Top 10 Non-Flash Games To Rediscover This Winter
With the introduction of the faster, brighter and more animated flash and Keyquest games, it must be said that Neopia's non-flash games are often forgotten.
That does not mean, however, that these games are uninteresting or without a challenge. Indeed, one of my first memories on Neopets was playing these games – whether they be puzzle, luck or strategy based – as a youngster for hours on end. Even now, I think that there is nothing more relaxing than sitting down on a cold winter's day with a cup of hot borovan and enjoying one of these games. So slow down, settle in with a hot cup of chocolate, and get ready to earn some neopoints, avatars and trophies along the way, with my guide on the top 10 non-flash games to rediscover this winter.
#10: Sakhmet Solitare & Pyramids
Let's start with these absolute classic card games. Sakhmet Solitare is the Neopian version of the classic solitare game. The aim of this game is to arrange all of the cards in each suit in order from ace, two, three through to jack, queen and king. It may sound simple, however the cards are randomised and available to you only through the top cards of the stacks on the game board and through the draw pile. While this game is mostly a game of luck (i.e. how the cards are stacked on the board and in the draw pile), there are moments of strategy involved, and it is actually very challenging to finish a game completely. That said, even if you do not finish the game, you will get neopoints for each card that you place in the ace piles. What's more, you will earn a shiny bronze Sakhmet Solitare trophy for your userlookup if you finish 2 games (i.e. with all ace piles completed), a silver trophy for finishing 5 games, and a gold trophy for finishing 2 games in row!
The game of Pyramids is another classic card game. For this game, the cards are stacked in a pyramid and your aim is to "clear" the pyramid by placing all the cards into the game pile. Once again, the game is deceptively more difficult than it sounds, as you are only allowed to play cards that are face up and one number away from the card currently on the game pile. So, for example, if the card on the game pile is a 9, you will only be able to play any face-up 8 or 10 cards. Placement of the cards in the pyramid is pure luck, however there are moments of strategy, for example as you try to decide whether to play the 8 or 10, both of which are available to you. Like Sakhmet Solitare, you earn neopoints for every card that you place into the game pile, even if you do not clear the pyramid in the end. A bronze pyramid bonus trophy is awarded for clearing the pyramid twice, a silver trophy for clearing the pyramid five times, and the gold trophy for clearing the pyramid two times in a row.
These two games are just perfect for calming your mind down and de-stressing after a stressful day. Just don't let your hot chocolate get too cold while you're trying to get those trophies!
This game is one of my favourites – it's the much-loved classic card game of Cheat! The goal of this game is to get rid of all the thirteen cards in your hand before your three competitors in each level, but the trick is that no one knows what cards others have. So, for example, you may put down 2 queens and claim they are 2 threes. If no one calls cheat on you, the cards are put into the pile; but if someone calls cheat on you and you were cheating, then you have to pick up the entire pile! Similarly, if you call cheat on another competitor and they were not cheating, then you will have to pick up the entire pile! It's a masterful game of deception, and there are neopoints awarded for each cheater catch and each level win. Furthermore, there is a bronze trophy awarded for beating all competitors in level 3, a silver trophy awarded for beating level 5, and an eye-catching gold trophy and the title of Cheat! Champion is awarded for beating level 7. Finally, if you're lucky, there is the chance to get the Capara avatar from this game!
Cellblock is a puzzle and strategy game based off the traditional "connect-five" game, where you and your challenger attempt to be the first to connect five of your own blocks in a row – horizontally, vertically, or diagonally – while simultaneously trying to prevent the other competitor from reaching the same goal. The game is divided into tournaments, with each tournament containing 8 challengers, each one of increasing difficulty. There is much fun to be had in trying to set up your own blocks, analysing your opponent's moves, and the sense of triumph when one of your moves slips past your opponent and you win!
In terms of prizes, there are neopoints of increasing amounts awarded for beating each opponent in each tournament, and as you progress, a cellblock medal is awarded after tournament 1, level 4; a bronze trophy is awarded after tournament 1, level 8; a silver trophy is awarded after tournament 11, level 4; and finally, the gold trophy is awarded after tournament 11, level 8. There is also the "Vexed" avatar that is awarded in the later tournaments of the game.
#7: Go! Go! Go!
