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Neopia Movie Studio Opens iOS Beta
  • Posted by Dave
  • Posted on January 8, 2022, 12:43 pm NST

Update Tuesday 11th: It appears the Facebook adverts have now stopped running, meaning at present if you are not already in the beta you cannot join it. We will keep you updated if more spaces open.

As we reported yesterday, a new match-3 game called Neopia Studio was looking for beta testers via an ad campaign on Facebook and Instagram. And today, for those who signed up with an iOS device, beta invites are being sent out!

The premise is that you have returned to a small town with an abandoned movie studio and your job is to revive the studio to its former glory:

You'll also receive a message with some more info:

Dear Neofriends,

Neopia Studio Match-3 is here to bring back your childhood memories! Come and run your very own Neopia Studio, get immersed in healing stories, and use your camera to keep those memories alive.

Solve Match-3 puzzles to build your studio, recruit actors, choose scripts, and film these touching stories.

Each Neopet has its own story. You may enter their Dreamland, listen to their stories about sadness or sincerity, and unleash their nature!

For more features, check them out in the game! If you have any problems or suggestions, please contact us by sending an email to support@neopets.com

From there, it looks like a typical match-3 style game that allows you to progress through the storyline:

The game currently has 3 species available:

And finally, here's a short clip of the game play (sound on 🔊):

From what we've seen so far, there is no way to link your Neopets.com account—but this is a very early beta, so that doesn't mean it's not something coming later.

How to participate in the beta?
As we shared yesterday, the only way to access this beta is to find an advertisement for it on Facebook or Instagram and click the "Sign Up" button in the ad. (You'll then be asked for some info like your email so you can receive a private invite. You'll need the TestFlight app on iOS to participate.) It's not known exactly how to trigger the ad, but searching for "JumpStart Games" a few times and liking their page seem to sometimes result in the ad displaying.

UPDATE: It looks like invites for testing the game via the Google Play Store on Android have gone out as well, in addition to this morning's iOS invites. If you haven't received one (and signed up for beta), double check your spam folder! We're seeing reports that Gmail (of all email services...) is marking the Android invites as spam.

If you signed up for the beta and have an Android device, you do not need a special link, just visit the below link to download the app (as long as the email you provided is the same email as your Play Store account):

iOS beta testing will require a special invitation email that contains a unique code to redeem in TestFlight.

Here's the official Play Store description of the app:

If there is a thing that carries happy childhood memories, it must include Neopets - a virtual pet game running across Europe and America for 21 years.

Based on stories of Neopets, Neopia Studio Match3 is a match-3 game that brings you to a fantastic world, where you can run your Neopia Studio, experience wonderful dreamland, and solve match-3 puzzles. Let’s grow together with adorable Neopets and fix their special inner worlds!

Game Features:
1. Unique Match-3 Levels: Thousands of levels and fascinating puzzles like collecting Pixie Bottles and completing Portraits, making the matching more interesting!
2. Dreamland: Get immersed in healing stories and explore special inner worlds to bring happiness back!
3. Adorable Neopets: Those familiar characters are back for a fresh start. Beat match-3 levels to collect them!
4. Pet Appearances: Tons of impressive options for you to customize your pet’s appearance!
5. 3D Levels: The distinctive 3D levels will give you a totally different Match-3 experience!

If you have any problems or suggestions, please contact us by sending an email to support@neopets.com

Have you been invited to participate? Let us know what you think so far in the comments!
Follow @jellyneo on Twitter for all the latest #Neopets news!

There are 59 comments below. Add yours!

herdy - JN Staff, January 8, 2022 12:51 PM NST
Would like to point out that sections of the app's content are AGAIN copy/pastes of Book of Ages content, as was the case with Legends and Letters at launch.
problematicperiplum, January 8, 2022 12:54 PM NST
Is the Faerie a modified human model because what the heck am I looking at?
hollyfrosty, January 8, 2022 1:15 PM NST
"Neopia Studio Match-3 is here to bring back your childhood memories!"
So it's aimed at people who haven't played Neopets since they were a kid... but also seems extremely aimed at people who are kids NOW? Obviously current players aren't considered because why would we be, but I don't know what actual audience they're going for. Oh well, the Neopets designs seem cute enough, at least. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
thepapercutjellyfish, January 8, 2022 1:21 PM NST
They didn't even TRY to make this look like Neopia.
dave - JN Staff, January 8, 2022 1:22 PM NST
@thepapercutjellyfish: There's a giant globe in the middle of the studio that says "NEOPETS"

What more do you want!?
biediep, January 8, 2022 1:27 PM NST
It's..even worse than I thought.. and that's saying something
lasergu, January 8, 2022 1:48 PM NST
Ehhh, it'd be passable if the tiles were obvious Neopets branded instead of being... whatever generic stuff they are.

...can we just bring Ghoul Catchers back? Why are we not bringing Ghoul Catchers back?
hypernova_kirby, January 8, 2022 2:10 PM NST
this looks just looks like a very very generic mobile game. boring.
swevin, January 8, 2022 3:05 PM NST
That faerie!!!
swevin, January 8, 2022 3:06 PM NST
Herdy, is JN doing anything in regards to the content theft?
bonju, January 8, 2022 3:37 PM NST
It's so bizarre that the other game has been in beta for like an year already? And they already working on a new one.
However what bothers me the most is that icon. NOTHING about it looks like a neopets app and it literally looks made for babies
infernodragon02, January 8, 2022 4:10 PM NST
I mean... a functional site would help more with childhood memories.

