The Old Standbys
GAMES ROOM - "Gormball is SO Year 3." This is what the front page of Neopets
proclaimed when the brand new game Zurroball premiered. Neopia, you see, is
in a constant state of change. New games like Zurroball are popping up all the
time, often causing older games to disappear. But what about those older games
that don't disappear? Perhaps they aren't as popular as all of the newer
games, but the fact that they've managed to stick around for as long as they
have suggests that there must be something special about them. Sure, they may
not be very high-tech-but that makes them more accessible to many different
types of players. And they may not be as fancy as some of the newer games-but
they offer a little look into Neopia's past.
So, in this article I'll be reviewing five of these older games-these "old
standys" as I like to call them-rating them, summarising how they're played,
offering tips, and maybe giving one or two insights into what makes them special
in spite, or perhaps because, of their age.
Cost to play: 5 NP per play
You could win: Varying amounts of NP, faeries, map pieces
My rating: 2 out of 5 Watermelons
One of the joys of Neopets is that you can gamble without the risk of losing
any real money. (Okay, I know, many of us consider Neopoints to be "real money"
by now, but still-it's only 5 NP per play. And there's no rent to pay in Neopia.)
As you may have guessed from its name, Scorchy Slots is basically like any slot
machine, with a few added Neopian bonuses. Of course, getting really lucky and
winning some of the better prizes or even the jackpot is a thrill, but it's
probably a pretty rare occurrence too. But, just about anyone can play it, so
it's still not a bad game if you need to pass the time, blow a few Neopoints,
and possibly get lucky.
It's difficult to offer tips for a game that is based so heavily on luck rather
than skill. However, I will say that if you go into the game with realistic
expectations and quit at the right time, you may be able to walk away with a
few hundred more NP than you came in with. If you're determined to keep going
until you hit the jackpot, there's a great possibility that you'll simply end
up walking away with a lot less than you arrived with. But, you never know;
if you are willing to take that risk, it could pay off-big time!
Cost to play: Nothing
You could win: NP equal to your score
My rating: 3 out of 5 Old-Style Chias
Techo Says is more involved than Scorchy Slots, but still fairly simple to
understand. You're given a board with six holes in it, each with a different
tiny Neopet inside. As the game starts, one of the Neopets will pop out of its
hole. Then all you have to do is click on that hole and make it pop out again.
On the next round, the same Neopet will pop out and another one will pop out
after it. Once again, you have to click on the two holes in the correct order
to make the pattern to repeat itself. You get the idea (hopefully.) Just repeat
the pattern each time and you get to move on to the next round. As I said, it's
a fairly simply concept, but unless you get pretty far along, it's not that
much of an NP-maker. If you have a good memory, however, it's the perfect game
If you have sound on your computer, try turning it on or up for this game.
You get all the fun of the Pronunciation Guide and more; the little Neopets
say their names each time they come popping up out of their holes. But all fun
aside, not only seeing but also hearing the pattern may help you to memorise
it more easily. Test it out and see if it works for you. Try saying the Neopets'
names along with them or making up a different sound to go along with each Neopet.
Find out what method helps you to remember things best and use it.
Cost to play: Nothing
You could win: NP equal to your points, with a 500 NP limit
My rating: 4 out of 5 Giant Throbbing Heads
Codebreakers has gotten a bit of a makeover since it first arrived in Neopia,
but underneath the slightly different look, it's still the same great game.
The only possible drawback is that along with that makeover, Neopets also decided
to limit how much NP you could make from the game. But don't let that deter
you, because you can still make plenty from it if you know how to play. It's
a fun puzzle game that provides a nice challenge to those who like to think
logically, without being quite as intimidating as that game run by a certain
Basically, you're given four codestones, which can be made into 6 different
colours. Your mission is to try to guess what colour these four stones are supposed
to be and what order they need to be in. Each time you make a guess, you will
see a white mark when you have the right colour but in the wrong position, and
a black mark when you have a stone of the right colour in the right position.
Confused yet? You'll get the hang of it... or maybe not. The best advice that
I can give for this game is this: find a pattern-a certain way that you proceed
with making your guesses-and use it every time. This will help you to keep track
of what you have and haven't guessed already and help you move through the puzzle
more logically and quickly than if you just make completely random guesses every
Cost to play: 20 NP per game
You could win: NP equal to your score (or more if you win) and possibly
My rating: 4 out of 5 Pink Gormballs
Gormball is another game that recently got a bit of a makeover but still retains
its "old standby" charm. At the beginning of the game, you choose one of eight
characters to play as. Then you go to the playing field, where you discover
that Gormball is basically a game of hot potato... except that your character
will be cold, not hot, if the Gormball explodes on him or her. Each time it's
your turn, you choose how many seconds you want to hold the Gormball for and
then throw it to the next player. When the Gormball explodes on someone, they're
out of the game. Bonus Gormballs can also pop up randomly throughout the game.
The difference since its revamping is mainly that there are many more possible
bonuses-which means the payout can be significantly more than it used to be...
but it can also be less, since some of those bonuses are negative ones.
The longer you hold the Gormball, the more risk you take that it will explode
in your hands (or paws or claws as the case may be.) I usually take the risk
of holding the Gormball for three or four seconds if I'm the first or second
player to hold it in a particular round. In any other case, I play it safe and
hold the ball for only the minimum of two seconds. But this is just my strategy,
and I'm certainly no Thyassa the Chia. You may find your own way to keep from
Cost to play: 5 NP per game
You could win: Varying amounts of NP, food, lottery tickets, faeries,
My rating: 5 out of 5 Mystic Winds
Dice-A-Roo is a simple game, but good. With each roll of the die, you can earn
NP, absolutely nothing, a game over, and other things, or you can get moved
up to the next level. If you make it to the sixth level, the silver die, you
have a chance at winning the Jackpot. Part of the greatness of Dice-A-Roo (and
many of the old standbys) is that anyone can play it, regardless of age, skill
level, or whether or not they can play Flash games on their computer. And if
you think it's monotonous, perhaps you've never experienced the thrill of slowly
moving up die by die, holding your breath as you wait for each roll to load
on the screen, wondering if this will be the one that says "Game Over" or that
sends you on to the Jackpot. Still not convinced? Well, let me add one last
detail: Dice-A-Roo is one game that is also a veritable buffet!
In fact, my only advice for this game is to just ignore those Blumaroos who
pop up at the bottom of the screen and tell you to "Take the money!" Nope, I'm
in it for the food. Once you make it to the third die, the green die, your rolls
can win you various food items. That may not seem like much of a prize, but
foods cost upwards of 50 NP, so even if you play 10 games in order to win one
food item, it will have been worth it. And if you're persistent, you'll most
likely win more than that, providing your Neopet with a nice variety for its
dinner while you get to play a game instead of shopping! On higher levels of
dice, you can even win lottery tickets, faeries and increases in your pets'
levels-and there's always that elusive jackpot to aim for. But trust me on the
Well, there you have it. I hope you try some of these old standbys if you haven't
already, or find a new appreciation for them if you have. I realise that I haven't
covered every single older game in this article--there simply wasn't room!
Whether it was listed here or not, please feel free to Neomail
me to sing the praises of your favourite old standby.