Mastering Key Quest
GAMES ROOM - So we all know the prizes of Key Quest (the newest venture by the people at TNT) are quite amazing; codestones, backgrounds, books, stamps, even Neggs are available! The one question I see too frequently asked, though, is how to get better? My record is near impeccable (almost always first, and only occasionally do I come in second) so I’ve decided to do my best to assist those other Neopians who want to take advantage of this great game (and have tons of fun while doing so!).
This is only for the beta version of the release, and as more releases become available I hope to release even more articles to help you guys out. First, the basics; Key Quest is similar to a board game where you have your Neopets Tokens go around collecting five Keys to unlock the door to winning. As of this beta build, there are only five Key games but the options are going to become available for two, three, or four Key games. (This would be shorter, obviously.) As of right now, you can do a game from two-to-four players; I somehow doubt the one player option will ever become available. Possibly against a computer would be interesting, however. Anyways, for more basic information you can check out the Neopets Official Key Quest Tutorial.
In the beginning (once all players have joined, that is) you choose what color you want to represent your token. As of now, these colors have no bearing on the game; they’re simply decorative. The choices are blue, green, yellow, and red. Once all players have done that, you get to roll a die (which unfortunately you don’t get to see the result of) to choose turn order, as well as turn order for choosing your starting house! Most people tend to think that the starting houses are purely decorative, but I assure you they are not! Here is a brief list of the houses and a run-down of pros and cons.
Haunted Woods: Haunted Woods is possibly the worst house that you can start off in; the only Key it happens to be close to is the yellow Key, which is way out of the way of both the Quest Door and the other Keys. The only good thing about Haunted Woods is that if you end up with a Transporter Helmet (more on power-ups later in the article) early, you can really mess up someone who started in one of the better houses. I can offer no exact strategies from starting here, as I’ve only done it once.
Lost Desert: Lost Desert is usually my second worst choice, but there is some merit to it. In choosing Lost Desert, you start off right next to the Red Key, and very close to the Green Key and Blue Keys. If you start off here, my suggested path would be going for the Red Key first, looping to the Blue Key (at the bottom of the board), going towards the Silver Key (on the left side of the board near Faerieland), grabbing the Green Key and heading for the Quest Door after getting the Yellow Key from a mini-game. (More on mini-games later in the article.) If you cannot obtain the Yellow Key from a mini-game, then you will be put way off without good use of power-ups.
Faerieland: Faerieland is possibly the best starting spot you can choose, strategically and aesthetically. You start off literally a few spaces from the Silver Key, and can make a bee-line for the Green Key and the Red Key (even with a short stop to getting the Yellow Key if you don’t feel able to win a mini-game.) Once you have done that, the Blue Key is still on your normal pathway, and right next to the Quest Door. I suggest always going for Faerieland if possible.
Neopia Central: Neopia Central is opposite to Faerieland (although across the board) and is the second best choice if you’re unable to get to Faerieland. It's very close to both the Blue Key and Red Key. The mistake most new and inexperienced players will make is going towards the Blue Key first. While this may seem like a good idea in the beginning, you have to think strategically! What if every other player in the game is the King/Queen of Mini-games and you can’t end up getting the Yellow Key? If you instead head for the Red Key first, you can go then to the Yellow Key, followed by the Green Key, followed by the Blue Key, followed by the Silver Key followed by the Quest Door. While it is a longer path than most, and will probably be interrupted by other player’s power-ups, it is the safest path to take if you cannot depend on a mini-game.
Those are currently the only four starting areas. Now through the descriptions, I mentioned both mini-games and power-ups, two integral (and fun!) parts of Key Quest.
Mini-games are started by any player landing on a purple space with yellow stars on it, and power-ups are received by even passing over a diamond shaped space. There are currently three mini-games (with the promise of many more to come!) that you can play while in Key Quest.
Spyder Grab: You control a Spyder (which has eye-beams of your color) and must make an attempt to grab the green tool pieces and bring them back to your web. You control where the Spyder moves with the mouse, but the eye-beams are constantly swaying back and forth; PAY ATTENTION TO THE EYE-BEAMS! They will choose where you end up heading for by clicking. The green tools are the easiest to bring back, but be careful not to collide with other players! The black and purple-ish blobs freeze you or your opponent, and the blue blobs should do something similar.
