A Yurble stole my cinnamon roll! Circulation: 126,483,444 Issue: 255 | 1st day of Gathering, Y8
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series

Brain Busters

by sillyliss


Also by tenthz

Summer is winding down, and soon it will be time to head off to neoschool. If you spent your summer letting your brain rot while you were playing games that had you chasing multi-colored neggs and watching your tail grow, it might be time to start putting your brain to use again. Don't get us wrong, chasing multi-colored neggs around is good, clean fun, but you might agree that it doesn't exactly make you think. Or maybe you've been following a game guide to play Dice Escape or Neoquest II all summer. This takes time, but involves minimal effort.

Maybe it's time you take the road less traveled. You can play games that will give you some shiny Neopoints while you're getting smarter. No kidding! You'll ace your geometry test, get into law school, and impress your friends with your game-playing prowess* (*results not guaranteed). As for games around Neopia that make you think, there sure are lots to choose from. Your intelligence will be going up, up, up, and all the while you will be earning a hefty sack of Neopoints, which you will inevitably stow away in your National Neopian Bank account and definitely NOT spend every last Neopoint on that tempting Lever of Doom *the avatar will be ours* ... No, of course not!

While you're mulling over the gobs of Neopoints you are sure to earn by using your brain, you will want to know a little more about those games that will make you think: the "Brain Busters."

Potato Counter

Before you say, "Hey! Isn't Potato Counter in the Luck/Chance Category?" think about what you have to do to win. Count. Now, maybe counting isn't difficult for some people, but after a long summer away from school, you might want to make this your first stop. Tip: Try counting in groups of 2 - or with more practice, in groups of 5. It will save you precious seconds and thereby improve your winnings. Once you've mastered Potato Counter, perhaps you ought to give Extreme Potato Counter a whirl!

Time Tunnel

A secret pattern is hidden from view and you need to work out exactly what it is. By using deductive reasoning, you can figure out if you have guessed the right color and the right placement of each stone. Luck plays a part, too, in winning the game early, but this game can always be won within the maximum number of moves if you use logic. As with all flash games, you can earn up to 3000 np each day by playing Time Tunnel. Tip: Start by placing one color of stone, for instance red, in all four slots. Then you will know if that color exists in the secret pattern or not. Once you have worked out what colors appear in the secret pattern, it is easier to figure out the correct placement of the stones. Also, be very careful as the board spins; it can get quite confusing! Just remember that on each of the past turns, the stone closest to the center was the first stone you put in.

Word Poker

This game is not about logic. If you are good at playing games that involve anagrams, you will be good at Word Poker. An anagram is the result of rearranging the letters of a word or phrase to produce other words, using all the original letters exactly once. In Word Poker, you can only use each letter once, but you don't have to use all the letters. You may want to try starting with small words and working up to larger words. If you strategize well and find lots of anagrams, you can earn up to 3000 np each day by playing 3 times. Tip: It's often a good idea to save the "Wild" and "3 letter word" categories until the end and or use them for bad rounds. Also, if you pick the lucky category in a particular round, once per game, you will receive bonus points! Castle of Eliv Thade is also a good game to play if you like to bust your brain with anagrams.


This game is based on a tried-and-true classic game that involves using deductive reasoning. The basic idea is to find the "bad" neggs without actually clicking on them. It's easier than it sounds. If a square has nothing in it, then there are no bombs touching it. If the square has a number in it, then the number is the same as the number of bombs touching the square. It might sound complicated, but try your hand at it and you'll be amazed at how quickly you end up reaching the daily limit of 3,000 np. Tip: Playing on the "hard" level might sound more challenging, but really is not much harder than the easier two settings - and there is more of a chance of finding special neggs that will earn you even more points - maybe even giving you enough points to win a trophy!

Cell Block

Planning ahead is the key to this game where five in a row is all it takes to advance to the next level. It's a simple concept: get five of your game pieces in a straight line (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) before your opponent does and you win. As you proceed to higher levels, your opponents become smarter. Especially Master Vex. Woo, he can be tough to beat. You'll have to really use your noggin to beat him. You can earn up to 2500 np every day by playing Cell Block. Tip: Whenever your opponent gets three of his pieces in a row, make sure you block one of the ends or it'll be game over! Also, on the higher levels, use the rocks to your advantage; some of your opponents don't understand the way the boulders work.