This game has always been one of my favourites, and I play it even to this day for fun and to relax after a long day. The rules are simple – to get rid of all your cards before your 3 opponents in each level. You must play the cards in your hand first, and then your face up cards, and then your face down cards. Only a card of a higher value may be placed on top of the one currently in the pile, with 2 being the lowest value, and ace being the highest value. There are also some "wildcards" – a 2 may be placed on top of any card except 3, only odd cards may be placed on a 3, only even cards may be placed on a 4, and the 10 card clears the stack. If you find that you cannot play a card when your turn comes, then it's your bad luck and you have to pick up the entire pile! While there is strategy in playing the cards in your hand and your face up pile, there is a dash of pure luck when you start playing from your face down pile, as no one (not even you!) will know what card you have played until it is on the pile; and if the card is not higher than the card on the stack, then you will have to pick up the entire pile!
In my opinion this is one of the most enjoyable card games on Neopets, and trophies are awarded after level 2, 5 and 8 (bronze, silver and gold respectively). Its combination of strategy, luck and those occasional "all-in" moves are guaranteed to keep you smiling even on a cold winter's day.
In the 2D maze game Fetch!, you play a mutant blumaroo who is sent into a dark maze (with no map!) to fetch the item that his master wants. The goal of the game is to get the item and exit from the maze within the number of steps permitted, and while this may sound simple, you can only see a portion of the maze at a time. Luckily, there is a trick to this game – the item is always located around the centre of the maze, and the exit is always on the opposite side of the maze from where you start. Even armed with this knowledge, it can be a daunting decision when you are standing at a crossroads to choose a road and follow it without knowing where it leads to, and with only a limited number of steps to use!
Fetch is fun game of strategy and luck (but mainly luck) and comes in three initial difficulties: easy (10x10 maze), medium (15x15 maze), and hard (20x20 maze). Once you have mastered these levels, fiendish (25x25 maze) and insane (30x30 maze) can be unlocked. The score for this game is cumulative, with the higher difficulties rewarding more points for completion of each maze. Your score will however be reset if you fail a maze. That said, with a bit of practise it is possible to get the gnarled pointing finger of your master that is the trophy for this game. Fetch! is the perfect game for reliving Halloween in winter.
#5: Snow Wars
Coming in at number five, Snow Wars is based off the classic game of battleships! In the Neopian Snow Wars, you and your opponent take turns firing snowballs at each other's maps in the hopes of hitting their major landmarks – a 2x2 snow castle, a 2x2 snowman, a 3x1 catapult, a 2x1 cannon, and four 1x1 objects: 2 snowmen and 2 piles of snowballs. The first player to hit all of their opponent's objects wins!
The game gets progressively more difficult as you advance towards the more difficult challengers, and it is great fun trying to devise the perfect strategy that will defeat these tricky snow-creatures! Snowballs (battledome equipment) are awarded after each win, with a Snow Wards medal awarded at level 2 (defeating the Snowman), a bronze trophy awarded at level 5 (defeating the Happy Monkey), a silver trophy awarded at level 7 (defeating the Roboball) and the gold Snow Wars trophy being awarded at the final level – level 10 – for defeating the Tentar!
This game is absolutely perfect for a lazy winter's day when you want to avoid the wet and cold of real snowball fights but still crave the excitement! And with challengers like Santa and the Evil Elf, there has never been a better time to get into indoor Snow Wars.
#4: Round Table Poker
Round Table Poker is, as its name suggests, based on the game Poker – the Five Card Draw variation, to be exact. The rules are very similar to the actual game of poker. There are four opponents in each round, and everyone begins with 5 cards, and can choose to bet or hold. After the first betting round there is the chance for you to discard any amount of cards (0 all the way up to 5) and you will be given new cards for the ones that you have discarded. There is another round of betting before everyone shows their cards. The aim of the game is to have the highest hand after the second round of betting. The most valuable hands of cards are (by descending order) – royal flush (10 through ace), straight flush (five cards of the same suit in consecutive numerical order), four of a kind (all four cards of a single value), full house (three of a single value and a pair of another single value e.g. 3 jacks and 2 sevens), flush (five non-consecutive cards of a single suit), straight (five consecutive cards of different suits), three of a kind, two pairs, one pair and the single high card.
The strategy in this game lies in which cards to discard in order to achieve the highest hand possible from the hand that you have been dealt. Just like poker, this game is very challenging and is mostly luck. You will have to have the largest number of neopoints at the end of each level in order to progress onto the next level, and with several rounds of poker in each level, this is not an easy feat.
