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You Are What You Eat (Or What You Get Eaten By)


by net_dude

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-BLOCKED - Have you ever thought how great it would be if one day you woke up in Neopia, and found everything to be made completely of jelly?! It would surely be a wonderful, sweet smelling, gently wobbling yummy place…

HAHAHA! Don't be so silly! Adam would sooner see "Asparagus World" than an impractical, fanciful "Jelly World". Thankfully though, in Jelly Blobs of Doom you could almost see yourself surrounded by orange jelly buildings - the game set is all made of jelly, as are you!

I have played Jelly Blobs for a while, and finally achieved my high score in June after weeks of what I can only describe as atrocious, sickening cannibalism of my poor jelly Chomby! Based on those experiences, and after many requests, I bring you this guide to reveal my discoveries, darkest thoughts, and bring some tips for both beginners and advanced players!

Introduction

Obviously, when this game was created, evolution was having a nap, or tormenting baby Kacheeks with, "Which came first, the chicken or the Negg?" because in this game, it's not "survival of the fittest"... it's "survival of the greediest"!

To play the game, you must go to http://www.neopets.com/games/jellyblobs.phtml or just search for 'jelly' in the Search box (it's not yet in the Games Room as the staff are busy. In this game, you begin as a microscopic-sized green Chomby, only capable of fitting similarly microscopic-sized droplets of jelly into your body. You can only ever eat blobs that are smaller than you, and must control this fledgling Chomby using your arrow keys, eating more and more jellies and becoming progressively larger. Obviously, the bigger the jelly, the more points you get!

Unlike some other games, Jelly Blobs of Doom has some differences between when you start and when you are well into the game. At the beginning, scoring is slow, but you are very agile and fast. As the beautiful Chomby blossoms, your eating range of jelly sizes increases, although you aren't as nimble as before, and have to look after a much more cumbersome Chomby, making it particularly difficult to dodge past bigger blobs!

Before you start playing, make sure you are prepared to sit a while - get a comfy chair, make sure you're not hungry, annoyed by an open window etc., because there is no pause button, or any chance of wandering off mid-game! Ready? Off we go!

Basic tips

As you can guessed from how everything in the game seems to shine and wobble, everything is made of jelly. Jelly ground, jelly sky, and jelly rain. Mmm! As everything is so slippery, the Chomby's response to every command you give is magnified. Although acceleration is not particularly fast, slowing down and stopping are much harder than in other games, and must be done by not only stopping moving in the current direction, but also moving in the opposite direction. It's a bit like ice-skating, or sliding around on shop floors... not that I, a mature and sensible Neopian, have ever done so!

Once you get the hang of sliding around amusingly, you need to start thinking about food - "survival of the greediest"! But be careful; if you are too greedy and attempt to eat or stray too close to anything bigger than you, it will envelop you in its gloopy mass quicker than you can say, "Oh my glutinous gracious me!" (Well, much quicker actually, but I want to be poetic).

So steer clear of anything that is larger than you - a good way of ensuring this is to guess the distance from the Chomby's tail to shoulders, and go for jellies smaller than that. Although this rule is less stringent when you are very small and allowed to eat jellies that are almost larger than nose-to-tail length.

If you haven't noticed, the colour of the jellies are determined by their size, i.e. small jellies have a dark purple tint, growing in size through light purple, pinkish-red, red, orange and gold, right up to the largest lemon-yellow blob. This helps you to remember and distinguish between edible and you-are-edible-to jellies! It also helps if you don't hover around the margins of the game area, as larger, very fast moving blobs are liable to come speeding into you at a seconds notice! It's not worth jumping into the corners and edges to catch a few blobs if you then waste all your past x hour's efforts. Although you might get away with it occasionally, it catches up with everyone! If you don't already do so, play in full-screen mode - not only do you get a much better idea of sizes, but you may get the added advantage of the game running a bit slower, which is always a good thing for us slow-witted humans :)

If you have tried all of the above and still are frustrated with your score, remember that you need the patience of a nun - Jelly Blobs of Doom is a game of long endurance, a bit of skill, and a lot of luck! Although it may feel like you are spending hours waiting for that smaller blob, I actually only took around 35 minutes to get a high of 10,468 (though it always feels longer!). Try testing yourself to last increasingly longer periods of time, and don't focus on getting lots of blobs quickly, but living longer. This is not a sprint type of game - it's a marathon!

Advanced tips

Once you're feeling surer, and think you've hit a plateau in your scores, try adding some these into your own strategies:

If you can dodge jellies at an impulse, you can afford to venture closer to the boundaries of the game, but consider the surrounding environment you are heading into - is there a HUGE yellow jelly hurtling towards where you want to go? Think twice!