Petpetpet Wrangle: In this game, your goal is to draw a “cage” around the selected petpetpet (which you can see in the top-middle). There are bonus points for drawing “perfect loops” as well as getting more than one petpetpet at once. To draw, click and drag your mouse around the petpetpet. If someone captures a petpetpet while you are in the middle of drawing, you have to start over! Be quick with your mouse to win this game.
Nova Match: This game (my personal favorite) is just pairing different colored Novas. There is no extreme strategy to it, but be aware that the two Novas DO NOT HAVE TO BE ADJACENT TO BE CLEARED! If the entire board is cleared before the game ends, new Novas will show up.
The best part about mini-games is that if you win, you get to choose any Key you want to add to your collection! My personal recommendation is to take the Yellow Key, as it is the one that is most out of the way and will benefit you the most. (If you have all five Keys and win a mini-game, my suggestion is still to take the Yellow. In case someone uses the Key Grabber power-up on you, they’d most likely take the Key that is the farthest out of your way!)
The bane of many Key Quest players' very existence, and the only method of winning for others. There are currently eight power-ups in the game, although this author has only ever gotten seven of them. (You can carry three at a time, and if you end up with one more you can choose whether or not to discard it.)
Catapult: The catapult is a nifty power-up for absolutely annoying the other players in your games. Using this power-up will cause the player to be teleported (or catapulted, presumably) back to their home base! This is especially nasty if they were unfortunate enough to choose Haunted Woods.
Misdirected Compass: The compass can be either a blessing, or a curse. When used on a player (and you can use it on yourself as well!) they will be forced to start moving backwards. Using this when your opponent is right next to a Key can be quite devastating, and also using it on yourself right after someone steals a Key from you can be nice to go back and quickly retrieve it again!
Loaded Gummy Die: This die is great when used correctly. It will let you choose what you roll for your turn, anywhere from one to six. Amazing device if you have all five Keys and want to quickly get to the Quest Door, and even better if you’re devilishly good at mini-games and want to force yourself to land on one.
Rainbow Sticky Hand: Simply put (as there’s nothing really else to say about it) this power-up will allow you to steal one of your opponents' power-ups. Best used when stealing Gummy Die or Key Snatcher (so they can’t use it against you. Muahahahaha!).
Transporter Helmet: Using this nifty (although weird looking) power-up will allow you to switch spots with your opponent. As with the catapult, this can be used to excellent results if an opponent has all five Keys, and is close to the Quest Door (provided you’re farther away, of course). Also useful if your opponent is right next to a Key that you need.
Distraction Potion: I’ve never received this potion before, so I can’t speak for its usefulness. The description says that it will swap one of your Keys for one of your opponents’ Keys. About the only use for this I can think of is if your opponent has a Yellow Key, and you have a spare extra Key.
Bottle of Quicksand: Ah, my favorite power-up. Simply put, this stops the player from having one turn. Extremely fun if you happen to stock up three, and use them all in a row. Prevents that person from getting any NP or Keys for three turns!
Key Grabber: The better version of the distraction potion, this power-up will simply steal one of your opponents' Keys. Very fun to use if they’re close to winning or if you are and they have a Key that you need!
And last, but certainly not the least important, are the different tiles you can land on. For the most part, you will be landing on the gold tiles which will give you NP that you collect after the game is over. The purple and yellow stars tiles are the ones that landing on will start a mini-game. The diamond shaped tiles are the ones that will give you a power-up for simply passing over them, or landing on them. The purple swirly tile is the portal, and if you use it you will be transported to the other portal. (There is one portal behind the Quest Door, as well as one near the Blue Key.) The tiles with the giant Keys on them are where you normally get your Keys awarded from. The Yellow Key is near the Haunted Woods, the Red Key is near the Lost Desert, the Silver and Green Keys are near Faerieland, and the Blue Key is near Neopia Central. And possibly the best tile you can land on, the X of the treasure chest! Landing on this beauty will give you one power-up, one Key of your choice, and one whopping sum of NP! I suggest using Gummy Die to “force” yourself to land on this space.
That’s about it for the basics of Key Quest. There are of course more in-depth strategies, and more boards (hopefully) soon to be released, and with that I will do my best to keep writing new articles with strategies. Good luck on your quest, and may you get great prizes!