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A Beginner's Guide to Neggsweeper


by auturabalor

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Before I started this little writing adventure into the brain twisting game called Neggsweeper, I checked the Neopian Times for other articles previously written on the subject. There were three, and let me tell you, they weren't very easy to understand. My goal here is to make this game enjoyable to more than just a select few. But do take this warning: sometimes your brain feels like it will explode if you play another round! What I'd like to do is take you through the basic things you need to know first, and then we'll play a game on Easy mode, so you can see just how I do it.

Let's begin! First thing you should know is, it costs 30 Neopoints to play a game. But the good thing is that if you win the game, you'll more than double the points you get back. :) There are three modes of game play: Easy, Medium and Hard. As suggested by the titles, the level of difficulty increases with each mode. Once you click on a mode to play, there are more things to learn!

Easy Mode = 81 neggs to choose from, but 10 are bomb neggs called 'traps'

Medium Mode = 144 neggs to choose from, 25 are traps

Hard Mode = 196 neggs to choose from, 40 are traps

So, say you opened a game on easy. You are confronted by a 9 negg by 9 negg grid. Shiny silver neggs as far as the eye can see. All silver neggs are clickable. What do you do now? Well, that's easy! Pick a negg and click! On Easy mode, clicking a negg usually clears a bunch of them. It will say something like this: "You cleared 57 spaces on one turn! 57 additional Neopoints were added to the jackpot!" YAY! That was a good click! Oh! Before I go any further, four important things to know.

1. Holding down the control key (CTRL) while clicking on a negg will put a red 'X' over it, and you want to do that over any negg you suspect is a bomb. (Having the red X on a negg means the game will not let you accidently click it.) Hold CTRL and click again if you want to remove the X.

2. On top of the grid it says: Remaining and Jackpot with numbers underneath both. Under Remaining is how many remaining good neggs you have to click. It does not include the bomb neggs into the number. The jackpot number is how many Neopoints you will win.

3. Clicking on a blank square will clear every blank square touching that one, and will go all the way to the line of neggs. It's always a good thing to do that!

3. In order to win the jackpot, you must complete the game without tripping any of the bomb neggs.

Back to the game. Staring at this strange grid with little colored numbers and silver neggs, a lot of people might get lost here, and start clicking randomly. Don't fall into temptation! Never click randomly, unless you are starting a game and want to get a good swath of cleared neggs first. Every square has eight squares touching it, like so:

O O O

O 1 O

O O O

What that little grid means is one of those neggs surrounding that one is a bomb negg. Let's say that the upper left negg is the trap, and you feel very certain it is. Mark it with a red X and then proceed to click on any other silver negg touching the 1, that is not the bomb negg. Yay! You just cleared out 7 good neggs!

In the game, you will be confronted with numbers, silver neggs and blank squares. Hitting a bomb negg will make that negg turn red, and show all the other bombs as well. Let's hope you don't have to see many! Blank squares are always two squares from any negg, in all directions. It goes: blank square, number, negg. :) There will be any combination of numbers on the grid at any given moment. The numbers go from 1-8, depending on how many bomb neggs there are in the eight square cells surrounding the number.

I'm going to take you through a game on Easy mode now, to let you get a feel for the game and how I make my moves. When I use an O, that is an unmarked, unclicked negg. A bomb negg will be marked as an X, and any clear spaces will be marked with a --. Beginning a game, I always start off by clicking the four corners. Doing that will usually open you up a good playing field (meaning you've cleared a bunch of spaces in one click because you hit a blank square.)

Here's my game:

-- -- -- -- -- -- 1 O O

-- -- -- -- -- -- 1 2 O

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 O

-- 1 1 1 -- -- 1 1 O

-- 1 O 1 -- -- 2 O O

1 2 1 1 -- -- 2 O O

O O 1 -- -- -- 1 O O

O O 1 -- 1 1 1 O O

O O 1 -- 1 O O O O

My first move was to click the upper-left hand corner negg. Doing so cleared that big space (my example further up, of what it says when you clear them was from this game.) I've got 14 remaining good neggs and the jackpot is up to 164. What the best thing to do now is go through and mark the ones you know for sure are traps. The first negg on the top line, to the left, is a bomb. We know this because there are no other neggs touching the top 1's surrounding cells. The first negg on the fifth line, with three 1's on top, is also a bomb for the same reason. The second negg on line 5 (in the 8th vertical row) and the third negg on line nine (in the 6th vertical row) are both bombs.

