The Five "Hardest" Game Avatars
Many people on Neopets like to collect avatars for the Neoboards. Some more common ones are awarded randomly or for meeting a specific requirement, albeit sometimes meeting those requirements at random. For more specific situations to win avatars, many look to the Games room.
There are countless avatars for the different flash games. Some of them are pretty easy, while other game avatars feel harder than diamond. Looking at it from the eyes of a someone who spends more time playing games than sleeping or studying, these are the five hardest avatars to win. I'm taking an objective look at why some of these are so frustrating to achieve. No, it isn't always the players' fault. There are some game designs that make it much harder than it should be to get the necessary score. I'm only covering Flash games, and just because some games like Attack of the Slorgs and Gourmet Club Bowls can't be run on many modern day computers without an additional download, doesn't mean they are difficult or cheap, just annoying.
5. Mynci Beach Volleyball
What's a better activity to do on a sunny beach than play a little Volleyball? Well, I suppose swimming, but that's beside the point. This game sees the player controlling a blue Mynci in a game of volleyball against a red Mynci. The goal of the game is to hit the ball over the net and not have the opponent hit it. First to eleven points wins the round. Score is calculated by the number of points the player scored minus the number of points the opposing side scored. Sounds simple enough, score points and prevent the opponent from doing so.
Scoring enough points is far more frustrating than it sounds on paper. There are two major factors in the game that amp up the difficulty. The first factor is the game's physics engine. It's wrong. The Myncis slide around on the ground when they move with very little traction. This makes positioning the character to hit the ball back a separate challenge in itself. It's kind of ironic. Sand, even loose sand, has a decently high coefficient of friction, but there are ice levels that are less slippery than this.
The other reason this game is difficult is the fact that the game is against a computer opponent. No matter how good a player is, they are still human. They will make mistakes, again compounded by the game's slippery physics. The computer, while not able to think and plan properly, is very unlikely to make mistakes of the sort that the player would make. It makes scoring all the more difficult.
Only advice I have to get this avatar: Learn the game's physics and try to figure out how to manipulate the computer player to miss the ball. It sounds easy, but it proves much more difficult in practice.
4. Meerca Chase II
Some of the games on this list will have similar reasons for being difficult to get the avatar. Meerca Chase II is a Neopets version of the classic history class time-waster, Snake. The goal of the game is to move the Meerca around the screen to collect the neggs that appear. With each negg collected, the trail following the Meerca increases by one and usually a red negg appears on screen. The player has to maneuver the Meerca to the colored negg without touching any of the walls surrounding the screen, the trail of neggs now following the Meerca, or any of the red neggs. This does get more complicated as the trail gets longer and more red neggs appear.
There is only one problem with reaching the highest score, no matter how good a player is. This has long been the reason many players have spent many, many long hours grinding away for levels, that one special piece of armor, or the rare shinies; the RNG. RNG stands for Random Number Generator, which is what determines what appears when. However, it determines what appears semi-randomly due to the coding. I say semi-randomly because each output is programmed to happen, with some being programmed to happen more frequently than others. The best way to explain this is with an example: It's most common to get a happy negg in this game first. However, it is entirely possible to get the coveted fish negg (worth the most points in all the modes), right off the bat. It's possible, but it is far less likely to happen.
There are a few different modes in this game, Classic, Freestyle, and Maze, as well as three different difficulties. The harder the difficulty, the more points each negg is worth. To get the avatar, most players will continually soft-reset, or enter the game and exit, until the first negg that is available is a fish negg. From there, they just play extra cautiously so they can get more neggs to finish getting the score.
3. Ultimate Bullseye II
The bow and arrow have been used since prehistoric times, back then it was to hunt for food. Archery was first classified as a sport in the late 1800's. Neopets, unsurprisingly, has a game based off of it. The goal of archery is to shoot an arrow with a bow at a target. The closer to the center of the target, the more points the archer gets. Instead of using a normal bow and arrow for this game, the player controls a crossbow that's mounted on a catapult's base. The rest of the game is the same, so shoot for the center of the target.