As the number of neopoints you have in your hand at the end of the level is your reward for completing this difficult game, the game is as challenging as it is rewarding, with the potential for you to win quite a lot (even though the chances of this happening may not be that high). Furthermore, after completing level 5 a runner-up medal in Round Table Poker is awarded for your userlookup, with high score tables unlocked after level 6 and your score being equal to your total winnings at the end of tournament.
So, if you are after a challenge this winter, get your poker face on!
#3: Bilge Dice
Coming in at third place is the pirate themed dice game of Bilge Dice. In this game, your goal is to score highest than your 3 opponents. To do this, you must roll your 6 dice and collect them into your hand. After each roll, you must collect a minimum of 1 dice up to all of the dice if you should wish. You must collect a 1 and a 4 to qualify, and then you must collect the highest numbers possible from your rolls in an attempt at the highest score.
The totals from your non-qualifying dice are then added up and compared to your competitors, and if it is higher than all of them – you win! The maximum score is 24, although sometimes the winning score may be much lower than this.
This game is all about luck – although long time players will say that there is a little bit of strategy mixed in as to when to collect what dice. The neopoints you win are based on the amount that you ante at the beginning of the game, and the more you play the game, the more you are able to ante.
This game also awards two avatars – the Bilge Dice avatar which is randomly awarded when you complete a score of 24, and the much coveted and very rare avatar of Bilge Dice – Lucky Streak! which requires an incredible ten consecutive wins in Bilge Dice – and remember, ties don't count as wins, even though you get your ante back.
If you are feeling lucky from the holiday spirit this winter, then I would suggest that this is the perfect game for you to try out.
#2: Sewage Surfer
Coming at number two is the puzzle game Sewage Surfer. The premise of the game is quite simple – you must complete the necessary piping for each level of the game (each sewer) from the beginning pipe to the end pipe, making sure that there are no gaps and pipes which connect into the open air which would allow the sewage to flow out and flood the system. You will be given specific pieces in a random order, and you have a choice to either use them on the board or discard them. With a limited number of pipes that you discard each level and with limited space on the board, the game can become quite challenging as you progress through the levels.
Although the pieces that you get in each level, and the order that they are available to you, are mainly a matter of luck, the game is mainly a puzzle, with strategic decisions to be made especially in the later levels when there are many ways to successfully complete the board. Don't panic, however, as you can always hit the "Start Level Over" button if you get stuck.
Scoring is based on the number of pieces on the board and the number of times it takes you to complete each level, with points be deducted for each restart of a level. Points awarded are cumulative and go towards the high score table where trophies are awarded. Furthermore, the Sewage Surfer avatar is awarded for beating level 49 of the game and quitting on level 50!
So, if you're in the mood for a creative and fun puzzle, this game may be the perfect one to settle down with next to a cup of hot chocolate.
#1: Neoquest and Neoquest II
Finally, the gold-medal for the top non-flash game to rediscover this winter goes to the much loved Neoquest and Neoquest II adventure games.
These games are fully developed click-based adventures, with you guiding your character (your active neopet in Neoquest, and the 4-character adventure party that you will progressively find in Neoquest II) through many levels of fighting creatures, getting better equipment, communicating with non-playable characters and defeating those nasty boss challengers.
The trophy system for the two games are identical – a bronze trophy is awarded for completing the entire game (either NQ or NQII) on easy, a silver trophy for completing on evil, and the gold trophy for completing the entire game on insane! Neoquest also awards an avatar, and Neoquest awards 3 avatars for completing various achievements in-game.
As described above, Neoquest and Neoquest II are large adventures – indeed, many dedicated and lengthy guides have been written about them. While these games can be finished in one (long!) sitting, I would suggest coming back to them and rediscovering the magic as you progress through the gigantic, lively worlds and interesting, engaging plots and characters. These games are well-thought out and constructed, and is definitely one of the best non-flash games that Neopets offers. So if you feel like going on an adventure from the warmth and comfort of your abode, with all of the excitement and discovery included, then these are definitely two adventures to rediscover this winter.
So there you have it, my top 10 best non-flash games to rediscover this winter. I wish you all a happy holiday season, and hope to that you will find joy from settling down and rediscovering some of these much-loved classics.