Shikinjou (also known as Shi-Kin-Joh or Shikin-Joh) is a block-pushing puzzle game developed and published by ScapTrust for the NEC PC-8800 in Japan on December 1989, followed by NEC PC-9800, MSX, and Sharp X68000 versions throughout 1990.
Combining standard block-pushing puzzle games (such as the Sokoban series) with the tile-matching game of mahjong solitaire, Shikinjou (named after the Forbidden City palace in China's capital Beijing) has players controlling a jiangshi who must reach the exit of each level by pushing large mahjong tiles out of the way.
Similar to mahjong solitaire, players can make tiles vanish by matching them together (in this case, pushing a tile to a space adjacent to one-or-more of the same tile). However, face-down and "honor" tiles (the four "wind" tiles and four "dragon" tiles) cannot be pushed, and pushing another tile adjacent to a honor tile causes the tile to transform into that honor tile (sometimes creating unwanted barricades leading to unwinnable states).
The game later received ports in 1991 for various home and handheld consoles, including the Sega Mega Drive, Family Computer, Sega Game Gear, and Game Boy. The Mega Drive and Game Gear ports were handled by SunSoft, while the Famicom and Game Boy ports were published by Toei Animation (with the Famicom port handled by Outback and the GB port handled by Shouei). The game was later ported to the Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and Super Famicom as part of Game no Tetsujin: The Shanghai.
The MD version is notable for not only having a built-in stage editor, but allowing players to transfer their custom stages to others via dial-up with the Sega Mega Modem peripheral.
Some versions of the game feature multiple themes, changing both the music and the graphics of the tiles, protagonist, and background.
The Famicom version features two alternate themes: Knight and Ninja.
The Mega Drive version features four alternate themes:
- Sentsuchi no Kyuusoku ("Relaxation of the Battlefield", medieval Europe theme, knight pushing alphabetic shields)
- Kiuchi no Kusemono ("Thief of the Castle Insides", feudal Japan theme, ninja pushing shogi tiles)
- Jikuu no Kanata-e ("Other Side of Space-Time", space sci-fi theme, starfighter pushing numeric counters)
- Yume Iro Usagi ("Dream-Colored Rabbits", cute dreamlike theme, rabbit pushing playing cards)