Ishido: The Way of Stones is a strategic puzzle game which plays similarly to Mahjong Solitaire and Dominos: The goal is to find stones with similar properties and place them adjacent to one another. As this grid fills up and both the available remaining spaces and stones become fewer in number, the challenge ratchets up. The game presents itself as an ancient Chinese board game like Mahjong, Go or Shogi but with a slight mystical quality regarding the astrology-like symbols on the stones.
The game was originally released for the Macintosh home computer, but was quickly ported to various other computers and systems in the east and west. As was the case with the many versions of Tetris, the simple rules of Ishido made it possible for it to be easily replicated by many companies that all honored the original creators in the credits. Accolade were responsible for many of the western home computer ports while the small Japanese development studio Hiro was responsible for the Famicom Disk System version.
The Sega Genesis port was unlicensed, and eventually lead to a lawsuit between Sega and Accolade regarding the strict rules that third-party developers had to observe when releasing games on the Genesis. Subsequently, new DRM installed on models of the Genesis created after 1990 means that Ishido will not play on those machines.