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All Mopped Out!

by llewopnedyaj


Want to learn the fundamentals behind cleaning your beloved, grimy Petpets? Want to know how to refashion that traditional boring mop session into a fun-filled adventure that will keep you occupied for months on end? Well, I can't guarantee that much, but I can offer you some helpful advice and advanced tips for the brand new exciting game called Mop 'n' Bop! Soon you will discover just how fascinating and undervalued the art of mopping really is.

A surfeit of pesky, filthy Petpets have invaded the illustrious Hall of Heroes. You play the janitor, and it is up to you to mop those grimy Petpets and scrub their dirty tracks off the floor before the Hall of Heroes becomes completely hampered in mud and filth. This guide will outline the tips and secrets that you can utilise in Mop 'n' Bop to successfully fulfill your mission, and hopefully with enough practice, a shiny new trophy will be yours to showcase in your dusty trophy cabinet.

The Basics

First of all, let's outline the basics of the game first so everybody is on the same page.

1. The Dirt Meter

The dirt meter will surge when you allow a dirty Petpet to pass or if there are remnants of dirt left on the ground, the latter which usually cannot be helped. The meter will deplete randomly throughout the game; sometimes by a minuscule amount, other times by half. The game will end once the dirt meter is at full capacity.

2. Powering Up Your Mop

Hold down the left-mouse button to increase the power of your mop then release the button to swing the mop when a Petpet is in range. You will anger the janitor if you swing the mop and miss the Petpet, wasting precious seconds.

Ensure that you keep the power maxed out or close to it whenever possible. A full-powered swipe will fully clean the Petpet and net you the maximum points for washing the Petpet. Always start maxing your power out immediately after you've cleaned the Petpet.

3. Upgrading the Mop

Although it's stated in the instructions, be sure to always upgrade your mop when possible! Many new players are unaware that you can upgrade the mop and, in turn, they end up with only a few hundred points before the game ends. If you do not upgrade your mop, you will not be able to fully clean the dirtier Petpets.

An upgrade becomes available each time you pass Sasha the Cybunny's statue, or whenever the top middle button glows. There are a total of four (two mop head and two handle) upgrades. You can either click the top middle button or you can hit the 'Shift' key to open the upgrade menu.

Whether you upgrade the mop head or handle first shouldn't affect your game too much. I encourage upgrading the mop head fully before moving on to the handle, however, since the upgraded mop head assists you more during the first couple of laps.

4. Which Mop to Use

For the beginning and intermediate player, I recommend using the balanced handle and the small or medium-sized mop head throughout the game. The balanced handle isn't too slow for the later levels, and the small or medium mop heads are fairly similar. Unless you are an expert player, I would advise against using the fast handle as it is difficult to fully clean the Altalaphus. However, if you insist on using the fast handle, I will discuss how to counter the dirt problem so you are able to use this type of mop to your full advantage in the Bonus Tactics section below. Finally, never use the strong handle or the large mop head; they both slow your mop down to a crawl, which becomes a major hindrance in later laps.

5. The Power-Ups

There are a total of three power-ups in the game, plus the coin, which nets you an extra 50 points. The only worthwhile power-up in the game is the feather, which increases your speed and power drastically for a short period of time. The yellow circle power-up can prove to be useful as well, which helps calm the janitor down if he missed the Petpet. In the later laps, however, you will barely have room to miss, which makes this power-up quite fruitless.

6. The Pail

You will find droplets of water on the ground as you're moving around the Hall of Heroes. These droplets progressively fill up your pail that can be used to douse numerous Petpets at once. You can use it by simply clicking on the bucket icon at the top of the screen or by hitting the space bar. The more water your bucket is holding, the more powerful and likely the dirtier Petpets will be fully cleaned. Never use the bucket unless you're in grave danger of losing the game (for example, if your dirt meter is nearly full and you've just angered the janitor accidentally). Treat it as your back-up plan.

Essential Tactics

So you want to know how to better your game? These two primary tactics are key to attaining a higher score, and with enough practice it will take you into the esteemed Top 100 and possibly the trophy range. You will better yourself through further practice and utilising these tactics as often as possible into your game.

1. Mopping Multiple Petpets Simultaneously

Remember that it takes time to power up your mop (2-3 seconds, depending on which mop you're using). Often in the later laps, you'll find there is only a one-second gap between two different Petpets. It is futile to try to wholly cleanse both Petpets in two swipes.

Instead, you need to learn the ability to confidently and assuredly wash two or more separated Petpets at once. This is the most important tactic to learn. Once you have learned to time your swings so you get the most 'bang for your buck' out of your mop, it will easily take you to lap 20 and beyond. You will learn this predominantly through practice.

Keep in mind that you might be left with a speck of dirt on the ground afterwards if you've left the Petpet walk too far past the janitor (yet is still cleanable with a full-powered swing). You would not have accumulated as much dirt this way as you normally would by fully cleaning one and partially mopping another.

