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Blast From The Past: Rediscovering "Lost" Games


by _ressa_

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As I sit here tonight, all comfy and cozy in my fluffy pink robe and slippers, Jumpin' Gem Heist is the current new game challenge. It has a game ID of 1191. That means that at least 1,190 games have come before it. Many have been lost to the game graveyard. But many others are still hanging around the games room, just hoping for a chance to be noticed and enjoyed. In this article, I want to address just two of these games.

I mentioned Game IDs earlier. Where did I get that from? Let's look at the URL for Jumpin' Gem Heist:

http://www.neopets.com/games/play.phtml?game_id=1191

See the game ID at the end? Now, I wondered what would happen if I replaced it with a “1”. Guess what happened? Actually... not much. No “Game 1” exists. Presumably it is one that has long since been deleted or moved to the Game Graveyard. I kept going, though, hoping to find an old relic that is still playable. And I did, with game ID 5—JubJub Blackjack!

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I'm sure you've all heard of JubJub Blackjack. It is, after all, the oldest NP-earning game on the site. Yet, I couldn't even find a mention of it in the Neopian Times! I eventually had to venture deep into the Archives to find one paragraph of one article that dealt with this game. What kind of a sad life is that for such a long-standing Neopets tradition like JubJub Blackjack? Let's remedy this situation right now with a quick overview of the game.

JubJub Blackjack is just like regular Blackjack, but the deck of cards features fun Neopets images! Start off by placing your bet (you can bet between 1 and 400 NP). Then, you and your pet each get two cards. The goal is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. Numbered cards are worth what they show, face cards are worth ten, and aces are worth either 1 or 11 (whichever you choose). If you get closer to 21 than your pet does, you win! But if you go over, you automatically lose, so be careful!

How do you get to 21 if you only have two cards, you ask? Good question! You're a smart crowd. When you start the game, you have three options.

Hit: Hit means that you get a new card and its total is added to what you already have.

Stick: Stick means you are happy with the cards you have and you want to end your turn. Once you pick stick (hey! I'm a poet!), your pet will try to beat your score.

Double: Double is very interesting. It means that you will only get one more card and then your turn is over. It also doubles your bet, so if you think that you have a good chance of winning with only one more card, go for it! You can only double on your first turn. If you've already hit, this option will disappear.

This game is mostly luck, but you also have to know when to hit and when to stick. A good rule of thumb is to hit if you have less than 17 and stick if you have more. I usually double if I have a ten, because there's no way to bust and there's a pretty good chance of getting another face card, which will give you 20 and an excellent chance of winning.

What else can I say about this game? JubJub Blackjack is quite simple to learn, tough to master, but very entertaining to play! The neopoint rewards aren't as great as some of the newer flash games, but that doesn't mean it's not worth trying. After all, games are supposed to be fun, right? And in this respect, JubJub Blackjack definitely measures up!

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Next, let's take a look at Game 5, which happens to be Gormball!

This game might not be so neglected as JubJub Blackjack; as recently as week 386, the Neopian Times had an article all about Gormball. But when was the last time you played it? For only 20 NP, you can play the role of one of the greatest Gormball players in Neopia!

Gormball is like the game “Hot Potato”. You don't want to get stuck with the ball when time's up, unless you happen to like being laughed at and drenched in water. Each player holds onto the ball for a few seconds (from 2-5 seconds each turn), then passes it on. When your turn comes around, you'll get points for each second you hold onto it, because the longer you have it, the more chance you have that the Gormball will explode on you! During the game, you can also get bonuses that will either add to or take away from your score.

The really cool thing about this game is, even if you lose and get all soaking wet, you still earn neopoints! However many points you have when the game ends is how many NP you will earn.

Just like with JubJub Blackjack, you aren't going to become the most rich and powerful Neopian by playing Gormball and only Gormball. But it can be a nice break from restocking or playing other games. Why not give it a try?

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Well now, wasn't that fun to “rediscover” these two old classics? You know, there are lots more games out there that you probably haven't played in a while. I know all the new games coming out are awesome, but that doesn't mean that you have to forget the old ones. How does that saying go? Make new games, but keep the old; one is silver, the other gold? Well, it's something like that, anyway.

That's all from me for this week! I think I'll head over to the Space Station and play a little Gormball! If you liked this article, would like to see more, or have suggestions for other games I should write about, please drop me a neomail!

 
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