Geos: A Game for Monthly Fun
The rules of Geos are very simple. Each player gets to place a piece on the board, taking turns. The goal is to complete four different shapes: circle, square, rectangle, and triangle. On the game page you can always click on the “shapes” link to see what the shapes need to look like. They can be positioned in any orientation on the board. If you hit a piece your opponent has placed and destroy it, you’ve bombed it and get to go again.
In order to get a trophy, you must beat your opponents in the monthly competition. This is different from most other games, where earning a trophy involves getting on a high score list. Because of this, a lot of work put in toward earning a trophy involves the game mechanics and not just the game.
For the first opponent you beat, you don’t get anything. If you beat the second, and not third opponent, you get a bronze trophy and 2,500 neopoints. If you beat the third, and not fourth opponent, you get a silver trophy and 5,000 neopoints. If you beat all four opponents, you get a gold trophy and 10,000 neopoints.
Once you have a certain trophy, you can’t go back to a lower one. For instance, if you already have a silver trophy from a previous month, but fail to win your third game of the month, you won’t actually be awarded the bronze trophy for your lookup. You’ll keep the silver and get 2,500 neopoints that month. The high scores list has nothing to do with awarding trophies. You can just ignore that area.
To sign up for the monthly competition, go to the multiplayer game lobby, go to “monthly competitions,” and then select “Geos” and your preferred time to play. The time is used only to pair you up with an opponent who will be on around the same time so you can quickly play a game. If you end up not being able to play at that time, it’s not too big of a problem. It may just take longer to finish a game. I suggest signing up to play for the next month’s competition as soon as you get the neomail saying the current month’s has started. This way you won’t forget!
You need to sign up for the competition before the month begins. The first game starts on the first of the month, goes for seven days at least, and ends on a Sunday or when someone wins. The second and third games start on Monday on the second and third week respectively. They last exactly a week or until someone wins. The fourth game starts in the fourth week, also on a Monday, and goes until the month ends or until someone wins.
It’s common courtesy to try and play at the time you signed up for. Also, you can send a neomail to your opponent to see if they’re on when you are. If neither of you wins, neither moves on to the next round, so it’s a good idea for both players to try and finish the game.
You have to play a piece every 24 hours or your opponent will be able to hit a “move or lose” button. This will send you a neomail telling you to move or lose. If they hit the button and you still don’t make a play within another 24 hours, they can hit the “I win” button. This means they’ve won the current game. The same rule applies for your opponent. If they don’t play, you can hit the buttons to force them to move or forfeit. If the move or lose button is played against you two times, but each time you play within the next 24 hours, the third time you go without playing for 24 hours, the button will immediately show “I win.” This is so the player doesn’t have to keep playing a cat and mouse game with you.
Once you understand how to sign up and complete a game, you need to know some of the strategy involved in each game that you play.
You want to start your game by making a shape anywhere that avoids the outer two perimeters of spaces. You may need that room if your opponent blocks or bombs you. The first shape you should work on is the rectangle. It needs ten pieces to complete whereas the others only need eight. The rectangle leaves you vulnerable to attack for the longest period of time.
You need to finish a shape as soon as possible. It can be bombed while being built, but is safe once finished. Don’t start a second shape until the one you are working on is finished.
When you first start placing pieces for a shape, you want to be able to use those pieces for multiple shapes for as long as possible. This is so that if your opponent bombs you, you’ll still be able to make another shape. I recommend putting your first four pieces of the game to form two sides of the circle. If everything is still good, fill in the corner for your fifth move. Your first goal is to make a rectangle. If that’s not working, build the square.
When your first shape is finished, start the second shape the same way. Build the two sides of the circle first and then finish by making either the square or circle.
Always save the triangle for last. Since it can easily be adjusted for bombing, you want to make this the last one you do. You want to make a diamond when you start the triangle. This way the other four pieces can go around it in any orientation.
You can tell what shapes your opponent has finished, but other than letting you know how far along your opponent is, this gives you no info.
If you bomb the opponent’s piece, you get to go again immediately. Don’t play where you just bombed unless that will finish your current shape. You’ll likely get into a bombing war with both players bombing and then building on the same spot each turn. Go back to it in a few turns and you may be able to bomb it a second time, meaning your opponent is now two turns behind. Once an opponent has completed a shape, you cannot bomb it. It will show that you hit their piece without destroying it and your turn is over. Keep track of what you’ve hit and don’t go for that space again. I also recommend avoiding the area near that space since you know they’ve got more safe spaces nearby. Every time you bomb and don’t get bombed back on the next turn, you are ahead of your opponent by one move. If you hit an opponent without bombing, you are behind a turn.
You can always play a game outside of the monthly competition by going to the multiplayer game lobby. The lobby is usually uninhabited, but you can choose to host your own game and advertise on the message boards you’d like someone to play with. You don’t get anything by playing a game outside of the monthly competition except for practice! To host a game, go to the multiplayer game lobby, click on the “host your own” icon, and select “Geos” from the drop-down menu.
My special thanks to Sk8brdrme who played the game with me multiple times so I could get all the screenshots!