Sometimes the way to the answer to a problem is by looking at the problem from a different perspective. This game has a bizarre perspective. The crossbow is in the lower left-hand corner of the game window. The target is placed in a field on the right-hand side of the window. The player can aim the crossbow up or down and then set the power of the shot. The problem with this game is that the field and the crossbow are on different planes. It's hard to describe, but the target may look like it's in line with the crossbow, but it is actually further in the background. This could just be a problem for me, but the difference of positions between the bow and the target make it difficult to figure out where the arrow will actually land, thus causing many, many misfirings.
I have a lot of trouble with this game, but I've still got a few tips that may or may not be useful. The target is further in the background than the crossbow, so I've found it to be easier to hit by aiming the crossbow further upwards. If a bullseye is scored, the player earns a power-up. This power-up can be used in between rounds to alter the next shot. This can lead to more points or additional power-ups. If a balloon appears, try to hit both the balloon and the target, as that will give a lot more points than a normal shot. Finally, if Punchbag Bob appears with an apple on his head, aim for the apple, but don't be too concerned about him. Bob himself is a target, although worth only 5 points opposed to the apple worth 20, but it's still better than getting 0.
2. Typing Terror
In a world where computers, e-mails, and the internet have become the dominant form of communication, typing is a useful skill. Being able to type quickly is something that can prove useful when doing any sort of work, be it for school or a job. Typing Terror is a game where the player takes control of a Grundo programmer and must defend his station from evil robots… by typing. Each robot has a word written across its chest and the player must type that word to destroy it. If the robot isn't destroyed before it reaches the front of the stage, a life is lost. The player has three lives to get through all six stages of the game. How exactly the Grundo's keyboard is operating on the same server as the robots is still a mystery.
Points are scored by typing the word on the robot which causes it to be destroyed. The most common yellow robot is worth 5 points, the red robots (whose words are upside down and backwards, which is funny when they wear the word 'Ixi') are worth 15, and the armless but not harmless robots (red in the first two levels, purple in the last three) are worth a whopping 100 points. At the end of the round, bonus points are awarded for how accurate the player was, up to a maximum of 200. Typos reduce the bonus. Typing quickly can be hard at first. It does get easier with practice and the proper technique. What really makes this avatar hard to reach is the fact that the game is RNG based. The low point yellow robots are very common, whereas the red and armless bots are very rare. I've done many perfect runs in this game, no typos throughout the entire game, and I still don't have the avatar because of the point scoring system.
Here is the technique I use to type, which proves very useful with practice (Only for QWERTY keyboards. If the letters Q, W, E, R, T, and Y, are on the top row in that order from the left, this will work.) Starting from the left, place your fingers on the keys A, S, D, and F. For your right hand, place them on keys J, K, L, and ; (semi-colon). Keep your fingers curved and your hands above the keyboard. From this position, you should be able to use your fingers to press the keys above and below the center row without moving your hands too much. Use your pointer fingers to cover the area in between the two hands. Practice makes perfect (fortunately the game has a practice option where no points are scored, but there are no lives or penalties), so keep at it and you'll be halfway to getting the avatar. The other half is getting really lucky with the robots that appear, but there is nothing that can be done about that.
Before I talk about the hardest game, there are a few other hard avatars I wanted to mention. These are also really hard avatars to get (at least for me), but they are usually the player's fault.
Spacerocked: A literal shot in the dark game that is entirely luck based.
The Buzzer Game: This one is personally hard, since I have poor coordination and unsteady hands. Sure I'm not the only one.
Snowroller: Fun game, but really hard to control the snowball at times.