Alright! We have the first obvious traps marked with red X's and now it's time to clear out the neggs that definitely aren't bombs. Those will be any neggs that are touching a 1 that has a trap marked in its eight square surroundings. This is what we have now:

-- -- -- -- -- -- 1 X O

-- -- -- -- -- -- 1 2 O

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 1

-- 1 1 1 -- -- 1 1 1

-- 1 X 1 -- -- 2 X 2

1 2 1 1 -- -- 2 O O

O 3 1 -- -- -- 1 1 1

O O 1 -- 1 1 1 -- --

O O 1 -- 1 X1 -- --

See how easy that was? We've got most of the board cleared now, or marked, and according to the remaining negg counter, there are only 3 good neggs left! Good job! The jackpot is now up to 175.

Once again you will want to go through and X off any neggs that are obviously bombs, like the first negg on line 7. It is the second negg to touch the 2, so you know it completes that set, as well as being the only negg to touch the first 1 in line 6. Now look at the 3. There are only 3 neggs touching it, in an 'L' shape. Because there are three touching the 3 (and there are no other neggs in the 8 squares touching the 3) they are all bombs. The first negg in line 6 (8th vertical row) is also a bomb. You can deduce that by taking a look at both of the 2's. The X touches both of them, and the negg is the only other negg touching both. And the last bomb that we can see by looking will be the last negg in line 2. The 1 directly under it is not touching any other, thus making it a bomb.

After marking all those obvious bombs, we are left with 4 unmarked silver neggs. Taking a look again at the remaining neggs, we can see that there is only one bomb in those four left. Before you read any further, look at this grid, and see if you can figure out which one it is. This is the grid with the 4 remaining neggs:

-- -- -- -- -- -- 1 X O

-- -- -- -- -- -- 1 2 X

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 1

-- 1 1 1 -- -- 1 1 1

-- 1 X 1 -- -- 2 X 2

1 2 1 1 -- -- 2 X O

X 3 1 -- -- -- 1 1 1

X X1 -- 1 1 1 -- --

O O1 -- 1 X 1 -- --

I'm going to click the neggs I know for certain are not bombs. Those will be the negg at the end of the first row. We know this because the 2 already is touching two bombs, meaning this can't possibly be one. Underneath that negg is a 2 (because it's touching the same two neggs the 2 diagonally down from it is touching). Next we go to the negg on line 6. Definitely not a bomb! There is a 2 underneath that negg as well.

OOOH! We're getting close! There are only 2 unmarked neggs left on the grid. One of them is a bomb. Can you feel the stress building? Our jackpot is at 177. Look at the grid. Do you see the first 1 on line 8 (vertical row 3)? It's touching a bomb! This is great news! Because it is touching what we are pretty sure is a bomb, we can safely click on the second negg in line 9 (row 2).

You Won!!!

You have won 178 Neopoints!

YAY!!

There are a few more things to tell you about before you head off and start making your Neopoints First, you can only make a maximum of 3,000 Neopoints a day in Neggsweeper. After that, you can play as much as you want to increase your score. Second, only play the Hard mode after you have reached that maximum, as it is very difficult to start without hitting a bomb. (It usually takes several starts.) Third, there are bonus neggs! That's right, I saved the best for last. These are the bonus neggs:

Fish Negg: 500 points

Crystal Negg: 300 points

Rainbow Negg: 150 points

Purple Negg: 100 points

Blue Negg: 50 points

You can get these bonuses anytime in the game. What will happen is you'll be clicking on a negg, and suddenly this will pop up at the top of the grid:

You clicked on the secret Purple Negg!

100 Neopoints were added to your jackpot!

It can happen multiple times throughout the game, or not at all.

That's it! You're officially on your way to becoming a Neggsweeper pro. :) Good luck and have fun. It's addicting!

Author's note: Feel free to Neomail me anytime. I'm always up for giving advice or doing what I can to help. :) Wish me luck though, as I'm going for a Neggsweeper Cumulative trophy! That's playing a LOT of Neggsweeper!

 
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