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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 22nd day of Swimming, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 106 > Neopian News Brief

The Neopian News Brief

Hello and welcome to this week's edition of The Neopian News Brief, your all-in-one summary of the latest events happening in the world of Neopia, from the dusty dunes of The Lost Desert to the pastoral plains of Meridell. We've got quite a bit to discuss, so let's get on with it...

Our lead story this week is Friday's release of Chemistry For Beginners, a great new puzzle game that's easy enough during the early levels for first-timers to still come away with a few hundred NPs per try. The premise is pretty simple: each level, you're given a random assortment of atoms. Then, by combinining those atoms with the ones that you're given, you're able to build new molecules, for which you are rewarded points. As the levels go higher, you're given more complex molecules to build, which allows you to rack up more points. However, with each passing level, the number of points that you need to advance also increases, so you have to think carefully before just placing your atoms anywhere.

The first five levels, when you're asked to combine Neopium (green) and Tyrannium (blue) into one and two point combinations, are really easy. So easy, in fact, that C4B gives you the option of jumping right to Level 6. I wouldn't recommend this, though, because you'd be passing up an easy chance to add eighty or ninety points to your score.

An important bit of strategy to keep in mind: always try to collect your molecules so that a.) you fall one point short of having enough points to advance to the next level, and b.) you've set yourself up so that you have that round's most valuable molecule reserved as your final move. Then, play that molecule, and max out your score. Sound kind of confusing? Let me give you an example.

On Level Five, for instance, you need twenty points to advance. The most valuable molecule is made up of five Tyrannium atoms, which is worth four points. While putting together the molecule combinations to reach nineteen points, be sure to set aside two pairs of blue Tyrannium atoms (with a space for that fifth atom between them).

Then, once you've reached nineteen, take the next blue atom that you get, and place it in the middle between those two pairs of Tyrannium atoms. Voila! By saving your most valuable move for last, you've ended that level with twenty-three points, instead of just twenty. Oh sure, it might not sound like much, but after a few rounds, it really starts to add up.

On Level Six, a third atom, Slothite, is added. This is both good news and bad news. The good news is that molecules consisting of two parts Slothite and two parts Neopium are a great way to score points. The bad news is that, when you reach Level Seven, you learn that three Slothite atoms placed next to each other create an unstable molecule, which blows up in your face and ends the game. As the levels progress, new atoms such Faeryllium are added, and the stakes continue to go up. Don't get discouraged, though... after just a couple of tries, I was able to rack up more than five-hundred points and wind up (albeit, momentarily... hehe) on the high scores table. Trust me, if I can do it, you can too... so get mixing!

This past Monday marked the third anniversary since the defeat of Doctor Sloth, which not only saved Neopia from the wrath of the evil mastermind's clutches, but also marked the liberation of the Grundo species from Sloth's control. To celebrate this most joyous of occasions, a fantastic array of goodies were trotted out to start the week. Kicking things off were a quartet of lollypops from the Chocolate Factory, and four excellent new books (including the highly anticipated Grundo Cafe Recipes, in which Gargarox reveals the secrets behind some of his most popular recipes... no kitchen should be without a copy!).

Grundos were also the recipients of two paint brush styles (pink and island), a desktop background, shop blog, and two chat board avatars. To round things out, Grundos were also featured in Monday's Pet Spotlight, Caption, Story Telling, and Poetry Contests. Way to go, Grundos!

After a mention in the Editorial of last week's issue of The Neopian Times, there's been quite a bit of anticipation surrounding NeoSchools, as it seems that they are now on the verge of being launched. As a result, the latest of our unofficial "special" days was celebrated this past Wednesday, as a whole slew of Back to School content was unveiled. Starting us off was a mention of some of the features that would be part of NeoSchools (classes in up to three subjects, after school clubs, and something about "[trying] to be the most popular pet in school").

Then, a quartet of packed lunches were released, along with four Petpet-themed backpacks and ultra-educational books (including a history of The Lost Desert that's supposedly a real page-turner!). That was followed by a Back to School blog and a whole gaggle of school-themed NeoGreetings.

That wasn't all, though... Thursday brought even more B2S news, as eight classes for this upcoming school term were revealed (looks like my pets will be signing up for Art, History, and Phys. Ed... I can't imagine what I'd do if they asked for help with their "Potion Brewing" homework!). Also, a set of Tonu Back to School items were brought out, along with a nasty Random Event involving some surly schoolyard bullies. Bummer...

As the weekend arrived, it seemed like many of the folks that we'd heard from were really excited about the release of Faerie Scorchios at Limited Too. Scheduled for arrival on Saturday the 30th of August, Faerie Scorchios are going to be a very limited release. Therefore, if you're interested in getting ahold of one, it would be wise to call or visit your local LTD2 as soon as possible and see if there are any still left. As with all our other releases, Saturday also marks the debut of the Special Edition Faerie Scorchio shirt from the 99Dogs online store. Like we've mentioned with previous Special Edition shirt offers, 99Dogs only makes these shirts available for around two or three weeks, and after that... *poof* they move on to the next release. So if you've got plans of picking one up, you'd better hop to it!

We've already mentioned the celebration of Grundo Independence Day, but that wasn't the only pet day that was recognised this past week. With Friday rolling around, all of Neopia was making sure to "watch the fur", as those sumptuously styled scamps that we call Kyrii got just about all the attention they could ever want. Leading off the festivities were the usual assortment of Kyrii books, Battledome accessories and tasty treats (in this case, a quartet of delicious ice creams... hey, how do they get the back of the ice cream hair to stay on like that?!?) Next up were a pair of chat avatars, two PB styles (striped and pink), and some new Kyrii shopkeepers to choose from. Kyrii were also featured in the Pet Spotlight and Poetry Contest... fantastic!

It's now time to take a look at the recent financial happenings from the floor of the Neodaq. After last week's twenty-two point decline, the Big Board's first weekly loss in more than two months, many analysts expected that this would be the first of many corrections in the market. However, that doesn't seem to have been the case, as the economy roared right back to post an impressive eighty-one point gain. Coming out of nowhere to lead the way was Breadmaster Bakeries, who shocked everyone with an unexpected thirty-three point vault. Sure, while the company had posted modest gains for three consecutive weeks (of six, seven, and five points), nobody could have expected them to skyrocket all the way up to being third most valuable company in Neopia.

Coming in at #4, one point behind Breadmaster Bakeries, happens to be the week's biggest loser... the once-mighty Fish Pops. It seems as though FISH have yet to recover from that twenty-one point loss two weeks ago, tacking on additional losses of thirty-nine and, now, forty points. Meanwhile, Meri Acres Sausages continues to roll along, holding strong after adding a point to their total and closing out this week at 125 NPs a share. Coming in a distant second is Shoyrux, which bounced back from last week's seventeen-point decline to put up a twenty-two point profit.

This latest resurgence by the Neodaq, combined with the absolute dominance of Meri Acre Sausages has left many to speculate... can one company really carry the economy by itself? Are SSGS going to get some help, or will the Big Board begin faltering as a result? And, if Meri Acre Sausages do get some help, where is it going to be from? Can we really expect a sudden upstart like Breadmaster Bakeries to keep the economy going, or will they simply succumb to the pressures of being on top? We'll just have to wait and see....

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