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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 17th day of Celebrating, Yr 19
The Neopian Times Week 42 > Articles > Cheat! Chat

Cheat! Chat

by lordamger

GAMES ROOM - Cheat! is a game of cunning and skill, and a large portion of luck presented to you by the wonderful people at NeoPets.

How to Play:

Each player adds cards to a pile by playing another of lesser, equal, or greater value. What do you do if you don't have a playable card? You fake it. Play a six, but call it an eight (for example). If all opponents believe you, then you get to move on. If an opponent does not believe you, he may accuse you of cheating. If he is correct, and you were cheating, you must pick up the discard pile. If he is wrong, then he must pick up the discard pile, and you receive a small amount of NP.

The cost to play is 50 NP, but winning games can give you 250 to 500 NP and sometimes a Battlecard (we'll get to that later). The Battlecards feature the faces of some familiar Cheat! opponents.

Note: There were some Hidden Tower items called Battledecks that are now retired. These were retired. The Battledecks would generate three random Battlecards for use in the Battledome. They are now worth around one to 2.5 million NP (very valuable, indeed).

During the game, if you successfully catch a cheater in the act, you can win a few menial NP. Here is a guide to in-game NP earnings:

Level 1: 08 NP
Level 2: 12 NP
Level 3: 16 NP
Level 4: 20 NP
Level 5: 24 NP
Level 6: 28 NP
Level 7: 32 NP

After each game (assuming you have won), you will receive some NP and possibly a Battlecard, but after certain levels (namely 3, 5, and 7), you will receive a trophy. This trophy stands as a testament to all that find you that you are not one to be trifled with. This shows your prowess of wit and your devotion to the game.

The character bios can be viewed before the match, but here is some extra info for you to read. The characters although similarly scripted, do seem to have many differences:

Capara: She does not seem to cheat as often as most people. She lets you get away with many obvious cheat (let's put it this way, if you could play twelve sixes, she might let you get away with it).

Little Timmy: He makes too many obvious mistakes to even be taken seriously (he would be intelligent enough to actually play twelve sixes).

Branston: An early example of good cheater. He plays cunningly. When he cheats, he usually does it on a small scale. He is a powerful adversary, but cannot even rival the wit of Spectre...

Chuffer Bob: He is not as intelligent as Branston, but do not underestimate him. He can prove to be a strong opponent. He doe seem to cheat an extraordinary amount. Sometime, I love to think back at the matches against good old Chuffer Bob (sigh...)

Brucey B: The cheapest Cheat! player ever. He seems to almost read your cards at times. He usually knows what you have, but (just like Branston) cannot even rival the wit of Spectre...

Kalora: A skilled Cheat! player. Kalora is very talented, but does not accuse you of cheating very often (which is a good thing...). Be careful not to cheat too much, because Kalora will catch you.

Fernypoo: She is one of the most disappointing players you will come across. Fernypoo cheats often, yet does not accuse you of cheating often. However, when you do make her mad, two words: the eyes...

Agent 00 Hog: He is a very good player, almost rivaling the talent of Spectre... except for one fatal flaw: he accuses everyone of cheating all of the time. This gives you the benefit of choosing to play ANY card you want.

Spectre: There really are no human words to describe the talent and awe-inspiring skill of Spectre (he really is that good). He never cheats, always knows when you are cheating, and is usually one card ahead of you the entire game...

***

Here is where we start explaining how to play the intensive game of Cheat!. There are many strategies to get through each game, but this is one of the best that I have found.

In playing, in most cases, you will receive a message, telling you the last card(s) played. You, then, play a card of equal value, of higher value, of lower value, or cheat (which is a completely different issue).

Working your way towards your goal (of a hand with no cards) takes time and planning (sometimes). For example, if you have a two, an eight, and a nine, and you can play any card, you should (in most cases) play the eight or the nine. The reasons for this are:

a. with a wider space between remaining cards, you have a greater chance of having a card to play off of. This keeps you from needing to cheat, and gives you a greater chance of winning.

b. playing the two card could work in the early levels, but in the later levels, the computer accuses of cheating all of the time, making the card flow very unpredictable.

What I mean by card flow is that, when someone is accused of cheating, whether they were or not, the next player is allowed to play any card of their choice. This means that the next card can be anything. This can make the game very unpredictable.

NOTE: This is just a strategy. If you have a better plan, you should do it. Cheat! should be played however makes you feel the most comfortable.

On an obvious note, play cards that you have the most of first. This can throw off the computer and make them accuse you of cheating when you aren't. This allows the card flow to move again. This can really help the game.

I believe that Cheat! can be played carelessly (with a little bit of luck) and still lead to victory, yet a good player knows that Cheat! is one-third skill and two-thirds luck.

***

Cheat! is a simple concept, but difficult to pull off. To cheat, tell your opponents that you are playing one card, but actually play another.

To catch a cheater in the act takes a complex thought process. First, if you notice that they are playing more of one card than is physically possible, they are cheating. For instance, if you are holding a three, and they "play" four threes, they are obviously cheating.

Another sign of a cheater is if an opponent plays enough cards to win. For instance, if your opponent is holding three cards, and they "play" three Kings, they are very possibly cheating. This is not always true, but there is a very good chance of it.

One good way to catch a cheater is to go on your first instinct (except for on Spectre... he rarely cheats). If you believe that someone is cheating, they very possibly are. The worst that can happen is that you have to pick up the deck.

If the discard pile is low, opponents are more likely to cheat (because there is less punishment for being caught). When the discard pile is low, that is a better chance for you to cheat also (for the same reason). On the other hand, when the discard pile is large, you should play more conservatively.

When you cheat, do not overdo it; play either one or two of a card. Sometimes playing four can work, because you seem to be sure of yourself. Just try not to overdo it.

Cheat! is difficult, but if you just play slowly, you can get the hang of it after awhile. A phrase was used to describe a game by a Japanese game enthusiast (named Goro Hasegawa) called Othello. The slogan was: a moment to learn; a lifetime to master...

Good Luck in playing Cheat!. I am lordmager, signing off.

Good Luck, Space Cowboy...


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