Just a few notes first about the way some levels work. First of all, I don't want to gum up the article with a bunch of pictures, so I'm going to explain things in descriptions. The other thing is, things are placed the same but the pets are randomized, so it wouldn't help for me to say "the green Kacheek" when it's a blue Uni in your game. I'll refer to them by their position on the board instead.
I'm also writing this in such a way that you learn why you're doing things the way you are, so that in the higher levels you can figure out your own paths. I'll get you through the first dozen, but then you're on your own.
Oh, one more thing. As of this writing, there seems to be a bug in the game that makes the background blank out after it sits idle for a while. So you may need to restart sometimes when you're, oh, writing an article, and it's good to remember those level codes. You start at zero points when you do that, but you can experiment and then go back through and get points once you know what you're doing.
So, off to the game.
Just hit Go. They're all going forward, so when they hit the wall, they'll turn right and go into McDonald's.
Put an up arrow in front of the pets and they'll all go up into McDonald's when they hit it. Alternatively, you could put a right arrow on the left edge, a down arrow on the top, or a left arrow on the right edge. As long as the arrow points at McDonald's, it's just how long you want them to exercise before they eat.
Okay, everyone is pointing down, so when they get to the bottom, they'll all turn right and follow the wall around clockwise. Because we want to pick up the drink, we turn everyone right when they get there by putting a right arrow on the left wall next to the drink. Then they'll all go over to McDonald's from there.
Actually they tell you what to do in the tutorial message, as far as the Grarrl is concerned. Just put a left arrow in front of him and he'll turn left, hit the wall, turn right and run across the top, then down the right side and around.
This is one of those times when you don't have to trap him, so long as you give him far enough to go that he's busy and the pets don't get involved with him. You could even use the right arrow or the up arrow in the space below him and he'd go running around the outside away from our pets. Just send him on a long walk.
As for the "see if you can figure out" part, it's just like level 2. Put an arrow in the pets' way that points at McDonald's and they'll get there. If you want to use the up arrow like they say, fine. Because they told me to, I used a right arrow left of McDonald's. But I'm obstinate that way. You couldn't use a down arrow above McDonald's though, because then you'd just turn like the Grarrl does.
This one seems complicated, but all you need to do is make everyone go up to through the burger. They'll turn right at the top wall and a cleverly placed arrow will turn them down to McDonald's, after diverting the Grarrl. Notice that you can put an up arrow on the same space as the leftmost pet and it'll turn. It doesn't actually have to move forward before it turns.
I put an up arrow there, down arrow above McDonald's, and a right arrow under the Grarrl. That'll send him all the way around the outside, taking plenty of time for your pets to be safe.
Okay, this one is pretty simple as far as getting the pets where they belong, so let's look at that first. They need to go up and left through the prize, then down to McDonald's. You can turn them up with an arrow on the bottom, or you can wait until they wrap around and clear the little one-square wall. Either way though, you need to then turn them left to get the prize.
Then they'll go up the left corridor and just need a down arrow to get into McDonald's.
Let's look at what will happen to hte grarrl. He could be allowed to hit the wall and go clockwise around the board (he'd get out of the way before the pets arrived) but you can't make him go one way and the pets another on the same square. So, we need to get him headed to the right side of the board. You can put a right arrow on the left inner wall, either right in the corner, up one, or at the top of the wall. As long as you divert him before he gets to the top edge (and don't send him to McDonald's, of course) you're done.
Sometimes, just for grins, I like to cut things close, so I'll give you a placement that just barely times it so the Grarrl doesn't get lunch. Put a left arrow under the horizontal inner wall in the 3rd square from the left. Then put an up arrow under that. Put a down arrow above McDonald's. Put a right arrow one square down and one square left from there. (pointing "over" McDonald's). Now hit Go. Eek!
Obviously you won't normally do that sort of thing, but it's kind of fun once in a while or when you're experimenting.
Well, this is rather fun. You get 5 extra points for each arrow you don't use, so obviously you'd like to use only one. But the path around and down requires a left turn to get to McDonald's, so how can you do it with one arrow?
Well, remember all the rules. A pet (or Grarrl) will turn right *if possible* but left otherwise. So put a down arrow at the top edge, 3rd square from the right. That will make the pets go straight down beside the wall. When they get to the bottom, they'll want to turn right but can't, so they'll turn left. Then they hit the wall and go down to McDonald's. Cool, huh?
