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Godori: A Card Game Lover's Guide

by ewanspaz


Shenkuu is home to luscious green peaks, cascading waterfalls, and an oriental mystery behind every speck of fog. In fact, every Neopian World is home to a beautiful and unique sight full of unique characters and landscapes. What would you do if you could take a piece of each of these worlds home with you? Well, thanks to the marvels of a new game released by that pesky and magnificent Neopets Team, now you can with the card game Godori! (Now we know what the team’s been up to instead of delivering our Plot of Woe prizes... *ahem*...)

Anyway, welcome to a game that’s easy to play but hard to win, a game of Petpets, of worlds caked in sunsets, of high points scored, and of ultimate glory. Well, at least glory over your opponent, who happens to be your active pet. Sure, you only get 250 or more points for each win. Sure, your pet could beat you and make you lose just as much. But why, I ask, do we play Neopets day in and day out? Because it’s fun! And this game is a fun way to pass your time. With the help of my little guide I hope that it is a Neopointly fruitful endeavor, as well. Now on with the rules!

How To Play

Now, I understand that reading a “How To Play” can be confuzzling. More than a thousand words all spluttered after the other (my, I am making up some interesting words, here) can make you just want to quit trying. So to help you out, oh fair wonderer of all things Godori, I have added some pictures to aid in the description process. The game I will be walking you through will be one featuring myself and my Faerie Korbat, EwanSpaz, who is just ever so happy to be a part of this article. Now on to the directions!

There are 48 cards in the deck, four of each showing pictures from one of twelve Neopian Worlds. That means there are four cards each representing Faerieland, Altador, Shenkuu (where the game originates, of course) Tyrannia, the Haunted Woods, Krawk Island, Roo Island, the Lost Desert, Meridell, the Space Station, Mystery Island, and Terror Mountain. The four are easily identified by the colors used (like Meridell’s reds and blues) and a universal theme to each (like the unique leaves on the four Altador cards.) You are playing against your own active pet as a computer player, as I alluded to above. (You didn’t think he or she was only partial to Guess the Card or Poker, did you?)

Anywho, each player gets ten cards, but you can’t see your opponent’s cards, for the sake of saying no to cheating and saying yes to a challenge. There are eight cards face up in the center of the board for you to both work with. The objective is to get as many cards as possible and earn yourself more points each round than your pet does. Here, for example, is a random board that you will see at the start of the game:

On your turn, you will find a card in your possession that depicts a Neopian World also depicted on a card on the center board. For example, you can see that in my hand I have a Lost Desert card (The card with Coltzan’s Shrine) that matches the Lost Desert card in the center. You place your card on top of that one, and then a random card is flipped from the draw deck. If that card matches a Neopian World card in the center, it will be placed on top of it in the center play space. If the drawn card is the only one representing its world on the center board, it will occupy a new blank space.

At the end of your turn, any pairs of two or groups of four that you have stacked with your own hand and the drawn hand become yours, earning you points. In the course of the game I am displaying, for example, the card that flipped over happened to be a Roo Island card, giving me two pairs. If, on your turn, you can’t match any of your cards with a card on the table, click one of your cards and put it in a blank space in the center.

After your turn, your Neopet will get a chance to make a pair and have a card flipped over, earning him or her pairs. This is the game board after both of us have had our first turn:

Notice that EwanSpaz played a Haunted Woods card on top of the single one in the middle of the space, hoping to get a match. Unfortunately for her, the deck flipped over another Haunted Woods card on top of it, making three cards stand out on the table and therefore no pairs for EwanSpaz. *avoids glare from EwanSpaz* I’m sorry! That’s just how the Scarab Cookie crumbles!

The round ends when there are no cards left to play, but many rounds can occur before the game is over. The first player to have over 50 points at the end of a round is the winner. If you win, you get 250 Neopoints, plus five Neopoints for every point you have higher than your darling Kacheek, Zafara, Chia, or other fuzzy and adorable Neopet. If he or she wins, you lose that many points. Oh, hang on one second. *listens while EwanSpaz whispers in my ear excitedly* Oh. She wants me to tell you that she will in fact be the winner. Please disregard any further comments she makes.

As I was trying to say, hopefully, with the help of this guide, you should be able to scrape out more wins than losses! Now, down to the more nitpicky and strategy-type stuff.

The Scoring Combinations

Now, it is very crucial that a player understands the difference between capture matches and scoring matches. The capture matches are the four cards that you can capture in either groups of two or four, but the scoring points (if it wasn’t blatantly obvious) are the combinations of cards that score you points! There are twelve worlds represented, but also different characteristics on the cards. There are “Neopets” cards, which are the Space, Haunted, Shenkuu, Terror Mountain, and Lost Desert card with a little yellow Neopets Star in one corner.

See? Aren’t they pretty?

These cards are the most powerful ones in the game, but only if you capture all five or four of them during a round, where they are worth 25 and 4 points, respectively. Getting all five is very hard to do, but doing so gives you half of the points you need in one round to beat your pet! If you get a set of three of these cards, not including the Haunted Woods Neopets Card, you get three points, and if you get a set of three including the Haunted Woods Neopets Card, you get two. The reasoning for this three-point two-point discrepancy is to try to equalize the most powerful set of four in the deck, which I will get to in a minute.

