Mahjong is a tile-based game that originated in China in the 1800s. A modern-day married couple, Jennifer Guo and Adam Szakacs, are looking to connect their Chinese and Jewish cultures with a new variation on the classic game, called Not Your Ma’s Jong.
When Jennifer and Adam’s grandmothers first met, they didn’t speak the same language but quickly bonded over playing Mahjong, inspiring this card version of the game. Now the couple is working with Hasbro to release a new spin on the game, designed for teens and adults ages 13 and up. Not Your Ma’s Jong was fully funded on Kickstarter in just 12 hours and was first released in Canada last year. Now, it’s heading to the U.S. to continue bringing different cultures together just in time for the holidays.
The game includes 75 illustrated cards featuring artwork that represents grandma Nai Nai and Bubbie’s worlds, cultures, and playfully competitive friendship. 3-4 players can pick and steal their way to victory by matching three sets and a pair of cards — and then taking all of the other players’ tokens. Tokens are the lifeline of the game and players must race to unapologetically collect the most tokens.
The game will be available at most major retailers starting this month.