There might be times, however, when you have no option but to tread around the outside of the screen, for example when the centre is filled with ominous jellies. If you then get in an even stickier situation (no pun intended!) and jellies are fast cornering you, simply run through the edge of the screen, and appear on the opposite side! For example, if you are stuck on the left side of the screen, run to your left out of the screen, and you will reappear on the right side. But before you gleefully hop around Jelly World, you must check that you are not going to run into an emerging or passing jelly on the opposite side.

If you find yourself a shade too big for a gap when you are side-on to the screen (when you can see the Chomby's tail), you may be able to squeeze into gaps by pressing up or down, making the Chomby appear head or tail on, making its area on screen much smaller. It is also possible to move diagonally in this way - hold down up or down and left or right at the same time, and you should be moving in a much more condensed manner! Watch out though, as if you let go of the up or down button for even a fraction of a second, the Chomby will return to its side-on size for that length of time, which is more than enough for it to be pulled into a bigger jelly if there happens to be one lurking nearby.

My Theory of Jelly Opportunity Cost

In economics, "opportunity cost" happens when you give up something in order to get something else. For example, if I had 1,000 NP and decided to spend it on a (very cheap) Negg, the opportunity cost is what I could have gained doing anything else with that same money, such as upgrading my shop, or getting a book for my pet. Clearly, you can't do more than one of those things with the same amount of money. If you are interested (as I'm sure you all secretly are, you closet economists!), a textbook definition of opportunity cost is "cost of our choice in terms of the next best alternative foregone". Hm?

This is relevant in Jelly Blobs of Doom because it is my belief (unproved, unconfirmed, probably untrue) that everyone is allowed to eat a fixed number of jellies, regardless of the size of the blobs. This means you have a choice. You can choose (for example, if it were a limit of 100 blobs) 100 smallish blobs because you have constantly eaten small blobs, or 100 bigger blobs, because you have eaten jellies that are closer to your own size as you have grown. Obviously, if this is true, the player who avoids very large and very small blobs will get a higher score than a player who goes for any blob that passes them by - they could have received more points if they had eaten a different blob that was bigger, instead of settling for a tiny one!

It follows therefore, that you should try and narrow your eating range to something that is smaller, but not too much smaller. Obviously, picking on the odd small blob wouldn't make much difference, but the cumulative effect from all those blobs is pretty noticeable. And besides, you big bully, never pick on something (much) smaller than you!

If you were wondering why on earth I think there are a limited number of jellies available, it is because a short while after you reach the stage where you can eat anything you like, you get eaten by a jelly, even though you are clearly larger than it (in my case, the legs and head were sticking out... very amusing!) - this lead me to presume that there is a limit.

The Granddaddy of Jellies

When you've played the game for long enough and/or have been lucky enough, you might encounter an absolutely humongous brilliant blue hued jelly, taking up much the screen, always at an elegantly slow pace. When I started playing Jelly Blobs of Doom, this blob was like any other, blob-like in shape and movement, and quite plain. However, some time ago, on one of those chance occasions when it reappeared, somebody... or something… wrote a message on the back of the blob, which I thought was along the lines of, "you'll never know what will happen if you don't jump in!" although I couldn't read it properly as it was moving along the screen edge, I was terrified, and a slow reader) Previously, I had just assumed it would eat me, and avoided it like the plague, successfully.

However, when I think about it, it is entirely logical that it is edible. Firstly, it is blue; if we look at the colouring scale of other blobs, purple is small, red medium, and yellow big. Blue places this blob firmly on the "edible even for a Mootix" end of the scale. Secondly, the very interesting message scrawled over is just too fascinating (I'm a sucker for things like this, "Do Not Press This Button" etc.). Could this massive blob actually be edible? If so, the rewards are likely to be huge!

However, I have been told my other game players that the text is actually "You shouldn't enter random text… you never know what will happen", and will appear at your call when you actually type lots of random letters while playing the screen. After testing this out myself, much to my disappointment, my Chomby died… it seems I had just been very imaginative.

However, I will not allow myself to be fooled - I am sure that there are two types of blue blob: edible and non-edible! I also believe that this game, Jelly Blobs of Doom, has travelled to Neopia from a far away land… where everything is made entirely of… no, now I AM being silly!

Well, my knowledge is finite, and so the wisdom giving has come to an end. If you have any comments or would like to donate to a struggling writer etc., feel free to Neomail me.

I wish you the best of luck!

Eva (Net_dude)

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This article is dedicated to my pet, net_fire, and his Noil, Hugh. Many thanks must go to neoboard helpers and fountains of knowledge, quirvy and wbc61. Finally, I must salute the bravery and heart of that courageous green Chomby, a hungry little Neopet stuck in a desolate vicious circle…

 
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