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Introduction – Overview
Four Winds is based on traditional Chinese board game for four players (and has nothing to do with the popular solitaire game that uses the name "Mah Jong" just because it is played with traditional Mah Jong tiles). The origins of Mah Jong can be traced back to set-forming card and domino games played for centuries in China, but in its present form the game has been played only for about a hundred years. Mah Jong was introduced to America and Europe in the 1920’s and is now popular all over the world.
Mah Jong is usually played by four players. In Four Winds a human player has three computer opponents. You can select your opponents from four different types of players: Beginner, Defensive, Expert and Limitmaker. Four Winds also supports multiplayer games over the Internet, local area network, or using a direct cable. Up to four human players and 10 spectators can participate in a game.
Since the game is played all over the world, there are several variations of the rules and scoring. Four Winds version 2 includes over 20 pre-defined rule presets, which cover the basic variations. In addition, any pre-defined rule preset can be fully customized and saved as a user-defined rule preset.
This section of the Four Winds web site introduces the main features of the software. The other two main sections – Knowledge Base and the Online Documentation– complement the Software section and give more in-depth information of the game, the former concentrating on the most common rule variations of Mah Jong (without direct connection to the software) and the latter documenting in detail all features of Four Winds Mah Jong version 2.
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