It makes me incredibly happy to see all of the buzz surrounding Neopets online over the last few days. I suppose many people were surprised that Neopets was at San Diego Comic-Con. I saw so many people talk about wanting to purchase the codes that Neopets was giving out for their exclusive avatar. Not only this but the announcement that Neopets is releasing a mobile game towards the end of the year is getting a lot of people in my circles rather excited. It’s nice seeing people excited and I love seeing people talk about things they are nostalgic for.
I have been a Neopets fan for a long time and sadly merchandise is rather hard to come by in Australia. I randomly stumbled upon the Neopets board game (plus some extra goodies) sealed online for a price that I couldn’t refuse. I just needed to get someone to play it with me. I enlisted my great friend Katelyn to play with me.
We were initially shocked that there was so much to set up. The game consists of mini games that players of Neopets will be familiar with. These are the Tombola, Poogle Races, Wheel of Fortune, Buried Treasure, Grundo Snow Throw, Fruit Machine and Ultimate Bullseye. They are obviously simplified versions but are still really fun.
- Tombola – Roll dice and receive the NP shown.
- Poogle Races – Choose a Poogle to race on the track board. Each Poogle has a corresponding die to move the Poogle. First one to the end wins a set amount.
- Wheel of Fortune – Spin the wheel and win what it lands on.
- Buried Treasure – There is a box containing cardboard pieces where you bull one out and win the corresponding amount.
- Grundo Snow Throw – You place the Grundo cutouts at one end of the cardboard arena and you set your snowball down the other end. Then you flick the snowball and hopefully hit one. Collect your winnings if you do.
- Fruit Machine – Shuffle the Fruit Machine card deck and draw three cards. Collect your winnings that correspond to the cards.
- Ultimate Bullseye – This one is a bit of a struggle. There’s a large target that you place in the bottom of the board game box. There’s a catapult that once constructed allows you to place a little arrow on which you then flick to the target and whatever you land on is what you win. No matter how hard we tried we couldn’t get the arrow to stay on the catapult and on the one or two times that we did we couldn’t get it to flick. So we had to improvise.
You are free to move around the board as you please. You can move forward or backwards as long as it isn’t both in the same turn. Your goal is to earn 5000 Neopoints before your opponent which I found to be quite an adequate length. The game didn’t drag on for too long. There are stars that you land on that reward you with a Random Event card. These are permanent cards that provide you with bonuses such as the ability to spin the Wheel of Fortune twice if you’re unhappy with your first spin. There’s also negative permanent cards that impact you in ways such as reducing each dice roll by one.
There are other cards that you can use against your opponent. You can block them making certain moves or playing certain games. This is handy when they’ve used one of their own cards to play something special. You can also use cards to play the mini-games along side your opponents which is always a good idea as that’s where most of your NeoPoints come from.
That’s more or less every aspect on the Neopets board game. I found it fun enough at face value. Most of the novelty came from playing the mini game versions of games that I had interacted with on the Neopets website. It’s always interesting to see something you like represented in a different format. In saying that, I feel that people who have never played Neopets will not get as much out of the game. Even for me I think this board game is one that I will play once or twice and then never again unless I want to show it to someone. It’s cute and fun but there’s not enough substance to keep you coming back and playing it again and again.