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Games to Challenge Neopia’s Wordsmiths


by privateuniverse

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Do you fancy yourself a wordsmith? Do anagrams make you as jolly as a JubJub? Do you yearn to improve your vocabulary (or simply to show off your spelling skills)? If your answer to each of these was an enthusiastic “yes!” then I am happy to report that Neopets has a library of word games that can possibly match your library of books!

     If word scrambles are up your alley, then perhaps you fancy a game of Word Poker. Spell out as many 3- to 8-letter words as you can before the timer runs out—that’s the “word” in Word Poker. Being a nimble typist is beneficial here, as you should be able to type as quickly as your brain can identify new word combinations in the jumble of letters! Word Poker is played in six rounds—at the end of each round, you pick a score in one of six categories. This is where “poker” comes into play. Each category (3 letters, 4 letters, 5 letters, full house, flush, and wild) has a different scoring method, so it’s important to be strategic in which score you choose so that you can maximize your final score!

     Maybe you’re not the quickest typist but you’ve got an eye for subtly misspelt words—then Imperial Exam could be the game for you! The rules are simple, even if the game itself can seem like a challenge. If the presented word is spelt correctly, press the “up” arrow key, and if it’s spelt incorrectly, press the “down” arrow key. It may sound easy, but Imperial Exam is sure to test even the finest spellers—better make sure you know the exceptions to “i before e except after c” (which actually has so many inconsistencies that I’m not sure it’s even considered a rule anymore!). If English isn’t your native tongue, or you’re learning a second (or third or fourth) language and want more practice, Imperial Exam is available in 11 languages and three difficulties. It will keep you busy for days!

     But perhaps your love of words isn’t limited to those you’ll find in Webster’s Dictionary. In that case, you might find yourself hooked on Typing Terror. Type the words seen on the clockwork Grundos as quickly as you can, and make sure you’ve got that QWERTY keyboard memorized with your fingers on the home row, as inaccurate keystrokes will cost you points. Words like “dye” or “vows” should seem familiar enough, and maybe you recognize “Ryshiki” or “Kyruggi” from around Neopia, but seeing an upside-down “szilard” headed right for you may be bizarre enough to throw off your speed or accuracy. Each round will give you longer words to type out and one can easily become panicked trying to type out weird words as the Grundos just keep coming. If you can manage to score 3600+ points, you’ll even get an avatar!

     The keyboard frenzy required by Typing Terror can be a bit, well, terrorizing. Fortunately, there are several click-to-spell games that will still test your knowledge without being quite so intimidating and fast-paced. Spellseeker, Spell-or-Starve, and Word Pyramid are all variations of a similar concept: on a screen full to the brim with tiles, select adjacent letters to spell words. Longer words will net you more points, so look for opportunities to elongate base words with easy prefixes (re-, de-, un-, etc) and suffixes (-s, -er, -ed, -ing, etc).

     Spellseeker offers three game modes: symbols, numbers and words. Since this article is strictly focused on word games, I recommend sticking with the theme and playing that mode. The letters in Spellseeker have differing point values depending on how difficult it is to use each letter in your words, and you can use the occasional gold tile for even more points (hint: strategically use the gold tiles in your longer and higher-point words). Watch out for oozing tiles—you’ll need to clear those as quickly as possible because if they reach the bottom, you’ve lost.

     Spell-or-Starve doesn’t give higher points for rarer letters, therefore you should keep your focus on creating long words. You’ll find several tricky tiles in this game. Some are helpful, like those that give you extra points or serve as fill-in-the-blank letters. You’ll also encounter tiles that change letters and tiles that have no letters at all—they just block your board.

     Unlike Spellseeker and Spell-or-Starve, Word Pyramid doesn’t advance through different levels. You play the same board—er, triangle—until the timer runs out! If you’re having a hard time finding words, you can buy vowels, or use blank tiles as vowels. Letters don’t have varying point values, but Neopian words do score higher!

     You’ll notice that Spell-or-Starve and Word Pyramid are both timed games while Spellseeker is not, and there is another notable variation: to submit a word on Spellseeker, double-click the last letter of your word. To submit on Spell-or-Starve and Word Pyramid, you can click “submit” or “go” respectively, but I’ve found that it’s much easier to hit the spacebar on your keyboard instead—that way you don’t have to navigate your mouse away from what’s important: the board!

     There is one final noteworthy word game—and like Typing Terror, this one is also an avatar opportunity (it’ll take 1200+ points this time). The Castle of Eliv Thade is a tricky combination of puzzle and scramble. You must navigate your way through the castle by unscrambling anagrams—these will be 4- to 6-letters long if you’re playing on Scaredy Cat (easy) and 5- to 7-letters long if you’re playing on Super Brave (hard). This one is sure to test your word worthiness because as if solving regular word jumbles wasn’t complicated enough, Neopian words will appear here as well. Collect items as you go to help Gilly escape the Castle of Eliv Thade. Eliv Thade, hmm… it appears the titular antagonist may be an anagram himself.

     To wrap this writing up, my fellow word slingers, there is a multitude of games available to assess and/or enlarge your vocabulary while also earning those ever-important Neopoints, which you’ll probably spend at the Magical Bookshop so that your Neopets can be as smart as you!

 
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