Oh, and the Grarrls are just going to play around up there--they have nowhere to go except back and forth.
Okay, someone has an evil streak on the Neopian Maze Team. This one takes everything you fear and makes you confront it. And you get to use everything you've learned so far, too.
Obviously you don't want the Grarrl anywhere near your pets, right? Well, no, not right. You just don't want him to eat them. And if he's following them on exactly the same path but a few squares back, then they're still safe. So here's the plan.
Remember you can put an arrow on the square a pet or Grarrl is on, and it'll turn instantly? Well, let's turn the Grarrl straight down. He'll go down the left edge, hit the wall and not be able to turn right, so he'll turn left and follow the top row of pets. The second row is as fast as they are and one square ahead, so that will work.
The leftmost pet on the first row needs to go get the prize on its way to McDonald's. So let's put the up arrow in front of him. He'll pass by the Grarrl as it goes down and still be okay. The rest of the pets (and the Grarrl, for that matter) will go that way too after they walk all the way around that bottom part of the maze.
You don't have another down arrow to put over McDonald's, so you'll have to use the remaining left arrow instead. Obviously that needs to be over at the right edge, so put it there, in line with McDonald's. Click Go and watch everyone pretend they're not looking over their shoulders at the Grarrl following them.
Let's trap the Grarrl out of the way first. We just need to make him go in circles, so put a down arrow in front of him. He'll just go clockwise in the first two columns for the rest of the time.
The pets will go around to the bottom of the maze, so just put an up arrow on the bottom edge where it'll send them up through that middle slot in the wall. They'll go up to the top and around clockwise to the right. You will have conveniently placed a left arrow on that right edge to send them through the prize and to the cashier.
I hate this level. It makes you think way too much.
Okay, the pets are in the lower half, so you know you'll have to use an up arrow somewhere to get them "upstairs." You could pick anywhere on the top row of the lower section (4th row up from the bottom) because eventually they'll all go along that row. Alternatively, you could put it anywhere on the bottom row left of the pets because they'll all go there too. Though we'll figure that out later, you do now know you only have a down and left arrow remaining to work with.
Putting a down arrow to the left of the prize will force a left turn at the corner into McDOnald's. A left arrow somewhere on that same row will force the pets through the prize to that down arrow.
Can't put it way over at the right edge because we need the Grarrl to wander as long as possible (this one's going to be close). So we need to make the up arrow move the pets to the left arrow at the prize. The only place we can do that and have enough time for the Grarrl not to get to our pets is to put it 4th from the left on the bottom edge.
The pets will turn up, then get caught in the zig-zag and go up. Put the left arrow right there under the little wall (middle square on the 2nd row) and the down arrow on the left wall, same row. Close your eyes and hit Go. Well, don't close your eyes, because you need to see the Go button, but you get my drift.
It's not as close as it seems, but any level that you're only 3 squares from losing is close.
Still making me think, they are.
First thing, let's see what the pets would do if no arrows were involved. The top 3 will all turn right at their little wall, go down to the bottom, circle around clockwise and come out the 2nd row from the bottom going to the right. Remember that for now; we'll come back to it.
Two up arrows will keep the Grarrls at bay. Just put one each on their starting square and they'll just go back and forth forever.
It would seem that we need a right arrow somewhere to get the pets to the right hand side, and an up arrow to be sure they go to the prize before McDonald's. All it would take for most of them would be one in the second column pointing right, but although we figured out what the top 3 pets would do, the bottom one goes backwards. It will go to the corner, forced turn left, go to the top and do 3 more lefts, coming out underneath the Grarrls.
So we have to let them all come up to the same arrow out in the large "room" instead. It's a long walk, but they don't really have anything to do today anyway.
Put the right arrow in the middle row, 3rd square from the left. Then put the remaining up arrow over on that same row between the prize and McDonald's. That'll do it. It's kind of fun to watch that one errant pet go doing everything backwards but still getting there. Reminds me of me.
Well, this is just horrible. I know I said I'd tell you the first 12, but I lied. That's 11 of them, and I'm done. Level 12 gives me a headache and I don't think it's worth it.