There are also nine Petpet cards, and if you get a set of five or more, you get one point plus a point for every additional Petpet card you get after five. (And, in case you were wondering, the Roo Island card with the merry-go-round and the tiny creatures on it is a Petpet card.) Within this category are also “Flying Petpet” cards, the Petpets from Faerieland, the Space Station, and Altador, and if you get three of these cards, you get five points.

We can fly! We can fly!

There are also ten “Altador Cup” cards, which are various world cards that have banners, pennants, or shields on them. Same five point plus rule applies as with the Petpets cards, but if you three of the same type of Altador Cup cards, like three banners or three shields, you get three points.

Snatch up all three of us and you’ve got three points! Yippee!

Half of the cards in the deck are plain World cards, and if you get ten of them, you get a point, plus a point for each additional World card found after ten. Three of these cards are also special.

That’s right. We’re special.

The Haunted Woods card with the spooky tree in it and the Lost Desert card with the sun in the background are both counted as two Neopets World cards each. The Mystery Island card with the Turdle on it is also special, as it can count as a Petpet card or a plain World card. (Yup, Turdles are more than just Petpets found in races and in Lenny Conundrum puzzles!) Now that you have the basics and the scoring points down, let’s talk strategy already!

The Strategy

The key to winning this game is to think before clicking, because strategizing is crucial! Before your first turn or your pets turn at the beginning of each round (first move alternates), look at the cards in your hand. If you see a Faerieland card in the center and see that you have three Faerieland cards in your hand, you know that the card on the table is as good as yours. Don’t play any of your three cards until you have no other possible moves. Instead, try to use the other cards that you have to get cards in the middle that aren’t necessarily guaranteed to be yours.

Before the game begins, look at what special cards you have in your hand. If you have three or more Neopets cards with the star on them, you have a decent chance at getting four or even all five of these cards. Try to snag the Neopets cards on the center board as soon as possible to achieve this 25 point feat. If you have only one or none of these special cards in your hand, don’t put the Neopet’s cards in a higher priority than the special cards you have a better chance at getting. Instead, try to get just one or two of the Neopets cards to prevent your opponent from getting a crazy amount of points for collecting all five of them. Likewise, if you have any of the Flying Petpet cards, be on the lookout for those so you can get three of them for the five points. At the very least, try to get the number of cards in each category that prevents your opponent from getting enough of that card to score. If you see that your opponent has two of the banners, for instance, and you have the option of getting the third banner on the board with a match or just a plain world pair, go for the banner to prevent your opponent from getting three points.

Some groups of cards are of a slightly higher value than the rest. The Haunted Woods matches are the most valuable in the game, since unlike the other world-themed cards, each of these cards is a special card. One is a Neopets card, one counts as two world cards, one has an Altador shield on it, and one counts as a petpet card. If you have a Haunted Woods card and a Shenkuu card in hand and both have a mate on the table in front of you, play the Haunted Woods card. On the other end of the spectrum, the Lost Desert cards are the least valuable, unless you are trying to accumulate plain World cards, since four plain World cards are achieved by getting all four (since the sun card is worth two points. But you remembered that tidbit, didn’t you? Of course you did.) The only non plain World card of value in this bunch is the single Neopets star card. Also, with the special Altador Cup cards, there are four shield cards, while there are three each of the other types of combinations. That means these cards are easier to get three of should you have a couple to start with. This also means that you have to get two of them to make sure that your opponent doesn’t get three to score.

If you are going for, say, the three banners, and you have the two from the Meridell and the Mystery Island match sets, don’t put out a card from the Krawk Island group unless you are going to take a pair. Since the final banner is in the Krawk Island group, you would be giving your opponent a chance to keep you from getting all three of these special cards.

If there are two cards in the center table before your turn and you have one in your hand, don’t place it unless you have nothing else to play, because otherwise you are leaving three cards open for your opponent to take should he or she have the fourth. There is the off chance that the random card flipped from the deck after your placement will be the fourth card you need, but this chance is slim to none, unless the game is almost over and you know there are only a few cards left in the deck. Instead, wait until your opponent has no other moves and must place the one card of the three that they have. That way, you are guaranteed all four.

The most important bit of strategy that I can offer you is to pay attention to what cards you have, what cards are on the table, and what cards have already been captured. The game offers a hover capability that lets you see which cards are in the stacks on the center board and the stacks already captured simply by rolling your mouse over them (these are the miniature pictures of the cards shown on the screenshot above. By monitoring the cards, it is easier for you to predict which cards are left and therefore which are more likely to be flipped from the deck or played by an opponent.

With a little practice and a careful eye, you can be on your way to earning thousands of Neopoints each day! (You may, however, want to let your pet win every once in a while. They tend to get grumpy if you’re too hard on them.)

I hope my guide was helpful to you, oh Shenkuu wanderer. If nothing else, Happy Godori-ing!

Author’s Note: This is my first game guide to be published in the Times. Please feel free to neomail me with questions, comments, and suggestions. Any input or a quick hello is appreciated! And a big thanks to TNT for all that they do.

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