2. Cleaning a Clean Petpet

Now, why in Neopia would you want to mop an already clean Petpet? Each time you wash a Petpet, dirty or not, you gain a certain amount of points. Most people will not think twice about washing the Petpet again if they've just mopped it.

To make full use of this technique, you will need to wash the incoming Petpet as early as you possibly can. Do not wait until the Petpet is right by the janitor's side before you mop it! Swing your mop when the dirty Petpet is about one and a half body lengths away from the janitor. Immediately after you've swung the mop, start powering up again and let go right after the first swing finishes. You do not need to use maximum power for the second swing, just a small bit of power will do.

The points annexed with this tactic really starts to add up in the later laps where six or seven Petpets are bunched together side-by-side, netting you sometimes an additional 100-150 points in just one swipe. If you repeat it again, you will gain another 100-150 points! You can sometimes wash the Petpets thrice when you have the feather power-up activated, which will be discussed in detail in the Bonus Tactics section.

Please note that it is not a good idea to employ this technique every single time you see a Petpet. If you've just cleaned a Petpet and there's another coming three seconds away, do you clean the first Petpet a second time? No! Unless you've just scored a feather power-up. It is well worth it to utilise this whenever it won't sabotage your game. You will need to use your own judgement when you should or shouldn't wash a Petpet again.

To illustrate how profitable this method is, you will usually reap a score of 30,000 or close to it by the end of lap 16. Normally, it will take until lap 22 or 23 to attain this amount without employing this method.

Bonus Tactics

What!? More tactics? If you're confident with using the techniques depicted above, then you might want to try these to further add to your blooming total. These tactics are a bonus and aren't as vital as the ones already described.

1. Stalling the Janitor in Lap 1 and 2

If you desire an additional 800 points for laps 1 and 2, you can purposely stall the janitor by trying to wash a Petpet without one actually being on the screen.

Immediately when the Petpet appears to the right of the screen, start powering up. Wash it, then stall the janitor again until yet another Petpet appears on the screen. Repeat this process throughout lap 1 and 2. By the end of lap 1, you should have around 300 points (instead of 60-70), and by the end of lap 2 you should be nearing 800 points, which is the equivalent of a score you'd receive by the end of lap 4. You will not be able to take full advantage of this tactic past lap 2 where more and faster Petpets will be heading in your direction.

800 points might sound like nothing to some, but you should always employ this tactic into your game. Say that you were ranked fourth on the hi-score table, and you just barely missed the Gold trophy range by as little as 500 points without utilising this tactic. If you had used it, you would have attained the Gold trophy! What would have been more devastating is if you would have missed the Bronze range by that many points, leaving you with no trophy at all! You should always try to maximise the points you receive in Mop 'n' Bop, or any game for that matter, even if you'll only attain a measly 500 additional points. That could easily make or break the difference between a trophy or nothing at all.

2. Changing Mops Midgame

It is not such a bad idea to change the mop you're using in the middle of the game. Keep one finger on the 'Shift' key and your other hand on the mouse, and change mops when appropriate.

One technique that I personally like to employ is to use the fast handle and small mop head throughout the game until an Altalaphus, the dirtiest Petpet, appears on the screen. I will then hastily switch to the balanced handle to easily clean him in one swipe.

You might say that this is inconvenient, and, for a beginning player, it usually is. However, if you are confident with mopping clean Petpets, using the fastest handle can assist you with cleaning them a lot faster. Couple the fast handle with the feather power-up and your mop will be in overdrive! You will then be able to mop the same Petpet or mob of Petpets thrice, netting you incredible points if used consistently throughout the game.

3. The Power-Ups II

You might have noticed during your play that only one certain power-up can be on the floor at a time.

Suppose that all four power-ups are laying on the floor ahead of you in a line, the closest power-up to you being the feather. You grab the sought after feather power-up, but before you move on, stop! Don't collect the other power-ups just yet! Instead of immediately charging for the rest of the power-ups, keep the janitor swinging the mop and cleaning the Petpets until one drops yet another feather.

By doing so, the next power-up that the Petpet elicits will be the feather 100% of the time. If you went ahead and collected the rest of the power-ups, you will only have a 25% chance of attaining a feather power-up. Sometimes you will not have a choice but to collect the rest of the power-ups if there are no Petpets incoming, but occasionally you can employ this technique to improve your chances of attaining the feather power-up that will assist your game immensely in the harder laps. You could try to stall the janitor for a short while if there are no Petpets coming, granted that it will not encumber your game play, but this will not happen often beyond lap 12.

* * * *

In sum, I hope that this guide proved useful and inspired you to go further with the game of Mop 'n' Bop. Grand masters might not be made overnight, but with some practice you could easily be in line for that coveted trophy or simply a new high score. I wish you the best of luck with your trophy endeavours, and happy gaming! :)

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