Okay, okay. I'll discuss it. Bring sandwiches--this is going to take a while. I'm going to go through it the way I figured it out, including my mistakes. I think you'll see the logical progression you sometimes have to go through.
The best thing to do, honestly, is to lose a few times so you see where the pets will go. If you can trap the Grarrls that's handy because it gives you more time to watch. Meanwhile you can sort of do it in your head, one at a time.
The top Grarrl will dead-end and turn around. Then he'll start a 3-down and 2-right pattern until he gets to the bottom. Then he'll go back the way he came. We don't want him to, so as soon as he gets to the other end, there will be a right arrow waiting for him. That's the yellow center square, bottom row,
If you try that by itself, you'll see that the third pet down ends up getting eaten just before the Grarrl gets trapped. So for that, we need to put a right-arrow to divert it. Put that in the 2nd column of the middle row and he won't be able to keep going down to become lunch. Now try that.
Nope, not good enough. For one thing, some pets get stuck in the lower left corner, even though they do seem to all miss the second Grarrl (he looks confused). So let's put another arrow down there. Just put it in the second row up underneath that pet.
Well, that was close, but now they're too hungry to figure out where McDonald's is. Perhaps we're being too cautious by trapping that first Grarrl. Let's move his arrow up there just under and to the left of McDonald's and see how it goes.
Well, that's just scary. They actually made it so you didn't need to worry about the Grarrls at all. And one brave pet actually runs over there all by itself and grabs the prize.
I'm on a roll. Let's try 13.
Two arrows? Two? How much do these things cost, anyway?
Okay. First assumption might be that we need a left arrow to get the pets out of the right two rooms, but you'd be wrong. The pets at the top will go to the bottom and counterclockwise once, but then they'll hit a valid wall and turn right. Therefore eventually they'll all circle clockwise in the upper half and exit, stage left.
After that, they'll go all the way to the left, circle around that room counterclockwise and hit the wall. They'll turn right, get the prize, and circle forever. Oops. That can't be right.
So we need to get them out of there. A right arrow under the prize, or a left arrow at the top of that room (first or second square, doesn't matter) will reverse them and bring them out at the bottom of the main room. They'll take a forced left and go to McDonalds. Done. Hah, that was easy.
Grarrls? Oh, them.
Well, let's trap them. After a few mental exercises following them around, it's obvious that none of the rooms will hold them, and we can't let them walk around because it's going to take our pets until half past dinner to get out of the right hand rooms anyway. So the only obvious trap would be a left arrow in the second row (2 squares above McDonald's) that would make them circle around in those six squares.
That means the prize room takes the right arrow, and that must go under the prize itself. Let's try it.
Well, that was pretty cool. I guess one Grarrl ate the other one (you'll see what I mean when you run this level).
How many of these things are there?!
Shriek! One little pet against all those Grarrls? How... unbalanced.
Okay, here's the deal. There are two arrows, so obviously we're supposed to go down and back up (or up and back down) and move around one of the Grarrls. There is a space between (counting down) #2 and #3 and between #8 and #9. Let's try down first and then up.
(several attempts later)
--Side note-- Good Decisions come from Experience, which often comes from Bad Decisions.
Y'know, it just might be that we need to move some Grarrls. We're going to experiment with timing among other things. And since we turn right when we hit the wall, we're going to want to go up and move the Grarrl down. There's already a gap between #2 and #3, so let's make that a really big gap by moving #2 completely out of the way.
Put a down arrow under Grarrl #2. Now let's try to time our pet's turn up with that gap. I tried a few times and ended up with 3 squares to the right of the starting point being perfect. Pet goes up, Grarrl goes down, pet gets a treat and goes to McDonald's for a burger. A good time had by all (hungry Grarrls notwithstanding).
This one looks seriously complicated, but if you just see what the pets will do (loop around the end and head back the way they came, get the prize, go to McDonald's) it's pretty straightforward. Of course, there's just one arrow, which we apparently must use to waylay the Grarrl.
Left to his own devices, the Grarrl would go to the next to last column to the left, turn right and go to McDonald's. Bad idea. So we put an up arrow in front of him so he has to circle around for a while.
It's all in the timing. He has to not get to the bottom before the pets are out of the way, so we want to use the longest possible route. Seems to me that the third square from the left in his row would do it, so let's try that. Oh, yeah, gobs of time.