1. Snow Wars II
Snow Wars is a game where the player clicks spaces on a board in the hopes that part of the enemy constructs will be hidden there, much like the more recent Coal War Tactics, but with snow. The only thing that game shares with the sequel is snow. It gets thrown. In Snow Wars II, the player is tasked with defending snowmen from attacking Lupes and what look like Snow Beasts manning catapults. The player has to place blocks of ice around the snowmen, while leaving enough room for defensive catapults. Then they have to use said catapults to take out the invaders. Defend the snowmen, defeat the invaders, get the points. Sounds simple, right? That's as wrong as wrong can be.
This game is typically called an RTS, or Real Time Strategy game. Unlike in a turn-based strategy game, where the enemy doesn't move until its turn, it's up to the player to think in real time how best to defeat the enemy. The gameplay is divided into three different stages. First is the wall stage, where the player has to construct a full barrier around at least one snowman using the pieces given by the game. By full, I mean surrounded on all four sides, no gaps or cut corners. There are unlimited pieces at the player's disposal, but there are only 30 seconds in the round. It may sound simple at first, but it gets more complicated with stage two, the catapult construction stage. This is the shortest stage. The player must have allocated enough space within the walls of the first stage to allow for the catapults, which are 2 blocks by 2 blocks for reference. It requires a very quick motion to place the catapults in all available spaces before the final stage begins. The final stage is the fight stage, where the Lupes and Snow Beasts attack. The Lupes will go directly towards a snowman to destroy it, while the Snow Beasts fire catapults at the walls, but can't actually harm the snowmen. To destroy them, the player has to click on them to fire snowballs. The more catapults in place, the faster the fire rate for the player.
Those are the mechanics for how the game works, now here's why that's really hard: The stages themselves are run on a very tight time limit. Construction stage: 30 seconds the first time, 15 every other time. Catapult stage: 10 seconds, but almost always cuts out before all the time is spent and all the places designated for catapults can be filled. Attack phase: 15 seconds. The player has 15 seconds to dispatch all the Snow Beasts and Lupes they can. If the player fails to take out everyone, the Snow Beasts stop firing until the next attack stage, but the Lupes keep advancing, and there is nothing the player can do to stop them until the next attack stage. The first few rounds are easy since the player usually has enough catapults and time to take care of everyone. But the subsequent rounds feature more enemies, like they should, and hardly enough time to take them all out. Here's the other stone muffin to the face: If the attack stage begins and a catapult from a previous round isn't surrounded by walls, it won't be able to fire. It's possible to have a snowman fully surrounded by any number of catapults, and none of those will fire. Frankly, it's difficult to keep all the catapults and snowmen surrounded, especially if the player doesn't have at least one snowman surrounded by the end of the wall stage, then it's game over.
The other problem with this game which makes it really difficult is the very shoddy hit detection. It's usually pretty easy to take out the Snow Beasts, as just clicking on them will send a snowball out to destroy them. The Lupes are a different beast. They will advance towards the snowmen, so of course, they have to move. I know I stated earlier that Snow Beasts are the ones who attack the walls, but the Lupes can bring them down as well, so it's important to clear as many of them as possible. This is made really difficult since the snowball take some time to travel to wherever the player clicked, and the fact that they will continue going until they reach where the player clicked. If a Lupe moves and the snowball passes over it, the snowball doesn't hit. It'll keep going over until it reaches the target, where the Lupe likely moved away from. This makes the only way to hit the ever advancing Lupes, which can only be done during the very brief attack phases, is to predict where the Lupe will move to. They usually head straight, but their movement patterns can sometimes be erratic, or have no pattern to them at all. It makes clearing all the enemies far more frustrating than it should.
I really don't have any tips for this game. I guess all I can say is leave room for catapults, keep firing, and good luck.
Maybe "hard" wasn't the right word for these games. Hard indicates that even though the game is difficult, the player can adjust and get better. "Unfair" would probably be more suited. In these games, it's often not the player's fault. Yes, there is some skill factor, but oftentimes in these games, there are factors that the player can't control. All I can really say to those looking for these avatars, good luck; you're gonna need it.
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