Advanced Key Questing: Miscellaneous Strategies
Advanced Key Questing: Miscellaneous strategies. All are still power(up)ful, though!
The true title to this section is “Dealing with opponents’ powerups, dealing with random events, and general game strategies” but that seemed a little too long.... As the title indicates, though, they are all powerful techniques that are powerup full! ;D
First up, continuing the trend of how massively important powerups are would be dealing with an opponent's powerups. While I cannot cover all of the different possibilities between what powerups you have available and what powerups your opponent has to use against you, I will go over the more troublesome powerups.
The first strategy you should have in mind when you’re faced with having any powerup used against you is simple enough: expect it! If you can see that your opponent is going to use the Transporter Helmet on you, be ready for it. If you have all of the keys and you’re on your way to the door and your opponent has a Distraction Potion you can do nothing about, then expect that it is going to be used on you. Start thinking of ways you’re going to get yourself back on track once it is used on you – perhaps you can just use those Boots of Flight to zoom over to grab the key that they stole, and then use your Pocket Portal to teleport to the portal closest to the door. Either way, just use what you know of all of the powerups you do have available to you so that you have some sort of plan.
Directional/Location Powerups (such as Misdirected Compass, Mortog, Catapult, etc) – The effects of most of these powerups can be negated by having your own direction or location powerup to use once one has been used on you. The other method, though, would be to adjust your strategy to put yourself in a situation where the person would no longer want to use that powerup on you. What I mean is, if your opponent only has a Transporter Helmet and a blue key, start going for a blue key yourself. Then there isn’t a reason for them to switch places with you because they already have the blue key. One of the most frequent, and important, situations that I see with locational powerups being used, though, would be when you both have all of the keys and your opponent has the Mortog powerup. The last thing you want happen is you getting close to the door just so your opponent can jump ahead of you and run into the door before you. In this situation, avoid going to the door unless you know you can make it or until you get a powerup that stops them from using their Mortog powerup – maybe a Sticky Hand or a Tornado Ring. One place you can do this is by going from the portal in the middle game along the path to the red key, and then if you can’t reach the door, continue along to the blue key, and again if you can’t go up and reach the door, go back through the portal and keep looping around.
Key-altering Powerups (Distraction Potion, Rainbow Fountain Water, Key Grabber, etc) – For all of the powerups (except for the Rainbow Fountain Water and Giant Lint Ball) there is an important strategy that you can use if you’re almost to the door and you have all five keys. This sounds simple enough, but I don’t see many people doing it! All you do is get close enough to the door where you think you can get in with two rolls (remember, the most commonly rolled sum for two dice is seven!) and then use the Bottled Quicksand, Giant Rock Mote, or the Giant Lint Ball on the opponent that has the powerup that you don’t want them using! Then RUUUUN! Their turn will be skipped, or they will not be able to get keys or powerups for that turn, so you will be safe for a turn – during which, you can hopefully get to the door!
If, however, it is closer to the beginning of the game, there is a different strategy that I use – but only for really bad powerups, such as the Super Key Grabber. Because it is still early in the game, I probably have one key. I will drop everything that I am currently doing and just focus on getting rid of my opponent’s powerup. Try to avoid getting other keys if you can (so they don’t have more to take from you) and just focus on getting powerups. Then, once you get a Tornado Ring or Sticky Hand, you are safe once again! Do NOT do this for something smaller, though, like a Distraction Potion. In that case, continue playing regularly and if you get something – great! – but if now, just keep in mind that they have it and will probably use it eventually, so have an idea in your back pocket.
Random events randomly occur after each round (round, as in when everyone has rolled the dice, according to the order at the top of the page determined by the dice rolling at the beginning of the game). The five possibilities are Bree (she randomly places three extra keys on the game board), extra strong portals (anyone within three spaces of a portal will get sucked into it and spat out at the other end), wind (everyone is randomly moved to a new space on the board), wrong way (much like the misdirected compass, except it turns around everyone), and clogged portals (none of the portals work for the next two rounds).
In addition to the five random events, there are the squares with the question marks that can unleash two more problems (in addition to helpful things, but because they’re helpful, I won’t be discussing them) – Skarl, who sends everyone back to their home square, and a dark faerie who randomly changes the colors of the keys around the board. Being able to adapt and quickly come up with a new strategy is key to being an advanced quester, and hopefully the many possibilities of powerups that you have learned about will give you some ideas. Out of these seven problematic events, though, four of them are directional/locational. At least one of these events normally occurs during each game, so it does not hurt to carry around an extra directional or locational powerup to be prepared for the unexpected.