Faerie Bubbles

If you've played Faerie Bubbles, you might be wondering why it is in this article - after all, it's just about shooting bubbles, not too much thinking behind that. WRONG! If you are going to get any good at playing Faerie Bubbles, then you have to think ahead and that, friends, is more difficult than you think. The different kinds of bubbles will create different effects. You don't want to connect 4 earth bubbles if you are almost finished with the round! Instead, you might think about getting some fire bubbles to burn up the earth bubbles. Or you might want to carefully plan where you want to shoot that nova bubble when it appears. If you get a rainbow bubble, you better not shoot it at a dark bubble, or you might have to rethink your entire theory! Tip: Think ahead. You don't know what your next bubble is going to be, so plan for the worst. And remember, the fewer bubbles you shoot during the round, the more bonus points you will get in the end.


This game is definitely a complicated one, but if you are good at thinking spatially, then this is the brain buster for you. To win a game of Shapeshifter, you need to place each shape given to you into the puzzle one at a time so that in the end it looks like the puzzle you've been given. The games get tougher as you go, with more and more pieces to fit perfectly in place, and you, consequently, will be getting smarter and smarter as you progress through the levels. Tip: You might try recreating the puzzle and the pieces on a piece of paper, then draw a chart of what each move will do to the puzzle to see if you win before actually entering in your guesses. In this method, it helps when drawing out your puzzle to place the biggest pieces first, because often they can only fit into the puzzle two ways.

Typing Terror

If you've spent your summer typing in chat-speak, you will definitely want to head over to Typing Terror to retrain your fingers to type regular words. This game is easy to learn and offers quite a few Neopoints for fast, accurate typists. And, hey, it will come in handy when you have to write essays this neoschool year - your quick typing skills will have your paper typed up in a jiffy, leaving more time for earning Neopoints. Tip: If you think you're near the end of the round, try to wait around for the electrified-looking Grundos - they are worth a lot of points!


If you are playing Neopets on a laptop, this game might be a bit more difficult for you. This game relies on the number pad on the right side of the keyboard. Many people don't pay much attention to the number pad unless they are playing games, but it is a valuable skill to be able to type numbers fast on the number pad (you'll use it a lot when you become an accountant or a high-powered fiscal analyst). Whack-A-Ghost will help you get better at quickly and accurately typing on the number pad. Tip: When you get to the higher levels where the numbers that correspond to the graves rotate, try physically rotating your keyboard. That way your fingers are still doing the same motions. Of course, this skill probably won't help you in the real world. Unless you have a very peculiar job.

Neopian Adventure Generator

This game is a great way to hone both your logic and creative writing skills. First, you will need to think of an idea for a story. Then come up with different scenarios for your story. Follow the directions at the Neopian Adventure Generator and PRESTO - you have just written your own neoadventure! Tip: Map out the idea for your adventure like a flow chart. This will help you keep track of the different directions the story will take and where you want the endings to go. After you've finished writing your adventure, why not have a few friends test it out, and then enter it into the spotlight contest?

Word Pyramid

If you know the word of Neopia like the back of your hand, you might want to try out Word Pyramid. In this game, you have to pick out the words that you can find that are hidden in the pyramid. You get bonus points for finding Neopian themed words like "nova" and "Lenny." This game will keep your spelling skills honed and you will be racking up the Neopoints! If you prefer the Virtupets Station to the Lost Desert, you might want to try out Spell-or-Starve, which is a similar game. Tip: Save your vowels! Avoid spelling words with double vowels like "feet," because once you use a vowel it's GONE and it is hard to form words with no vowels. If you do run out of vowels, look around for a Y because you can form words like "cry" and "shy" that way.

Now that your brain is ready to go back to neoschool, what about the rest of you? You'll need a few new outfits, some new neoschool supplies, and some yummy brain food. No, not squishy brain wraps, but something like a Turkey Packed Lunch or a Cheese Ghostkersandwich to keep you going all day long. Remember, when it comes to your brain, it's Use It or Lose It!

Search the Neopian Times

Great stories!


When Plushies ATTACK!!
*poke poke*

by meridell_magic


Today's Forecast...
It figures.

by zucchini55


The Heat
...just a dash of heatstroke...

by unirret


Encountering Resistance: Part Eight
"Volcanic Rocks," she said, shaking her head. "A lot of good those will do us now. Too bad no one figured out what they were for until it was too late..."

by moosuem

Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.