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We rate this game medium.
NP Ratio: 2.22
2560 pts :: 1000 NP
Dictionaries, thinking caps and sphinx at the ready. Now you can play a relaxing word game in the Lost Desert. It was discovered by a Scorchio named Amarna, who found these tiles making a pyramid on the eastern wall of a tomb. As sand was piling up, he started to make words out of these strange tiles. When he did, they disappeared! He managed to make a small hole in the wall to climb through and escape. That's according to the legend, anyway. They also made a game out of it. Neat.
Controls & Instructions
You start with a pyramid of tiles which you must make words out of using your mouse to make them disappear. But, more tiles fall down from the top. So you'd better be quick to make big words, otherwise you'll never get out.
Tips & Strategies
This game needs a little explaining, as it's not just your usual word game:
You are allowed to only use letters which are next to another, already selected letter. In the example above, I can click on any one of those letters inside the red lines. The yellow 'I' outside the red lines are not allowed to be selected. The game will warn you when you can't use a letter, and quickly highlights which letters can be used.
The time remaining is a simple sliding block that, when it retracts all the way to the left, means it's game over. The time is paused when the new tiles fall after you have made a word. That said, you can make a word from the bottom of the pyramid (Which I suggest you do) and still have it take the same time as it would if you did it at the top. You can regain time if you make long (4+ letters) words. You can gain some time by doing three letter words, but that is quickly taken up by finding a start of another word! The longer the word, the bigger the boost of time you get.
The second frame simply shows you what order your tiles are selected in. It does get confusing when you dot your selected tiles all over the place. Make sure you look at this and make sure your word has the letters in the right order before submitting it.
The third and final frame is useful. As you can see, it contains the five vowels in the English language. Each vowel costs 10 points each. The price will be deducted from your total points, so it means less Neopoints for you at the end. Use this feature wisely. If you have the letters 'H' and 'T', it's not worth buying the 'A' to make HAT. However, if you have the letters 'H', 'T', 'S', 'T', 'A', 'N' and 'D' then buy the 'A' to make HATSTAND as it gets maximum points, and overall gets you points to cover the cost of the 'A' and more. Just remember to click the vowel where you want it to appear! Otherwise, you could get HTSTANDA, which won't get you any points, and you would have lost 10 points in the process. :(
Blank tiles also use this third frame. There is one to the left of the red line. If you select one of these tiles, you can get a free vowel! Remember to choose wisely, as once you have chosen it, you can't change it. Bummer, eh?
Finally, some tips...
Before you begin, think up some words that don't use vowels. Unfortunately, these are usually three letter words, like SKY, TRY etc. There are sites, however, that list words with no vowel in them. Try searching for them. The longest word without a vowel is RHYTHMS, but it is highly unlikely you will find that. The reason is so that you can save all your vowels for 8 letter words, like HATSTAND. So, obviously, try to avoid words like QUEUING.
Try to make words with 5 or more letters at the start. Getting a regular flow of 5 letter words at the start of the game keeps topping up your time bar and lets you continue play. Get 4 letter words sparingly and 3 or 2 letter words only when you are running out of time.
Don't go too fast! Yes, you read right. If you go too fast, you will end up depleting the pyramid and waste time waiting for it to build up again. The best thing to do is to wait about 5 seconds after you did your last word before starting the next (Only if your timer is full). Doing this continually tops up your time to full so you're pretty much getting points for free. :) Plus, it's giving time for more tiles to fall.
There are 3 "sacred" letters which you should aim to keep for as long as possible. These letters are 'L', 'Y' and 'S'. With these letters, you can make plurals or adjectives. for example, you could change SLIPPER into SLIPPERY or SLIPPERS. for an example of the 'L', you can change NICE into NICELY. 3 other letters to keep safe would be 'I', 'N' and 'G', for the suffix to many words like DOING or MAKING.
Some letters are the complete opposite. These letters include 'J', 'V', 'Q', 'X' and 'Z'. They are horrid. Get rid of them as soon as possible! These letters have very few words that are accepted by Neopets in their dictionary. Plus usually there isn't a U around for the 'Q' to go with, which can cost over time.
Neat huh? Made THEDAILYNEOPETS in it. Well, not really. You can only have up to 8 letter words. So don't try and waste time making this, as you'll only get THEDAILY, I'm afraid. : (
ConclusionYou can only really get a decent amount of Neopoints by having prior knowledge of words that are in the Neopets dictionary. You will also need a lot of time to get the maximum 1000NP from the game. So, only play it on the lazy Sunday afternoons. It's good fun though. Use it as a warm up to your homework, or another similar writing excersize.
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