Sure hope there are only 20 of these.
This is odd. You don't suppose it could be as easy as turning right in the upper left corner and up to get the prize, and ignore the Grarrls?
Right arrow in the 2nd row, left edge. Up arrow left and below the prize. Hit it!
Okay, that was it, but I thought I was going to have cardiac arrest when those three went the wrong way and almost got chomped. Kind of fun though--I think I'll go do that one a few times just to see it.
One arrow again. Solid gold, I tell ya.
A quick glance tells us that the pets are going to go up the right hand side, turn around and come back to the prize. But then they'd get caught in an endless loop, so we must be supposed to turn up there. If we follow the path from there, we find that in spite of what it looks like (a bunch of little lines) it's actually a spiral with McDonald's at the center.
Because we have no other arrows, we have to assume that again the Grarrls aren't really something to worry about. Let's try. Up arrow to the right, next to the prize.
Oooh, so close. You know, I think it's all a matter of timing. We got there just as the Grarrls did. Let's move our up arrow down a few squares to make the pets' path a bit longer. I'm trying 2 squares below where it was.
Am I good or what?
Insanity, it's just insanity. Well, let's take them one at a time.
The four pets will go around the perimeter of the maze until something makes them stop. Okay, file that info. Let's look at the Grarrls.
#1, far left. This one will go right, then down, then right and start going around the perimeter.
#2, top right. Eventually follows the same path, though some 7 squares later.
#3, lower left. Goes to where #4 is standing and turns right, then joins the procession.
#4, lower right. Goes to where #3 is standing, turns right, forced left, and then there were four.
Okay, that gets them going around the perimeter, but where are our pets? Oh yeah, going around the perimeter, at a different speed. Must do something about that.
There's no way to go across the prize in either direction and get to McDonald's. You just end up back going around the perimeter. So the down arrow must be underneath the prize. All we have left is a left arrow, so since we're happily zipping around the perimeter, it must have to be on the right edge pointing in.
Put the down arrow under the prize, the left arrow on the right edge 4th row down, and figure the designer of this level has timing down to much more of a science than we do. Go.
Wow. Just wow. I'm going to play that one a couple more times too.
I suppose this is another timing sort of thing, but I don't know what to expect, really. The pets could, I suppose, go up the third column with Grarrls running back and forth, but I just find it hard to believe.
Ahhh... let's try it. Up arrow 3rd column, bottom edge. Left arrow next to the prize. Click.
I'm sorry, but that was just beautiful. I must admit though, I tried letting them go all the way around first and then left. Pet sandwiches. See above about experience...
From way back on level 7 we remember (we do?) that if you have two U-shaped walls across from each other, the Grarrls will just go back and forth. That's what we have here, though they overlap in a square. What we need to do is figure out where our pets can cross to the center. It's all a matter of timing. We've seen a lot of that lately.
We have a right and an up arrow. The pets are headed straight for the prize, so it sort of looks like we should turn right from the 4th row up and up into McDonalds's. That would be too simple, but lately though very finely timed, things really haven't been that hard. Let's try it.
Right arrow on left edge, 4th from the bottom. Up arrow just below McDonalds. Go.
It just keeps on being close calls, but it's sort of fun.
I was afraid there'd be a 21.
Have to use the down arrow to get from the prize to McDonald's, so we'll start out putting it right underneath.
If we look at where the Grarrls are going, they all end up, sooner or later, goug clockwise around the perimeter, except the upper left one. So let's put an up arrow under him so he'll go that way too.
The other up arrow will take our pets into the maze on the left edge. The maze is sort of like a big dollar sign--the Grarrls will go up and down the middle and the pets will take the wider loops. Only the author of this level knows if it'll work out timing-wise, but at this point we have faith.
So, down arrow under the prize, up arrow under the 2nd Grarrl in the upper left corner. Other up arrow in the yellow square one to the right of the bottom left corner. Push mousie.
Wow that was close on the left side. I did try it with only the top left Grarrl being aimed up and letting the other one run down the middle of the dollar sign, and let's just say it doesn't work.
Hah!!! Game over. There is no 22.
Full score I got (remember points for not using arrows, though I always used them all except on level 7): 610
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