Ever wanted to take your Neopets with you? Felt you couldn't stand being away from Neopia for just one second? With Neopets Mobile, launched in 2006, you could access the magical (and exclusive) world of Lutari Island and participate in special quests and activities - all from the comfort of your mobile phone! But don't go punching in numbers just yet; this service was discontinued in 2009 and Lutari Island has not been heard from since. A simple economic decision? Or darker forces at play?...
Neopets Mobile was launched with surprisingly little fanfare and excitement on 28th June 2006. Buried in the Acara Day news, the announcement that a whole new world had been discovered was rather humdrum:
Be among the first Neopians to explore the new Lutari Island and adopt a Lutari Neopet! Click here [broken FAQ link] to find out more. (Even if you can't explore the Island just yet, 10,000 more Lutari will also be released over the next 24 hours so you can adopt one of your own!)
Neopets Mobile wasn't even mentioned; instead, all the focus was on the then-extremely new and extremely rare pet, the Lutari and its home, Lutari Island. It's unclear why TNT took this approach; perhaps they felt the lure of a new pet would better entice players to sign up for the service than the promise of Neopets on a mobile phone.
The signup page has long since vanished, but it used to look something like this:
In the days before iPhones and mobile internet, connecting to the Web through your phone was much easier said than done. Like all applications up to that point, Neopets Mobile was optimised for 2G WAP-enabled phones rather than today's 3G devices. Unlike mobile internet proper, which can be accessed from a phone or computer web browser, WAP pages could only be accessed by primitive mobile phone browsers and were typically quite basic.
Accessing Neopets Mobile, therefore, was often a long and convoluted process. Depending on one's country and carrier, one would usually have to sign up for the service via a regular web browser before activating it on one's phone. WAP services weren't free, either; accessing Neopets Mobile cost real-life money and as access charges were often quite high, the cost of spending a lot of time on Lutari Island added up fast.
Upon reaching the mystical shores of Lutari Island, there were several activities to keep you occupied. Most of these mirrored existing attractions in Neopia.
Briana the Air Faerie
Far away from her sisters in Faerieland, Briana was the island's resident air faerie. She also gave out quests and would reward those who completed them. Her quests were quite rare, but the rewards were handsome indeed.
The rewards given out by Briana are listed below, along with the chances of getting them. In addition to raising a pet's intelligence and locating certain items, Briana was also known to ask for a raise in a pet's strength, defence, agility and level.
In addition, you may also be rewarded with 250 NP (22%) or a speed increase for your pet (23%).
Wheel of Happiness
Like the Wheel of Excitement, the Lutari Island Wheel of Happiness offered the chance to win fabulous (?) prizes and encounter all sorts of events. You could play every 30 minutes. The possible outcomes included:
- 10,000 - Congratulations! You've just won 10,000 Neopoints!
- Evil - The Night Dweller attacks and steals your PetPet!
- 1000 - Congratulations! You've just won 1,000 Neopoints!
- Feather - A feather floats from the sky. Hmm...perhaps it has a use?
- Lose NP - The Night Dweller attacks and steals X Neopoints!
- Whoops - You trip and fall while watching the wheel spin, losing half your hit points.
- 500 - Congratulations! You've just won 500 Neopoints!
- Happy - Your Neopet is now delighted!
- Item - Congratulations! You won a ITEM!
- Heal - Your Neopet has been fully healed!
- 250 - Congratulations! You've just won 250 Neopoints!
The chances of winning a certain item, should the wheel land on that space, are outlined below:
Lutari Island's only shop sold a variety of reasonably priced island trinkets, which were often discounted. These items and the likelihood of their restocking in the shop are listed below.
Bog of Charity
The Bog of Charity was Lutari Island's equivalent of the Money Tree. Just like in Neopia, you could go to the Bog and pick up a random item. The probabilities of a certain item or Neopoint amount being available are shown below.
|1000 NP - 1%||500 NP - 9%||250 NP - 20%||100 NP - 30%||50 NP - 40%|
These were the Lutari equivalent of the Healing Springs. Most often, pets would be healed fully without the awarding of potions or other items. Incremental healing was also common.
Lutari Savings Bank
Since Lutari Island is so far away from the rest of Neopia, it even has its own branch of the National Neopian Bank. It operates much like the mainland version; you can deposit, withdraw and even collect interest.
This was merely a text-only reproduction of the main Neopian New Features.
As with the Training School on Mystery Island, residents of Lutari Island also had access to pet training. Payment was by way of relatively inexpensive Lutari Feathers, commonly available at various places on the island. Inconveniently, the game had to be left running in order for training to occur; if the game was closed and/or the phone switched off, training would also stop.
Sit up and pay attention!
As if all those activities weren't enough, Neopets Mobile also featured two fairly simple games. Players could win Neopoints from both games, which could each be played up to 10 times.
Similar to Gadgadsgame, which is itself based on Tetris, the aim of this game was to arrange three blocks of the same colour in a row. Falling block-clumps could only be rotated 180 degrees.
Go Go Lutari!
This game was based on Turmac Roll. The only obstacle to avoid in this version was Sparkling Bog Water. In contrast with Turmac Roll, the spinning blue Lutari in the game is able to jump on tree stumps as well as twice in thin air, allowing it to reach the higher placed items. The game also featured stages, meaning the player could have a break between tries.
As with all applications, eventually Neopets Mobile began to show its age. By 2009, WAP-enabled phones were being rapidly overtaken by the likes of iPhones and other fully 3G devices. Additionally, it's unlikely that Neopets Mobile was ever much of a money-spinner for Viacom. Take into account the myriad of glitches and difficulties associated with the game and it's easy to see why the decision was made to discontinue it.
The Neopets Mobile FAQ states:
I have Neopets Mobile but I'm not able to access Lutari Island anymore.
Neopets Mobile will no longer be available as of June 30th, 2009. If you have any additional questions in regard to your monthly subscription, or if you are still being charged, please contact your cell phone provider.
As Neopets Mobile disappeared from mobile phone screens everywhere, the world of Lutari Island disappeared with it. No one can access the island, save for a brief glimpse through the fog. They say the island is 'currently being pummelled by an unusually large storm' and that all are staying away. It is unknown whether Lutari Island will ever again be accessible.
The purpose of Neopets Mobile was to introduce players to the world of Lutari Island and its resident species, the Lutari. Lutari remain in abundance in Neopia to this day and items acquired from the island are still in circulation. An unreleased Lutari Paint Brush has also been spotted, though sadly the colour is yet to be released. It is doubtful the paint brush will ever work following the closure of the island to visitors.
Many thanks to Ankbetneferu for her help with this article.
This article was written by: Torratz