A Game of Nostalgia
If you travel deep into the Haunted Woods you will notice a small plot of land nestled quietly next to Edna’s Tower. On first glance it does not seem to be the sort of landmark worth investigating, but appearances can be deceptive.
As you open the creaky gate, you may be surprised by the neat rows of headstones, quite at odds with the generally run down, dishevelled appearance of the rest of the Haunted Woods. Each headstone is clearly marked with the name of the game that has been laid to rest, and at the base of the stones, amongst the grass, can be seen the year of its demise.
With the creation of 1,000 games in Neopia, now would seem an appropriate time to examine the games in the Game Graveyard and reflect on how things have changed over the years.
It appears that the Game Graveyard was not created until Year 3, as there are no games that bear an older date. There were only three games that met their demise during this year. Scorchio’s Quest and Scorchio’s Quest 2 are two fun little games where a red Scorchio is on a quest for treasure. On his quest he meets many enemies and has many puzzles to solve.
A more familiar game to be retired in Year 3 is Kiko Match. Although basic in form, it is clear to see where the game played nowadays originated from. The Kikos may be more colourful in their variations nowadays, but the face gestures of those in the original game hold much appeal.
Maybe appropriately, in Year 4 there were four games that were sent to the Game Graveyard. You may recognise one of them, whilst the other three will probably be new to you.
The unfamiliar games are Kau Korral was a quirky little game where you have to herd Kaus into a barn, whilst Alpine Challenge requires you to control a skiing Usul as she travels down a ski slope. Whilst skiing, you have to maneuver to avoid trees and other obstacles, and perform tricks along the way.
On a different level is a noisy little game called Neo DJ. This is a game where you help DJ Roo to become the Grandmaster by helping him create scratches.
Although the name of Earth Faerie Aces is unfamiliar, a quick game will prove that it is the forerunner to Faerie Cloud Racers, the earlier version of which was retired in Year 7.
Interestingly, of the three games retired in Year 5, two are predecessors of the current game of Faerie Caves II. Ice Caves and Faerie Caves both follow the adventures of Garon the Lupe as he travels through the puzzling caves, similar in style to the modern game.
The other game retired that Year was Techo Says. The name of this game should be familiar as it is the same name as game 1,000, released in Neopia in Year 10.
In Year 6, another three games met their end. The first of these games is, rather appropriately, Mutant Graveyard of DOOM. In this game, Albert the Kacheek has been cursed by the Esophagor and has to search the graveyards for food, whilst avoiding the perils therein. In this same Year Chomby and the Fungus Balls was also sent to the Graveyard. This is a fun little game where you control a blue Chomby, who has to collect stars and avoid the fungus ball in order to move to the next level.
The other game that was sent to the Game Graveyard that Year was Destruct O Match, the first of three games to carry that name, and bearing many of the traits of the newer versions.
Year 7 was the Year when the most games were retired. Of these ten games, seven have direct descendents in the modern Games Room. Meerca Chase, Ice Cream Factory, Chia Bomber, Swarm, Pterattack, Faerie Cloud Racers and Evil Fuzzles from Beyond the Stars can all be searched and found in modern form, some as version II and others bearing the same or a similar name to the original.
Of the three other games, two others have left their mark in the Games Room. Jelly Processing Plant can clearly be seen as the forerunner to Hungry Skeith, where Jellies of different colours have to be rescued from the mouth of the blue Skeith. The logic testing in Codebreaker has been resurrected in Time Tunnel, the former lacking only the flashy graphics, not the mental agility required to complete the game.
Grundo Snowthrow, where three green Grundos throw snowballs at Abominable Snowmen until they are knocked unconscious, appears to be the only game retired in Year 7 with no direct follow-on game available.
In Year 8, all six games that were retired have had a game of similar style follow them. Igloo Garage Sale, Volcano Run, Dubloon Disaster and MAGAX: Destroyer are all names that can be found in the modern Games Room. In the case of Deckswabber, the blue Blumaroo has been replaced by a Gnorbu named Scrap and the obstacles he encounters make the earlier game appealing in its simplicity.
The final game to be sent to the Game Graveyard in Year 8 was Bumper Cars, a game that bears remarkable similarities to the modern game of Ugga Smash.
All of the five games that entered the Game Graveyard in Year 9 have direct replacements in the modern Games Room. They are Usuki Frenzy, Ultimate Bullseye, Korbats Lab, Tug-O-War and Carnival of Terror. In all cases the modern games and their predecessors are similar in design, the older versions carrying a naivety lost in the newer versions.
The final two games that were sent to the Game Graveyard met their demise in Year 10. Destruct-O-Match II has already mentioned earlier, in relation to the earliest version which was retired in Year 7. Maths Nightmare has also been replaced by a modern game, both of which feature Imiya the Aisha and lots of sheep that demand your calculating skills to solve puzzles in a given timescale.
Having given you a taste of the retired games, I hope you will take the time to have a look around the Game Graveyard. Remember that no scores can be sent and no neopoints can be earned, but do not use this as a reason to dismiss playing these games.
Whether you want a nostalgic trip down memory lane, or are a newer player curious to know what the games on Neopets were like, the Game Graveyard has plenty to offer. Why not take a trip down memory lane and see just how Neopets has managed to reach the magnificent total of 1,000 games.