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We rate this game medium.
(This is our rating, not Neopets')

NP Ratio: 0.90
900 pts :: 1000 NP


Uh-oh, Channy has ventured a little bit too far into Neopet V2's lair and now he's trapped! Can you help Channy uncover enough words to defeat this devilishly evil program and escape home to his family?

Controls and Instructions

There are three levels of difficulty in Spell-Or-Starve: easy, medium and hard. The harder the level, the more points you need to get before the door will open at the end of each level. Of course, the game board is bigger on the harder difficulties too, so you do get more letters to work with!

This is what the game screen looks like (on the easy level):

You use your mouse to spell out the words by clicking on each letter in order. If you like, you can also "drag" your mouse from one letter to the next for a faster way to enter words. Once you make a valid word (i.e. one that is in the game's dictionary) the word will light up in green and you can click at the bottom to submit it. Words are worth different amounts of points, depending on how long they are.

Word Length Points
1 letter1
2 letters2
3 letters3
4 letters8
5 letters15
6 letters18
7 letters28
8 letters40

Once you get enough points the "Open Door" button will appear above your game board, and you can click it to proceed onto the next level. Levels are timed too - you get five minutes per level, which should be plenty of time to open up the door :)

After you've removed a few tiles from your game board, you can rotate the board by clicking on the arrows to either side of the "Submit Word" button. This will jumble the letters up a bit - and perhaps reveal that as-yet unknown eight letter word!

You might also have noticed a few fancy-looking tiles on your game board. These each do different things, and are often very useful.

The little red number in the corner indicated that this is a bonus tile. Any word made with this tile is worth double points; in later levels it will say x3 and word scores will be tripled.
These tiles are fixed and don't move when you rotate the board. Other titles can also get "stuck" above them, helping to scramble the letters when you rotate.
This is a wild-card tile - it can be used to represent any letter of the alphabet!
Finally, this blue tile is a rotating tile. It continuously changes its value, and if you're lucky it will become just the letter you need... eventually anyway.

Tips and Strategies

Spell-Or-Starve has one in-built code: channyhungry. Typing in this code will give you an extra 30 seconds on the timer, excellent if you're oh-so-close and just in need of a little bit more thinking time!

In order to make longer words, remember your suffixes! Adding things like "er", "ed" and "ing" to the end of words you find is a great way to boost your letter count, and your score. Prefixes work just as well for this too. Also, five-letter words are worth considerably more than four-letter ones, while six-letter words aren't worth all that much more. Thus, using a letter like "s" to turn 4 into 5 is worth more points than using it to turn 5 into 6. Keep this in mind as you play!

Remember, you can still earn more points after the door button appears - you do not have to move on just because its there! Just keep submitting words until you either run out of letters or the timer reaches zero. This is extremely useful for optimizing your score if you're going for a trophy, or just trying to get your 1k for that game.

Finally – rotate, rotate, rotate! This is by far the best way to mix up the letters and reveal new words for you to find.


Overall, this is a pretty simple game - but getting a highscore requires a large vocabulary and just a little bit of luck! As always, practise does make perfect though so keep trying! You'll be admiring that shiny new addition to your lookup in no time :)

Written by Izzy
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