When the Arcade Game Setup dialog appears, you can type in your name, and you can configure the options to vary the challenge.
TIMER - You can set the timer from one to six minutes, or you can choose No Timer. When the timer is set to one minute, the clock will run out in one minute if you don't remove any pairs.
DIFFICULTY - You can set the difficulty from Easy, Medium, Advanced, and Master. The difficulty setting determines the amount of time added back to your timer when you remove a pair of tiles. At the Easy setting, 5 seconds are added to the timer when you remove a pair. At the Master setting, only 2 seconds are added.
MOVES & BACK - When this option is on, you begin the game with three "Show All Moves" and three "Back One Move." You can ask the computer to Show All Moves by hitting Ctrl-M (Macintosh: Command-M) or by clicking the Moves button at the bottom right corner. You can ask the computer to put Back One Move by hitting Ctrl-B (Macintosh: Command-B) or by clicking the Back button at the bottom left corner. For the greatest challenge, turn this option off.
SCORING - Speed is essential in Arcade Mode. You are scored purely by how fast you remove pairs. In Arcade Mode, there are two types of tiles for scoring purposes: Simples and Non-Simples. A Simple is a numbered suit tile between Two and Eight. Non-simples are Ones, Nines, Winds, Dragons, Flowers, and Seasons. Note: If you use a non-mah-jongg tile set (a tile set that does not actually have Simples and Non-simples), the tiles are still scored as Simples and Non-simples, even though you can't see a direct correlation with those mah-jongg tiles.
*What is a Virtual Coin:
In an arcade game when you lose, you have to put in another coin. So in Arcade Shanghai, you have to put in a "virtual" coin when one of the following happens:
1. Shuffling after No More Moves ("Deadlock")
2. Continuing after No More Time ("Time Out")
Whenever you Shuffle the tiles after getting into a deadlock, or whenever you Continue after running out of time, it costs you a "virtual coin." At the end of the game, the final score is divided by the number of virtual coins you have put into the Shanghai Arcade machine. In actuality, you get one free coin! Consider: if you only use one virtual coin, the final score is divided by one, which does not reduce your score at all.
KONG - When you remove two identical pairs in a row (for instance, a pair of Three Dots and then the other pair of Three Dots), you earn a special 500-point bonus. In mah-jongg, four of a kind is called a "kong," so a little man bangs the "kong gong" whenever you remove four of a kind.
While you are playing Arcade Shanghai, you need to move quickly! Keep removing pairs to keep putting time back on the timer. If the timer gets too low (when it gets down to 1/5 of its full length), you will hear a warning sound. When the timer is set to one minute, the warning sound begins when there are only 12 seconds left on the timer. When the timer is set to six minutes, the warning sound begins when there are 72 seconds left on the timer.
Every fifth level you get to play a Bonus Round where you can earn extra points and Moves and Backs.
In "Follow The Tile" observe which tile is highlighted. Be quick, because then they get turned face-down...
...then they get shuffled! Follow your tile and click it.
- On the Title screen put the cursor on Shanghai, and when the popup menu appears
on the screen, select Arcade Mode.
- To start an Arcade Mode game from within another game mode, go to the Games menu in the Menu bar and select Arcade Mode.
- When the Arcade Mode setup screen appears, select your options, then click OK to begin playing.
- To change tile sets, go to the Tiles menu in the Menu bar and click on the tile set of your choice.
- To turn off tile animations, click on Tile Animation in the Preferences menu.
- To return to Classic Shanghai or another game from Arcade Mode mode, just pull down the Games menu and select the game of your choice.
- Turn off tile animations so that you can get the best time.
- Winds, Dragons, Flowers, and terminals earn extra points, so be sure to match those before time runs out.
- Watch the timer gauge at the bottom of the screen. When you still have a lot of time left on the clock, take an extra moment to plan your strategy a few moves in advance. It'll help to keep you from getting stuck in a No More Moves situation.
- Use your Backs & Moves sparingly - you only get a limited number.