Hello and thank you for joining us as we present this week's edition of The Neopian News Brief, your all-in-one guide to the latest breaking news from the world of Neopia, from the chilling corridors of the Snowager's Cave to that bustling bistro known as Grundo's Cafe. There's been an awful lot happening in Neopia lately, so let's get right to it...
Our lead story this week is the arrival of Turmac Roll, an exciting, fast-paced game that is already proving hugely popular. Here's how it works: you control a tumbling Turmac, who speedily bounds his way through the rolling countryside of Meridell (along the way, you can slow down or speed up your Turmac by pressing the left and right arrow keys, respectively; your Turmac will jump when you press the up arrow). During your Turmac's voyage, he'll encounter a wide variety of Meridellian berries. Some of the berries (such as the snidberry, loveberry, and Chiaberry) carry lesser values (of one, two, and four points, respectively). These berries are good to pick up along the way, because their value will really start to add up. However, be sure that chasing these lesser berries doesn't take you out of position for some of the more valuable ones.
When playing Turmac Roll, the most important strategic point to consider is your level of difficulty. Just like with Meerca Chase, and increase in difficulty also means an increase in point value. The level of difficulty that you choose should be based upon your ability at playing the game, along with what you want to get out of it.
If you're just starting out, and trying to get a hang of how to play, then you should just stick to the Easy Level. Unless your Turmac happens to roll up on a super-rare berry (such as the juicy berry, unguberry, or aquaberry, which are worth a respective fifty, 100, and 200 points each), then you'll probably be able to grind out around 100 to 150 per game.
Once you've mastered the basic controls, it would then behoove you to move on to the Hard Level. Oh sure, by moving on to play at the Hard Level, you'll face an increase in obstacles and more precarious jumps. Here's the thing, though; by switching to Hard, the point value on everything triples. So, even if you're not all that skilled as a player, you can still pile up the points by seizing upon a rare aquaberry or unguberry when it eventually comes up.
Even if your Turmac crashes immediately afterwards, an aquaberry by itself is worth 600 NP! So, by playing with the difficulty set on Hard, you can easily put away 1500 to 2000 NP in forty-five minutes to an hour, just by blazing through the course and making sure that you take advantage of those rare opportunities to pounce on the more valuable berries. With that kind of NP out there for the taking, what are you waiting for?!? Get rolling!
As we mentioned in last week's News Brief, there's been a huge influx of spooky items appearing in Neopia lately. With the excitement over Halloween's impending arrival continuing to grow, this week's releases reflected the prevailing Spookymania. Leading off this bone-chilling cavalcade of all things creepy was a quartet of spooky pottery items from the Lost Desert, which included such spinetingling surprises as the Korbat vase and pumpkin pot.
Next up was a spooky special in the Art Gallery, as well as a whole slew of scary NeoGreetings. That was followed on Tuesday by an alarming assortment of Halloween furniture (can any NeoHome afford to be without a double coffin wardrobe or flaming rubbish bin?) and a new, pumpkin-styled look for the Halloween Kiko.
Wednesday brought us another slate of seasonal NeoGreetings, while Friday wrapped things up by introducing a bloodcurdling batch of spooky Petpets (including the uber-gross Dribblet and curiously corpselike Skelly), as well as another array of spooky furniture (this time featuring a Deserted Fairground theme) and a skeletal style for Halloween Acaras. With another week left until Halloween, just imagine what next week's haul will be like... we can't wait!
Luckily, in conjunction with the reemergence of the all-new Art Gallery, another story that's been making lots of news lately is all the additions turning up in the How To Draw section. Most importantly, however, is the inclusion of the first two Faeries in this area. Along with Tuesday's posting of how to draw your very own Faellie, Wednesday brought us instructions for how to draw an Earth Faerie, while Friday's news presented aspiring artists with the opportunity to learn how to draw a Fire Faerie just like the pros. Now, with a little bit of effort and practice, you, too might be able to master the art of Faerie drawing, and find a spot in the Art Gallery of your own!
Resuming the motif of all things spooky, this past Wednesday's random theme celebrated those one and only one-eyed kitties, the Meowclops. Throughout the day, a vast array of Meowclops related paraphenalia made its way into Neopia.
Leading things off were a quartet of keen Meowclops Back To School items, including the super-spiffy black Meowclops back pack and pencil tin. That was followed by a special Desktop theme, as well as a trio of new paint brush styles (Tyrannian, robot, and Halloween).
Next up were a set of Meowclops grooming items (among them the ultra-stylish Meowclops mirror... rrrowr!) and four more furniture items in the Meowclops style (including the absolutely irresistable Meowclops pillow... simply a must!). Finishing off this salute to the Meowclops were appearances in Wednesday's Petpet Spotlight, and the selection of Red Meowclops as this week's Petpet Protection League winners. Hurray!
The very next day, having hardly recovered from the impromptu Meowclops Day bash that took place the night before, all of Neopia kicked party mode into overdrive as the celebrated arrival of Jetsam Day called for merrimaking of the highest order. As legions of festive revelers took to the streets, there were plenty of reasons for Jetsam enthusiasts to celebrate the day.
Starting things off were a special assortment of books, Battledome accessories, and foods (among the highlights: the All-You-Can-Eat escapades of Feeding Frenzy, a quartet of Jetsam sandwiches that even come with fins, and the extra-impressive ornate Jetsam bow). Next up were a trio of Jetsam shopkeepers for you to choose from, along with two new paint brush styles (orange and plushie), and an impressive avatar/blog combo. Rounding things out were special Jetsam editions of the Poetry and Caption contests, as well as the Site Spotlight and Art Gallery. Congratulations, Jetsams!
It's now time for us to take a closer look at this week's financial headlines. After bottoming out at 648 on the 20th of June, the Neodaq has posted a profit for fifteen of the last sixteen weeks, adding another sixty-five points and rising all the way up to 1695 as this week came to a close. However, there are some indications that the gravy train might be ready to come to a halt. For example, this week's biggest gainer was Kacheek and Sons Landscaping, which led the way with a thirty-point profit.
Oh sure, at first that might seem like a sizeable sum. However, when you consider that during the previous seven weeks, the leading company on the board had averaged a sixty-five point profit (with only one leader, Jacko and Sons' twenty-nine point performance during the week of September 20th, coming in lower), then it certainly starts to make KSON's thirty point gain start to look paltry by comparison.
A look at this week's performance by last week's six leading companies would certainly indicate that it might be time for a correction in the market. Three of those six (EEEEEURGH!!!, The Presidential Palace, and the Smuggler's Cove) posted losses, and between them the six leading companies averaged a measly three point profit for the week. So then, might we be looking at the end of the gold rush? One would certainly hope not, but the economic indicators would tend to suggest that as the case....