As for the other three events.... The Bree random event can be helpful or harmful, all depending on where she puts the keys. Normally, though, it ends up being helpful or neutral because the keys are out of the reach of both you and your opponents or you also get the same chance your opponents do to grab them. For dealing with this event, I’d just say be flexible!
With the new keys, figure out a path that you can take to grab them, if you need one of them that is. The clogged portal event can be troublesome, but for the most part, you can just get by without the portals. So I wouldn’t really worry about this event either.
The last event, though – the dark faerie one –can definitely be annoying. But at the same time, it could also end up helping you if you got a red key and then that was switched to a distant spot. To best deal with this event, just be flexible. In addition to that, though, if you carry around a locational powerup to deal with the other events, you can use that to get to the key you need that has been annoyingly placed on the other side of the board.
Overall, for dealing with these events, be flexible! Stay on your toes, and be ready for the unexpected. Don’t let it faze you too much – it is, after all, just a game! Additionally, if you can, keeping a locational powerup on hand is helpful.
Now time for general strategies! While these may look like “basic” Key Quest topics, I don’t plan on simply telling you what they are but instead have a more in depth, advanced discussion on the topics. First up is starting home and token alignment. These may seem like two different discussions, but I would like to talk about them together, because they influence each other. All of the discussion applies to the basic board, but you can take the concepts and apply them to other boards as well.
For alignment, you want dark, light, earth, or fire. Any of these will do, and it helps to have a variety of them – which you can get by purchasing Key Quest Plushies in stores or by participating in site events. I leave water out because of its location on the board. It is found in the lower left hand corner, the corner of the board that is least frequently traveled. This is because it is in the middle of a long stretch of path where you don’t get many forks and options for which way to go. For this reason, I would suggest avoiding the water alignment.
So, for the other four alignments, which starting home should you choose? For fire, it really doesn’t make a difference. The fire alignment square is in the middle of the board, in a fairly well traveled and accessible area, so wherever you start from you should get a chance to land on it. The light alignment square is the other one that is placed in a well traveled and accessible area. For this reason, a light token can also start at any of the homes. There would be a slight advantage to the Lost Desert style house, though, because of its proximity to the square, but it doesn’t make a huge difference.
The dark alignment square and the earth alignment square are the two that the starting home makes more of a difference for. If you have a dark alignment token, there is a slight advantage to starting at the Haunted House. This is because you can leave the house and head for the yellow key, hoping you land on the dark alignment square on the way. For earth, you want the Neopian Neohome house for the same reason – you can leave the house heading towards the blue key, and hope you land on the alignment square on the way.
Out of all of the alignment types, though, because of the flexibility of fire and light due to their locations along frequently traveled paths, they have a slight edge over the other alignments.
Don’t let alignment be the only deciding factor, though, in which house you should start at. Each house has different benefits based off of proximity to the door (in case you are sent back home by a random event or a catapult) as well as how close it is to other keys.
As far as keys are concerned, the Faerieland Home wins. It cuts the long travel path to the white key in half. The next house for keys would be the Neopian Neohome because of it cuts a few spaces off of the path to the blue key, and then close after that is the Haunted House because it cuts a few spaces off of the path to the yellow key. The Lost Desert House is towards the middle of the board, so it doesn’t really have any keys that it reduces the time to get to. But that doesn’t mean it’s the worst or that the others are better!
As far as proximity to the door goes, the Lost Desert House wins, while the other three houses are out on the corners. Additionally, because it is in the center of the board, more or less, there are many possible ways to go and if anything happens at the beginning of the game, you can easily adjust your plan.
Either way, there is no clear cut winner for which starting house is better. When picking a starting house, take all of these factors into account, but especially remember what token you are using and what its alignment is.
The final general strategy that I would like to discuss is a question I frequently see asked: alignment or treasure chest square? To this, I would have to respond: beginning of the game or end? In the beginning of the game, I would suggest landing on the treasure chest square instead. That way you’ll get both a powerup and a key. If it’s towards the end of the game, though (and you don’t need just one more key to win =P Basically, if you’re behind), then land on your alignment square and hope for a good super powerup so you can get a chance to pull ahead in the game.
This week, try practicing the strategies that were discussed in this section. If you can remember back to the very first section of “Advanced Key Questing” I mentioned there were three aspects to Key Quest – powerups, luck/chance, and mini-games. We’ve covered two of these sections, so next week, in the final section of the guide, look forward to going over mini-games! And, as always, feel free to neomail me with any questions or comments!