Not another app that will be abandoned within a year.
mavegibson, January 8, 2022 5:00 PM NST
Just what the world needed - another match-3 game.
adventurer262, January 8, 2022 5:16 PM NST
woah, what Book of Ages content have they taken so far, and what did they take that was used in Legends and Letters? I had no idea the roots went that deep
darkm329, January 8, 2022 5:33 PM NST
@adventurer262 look at the Shoyru description in the screenshot provided then look at the Shoyru description in the Book of Ages
asterick, January 8, 2022 5:52 PM NST
Putting the word "Neopets" on something does not make it Neopets
dragonperrisgirl, January 8, 2022 6:13 PM NST
Why did they get rid of ghoul catchers, and then make another match-3 game? Seems like a weird business move
dragonperrisgirl, January 8, 2022 6:13 PM NST
I'll be honest though, I actually like the weird art style. Plenty of Neopets games have gone kind of "off-brand" before, like Treasure Keepers.

Let's see if the game is actually any good, though
tpandai, January 8, 2022 7:03 PM NST
@dragonperrisgirl - honestly i agree! I’d much rather this than the same old art that they just pull out of their 20 year old files… funny enough i actually would like to get in on the beta testing but of course they have to go about in the most backwards way possible
dietercoke, January 8, 2022 7:21 PM NST
I def was like looking at the pics so far, idk anymore lol I'm becoming numb at this point. There's lots of things from first impressions/knowing TNT that this will need improvement most likely, but my main concern is if I'll be getting item prizes for my Neo account haha. If it doesn't I prob won't play unless the game blows me away
kait888, January 8, 2022 7:39 PM NST
Is it just me or does the layout of the studio and garden look exactly like Homescapes with a (slightly) Neopian twist?
lokaula, January 8, 2022 7:59 PM NST
After many other games that were cancelled over the years...I've become cynical and will now only play straight up Neopets, on my good old laptop. I won't play any of their other games on my mobile, not even Island Builders OR this one. I won't get suckered into any other games, and spend MONEY...just to have the plug pulled, etc. with a further slap in the face in the form of a "prize", to sort of say to players, "We shut that game down, here's a consolation prize, and sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused." Just like they did with PetPet Park, Ghoul Catchers, Neopets Mobile, Legends & Letters, and Habitarium...
dave - JN Staff, January 8, 2022 8:00 PM NST
@kait888: The entire premise of the game (a dilapidated movie studio that you've been invited to bring back to life) is basically copied from another game, Merge Mansion--just a movie studio instead of grandma's old mansion.

So yes, this game looks very "familiar" when you look at other games in the mobile space.

Which makes me think this is intentional. They've already tried 3 other Neopian mobile games (Ghoul Catchers, Legends & Letters, Island Builders), and none of them have taken off. All 3 of them were also arguably more Neopian-looking than the movie game above.

So, for the 4th try at a mobile game, I can at least *understand* why it looks like they're basically going for a clone of other games that are working in terms of story, style, and gameplay. Whether it'll do well remains to be seen, but I can see what they're trying to do.
galifan, January 8, 2022 8:39 PM NST
So they're giving up on Island Builders?
problematicperiplum, January 8, 2022 8:57 PM NST
Island Builders is still being developed. So far, it's still getting regular updates on Android. Whether or not it will stick and exit it's beta remains to be seen.
recklesse, January 8, 2022 9:48 PM NST
I’ll stick with Gardenscapes and Lily’s Garden on mobile thank you very much. Don’t need another match 3 game on mobile.

I doubt they’ll add rewards that link to our neopets accounts, and even if they did I wouldn’t play it. I like to keep all my neopets stuff on the neopets website as far as possible.
kingloui17, January 8, 2022 10:17 PM NST
x_snake_man_x, January 8, 2022 11:36 PM NST
The art style flat out just doesn't look like Neopets to me. Makes me feel like it's a bootleg lookalike.

And why can't they just have a "Sign up for Beta here!" button on their page or something? lmao so stupid.
apophis324, January 9, 2022 12:28 AM NST
@recklesse: So what you're saying is that this game needs more unnecessary, "deep" lore that involves romance, adultry and murder?
recklesse, January 9, 2022 12:54 AM NST
@apophis324, not really.

I'm saying they're a bit late getting into a very saturated market and I'm not interested in playing another. Also I enjoy a good, engaging story.
recklesse, January 9, 2022 12:57 AM NST
why can't they just have a "Sign up for Beta here!" button on their page or something?

That may be so they can monitor who signs up and where and what other interests those people have (since social media seem to monitor all that stuff).
mzlish, January 9, 2022 2:14 AM NST
Oh brother.. This isn't even creative at all.
First off, bring back Ghoul Catchers.
Second, I can come up with better ideas.. (a gourmet food cooking game, some kind of pet grooming game, a game like this but feature rebuilding Lutari Island... Please, feel free to USE ONE OF MY EXAMPLES, JS)
Third, fix the site and finish converting it.

Sigh... 😔
mzlish, January 9, 2022 2:17 AM NST
I will agree that the pet models look nice, though
biediep, January 9, 2022 4:54 AM NST
I think what would be cute would be a Tamagotchi-like game where you need to keep a little Neopet alive and happy and maybe you could train them.. a sort of Tiny Chao Garden kind of thing.
herdy - JN Staff, January 9, 2022 5:55 AM NST
@adventurer262: So far it seems to be the species descriptions. Some have been reworded, but the Kougra description, for example, is a word for word copy/paste of the Book of Ages description.

At Legends and Letters launch, the lore cards were copied directly from the Book of Ages descriptions of those characters. That was eventually changed a few months after release, though.
jessalynn, January 9, 2022 6:36 AM NST
Another beta-testing game? How about finishing beta testing for Island Builders which has been under beta testing for, like, EVER!
themeepit32, January 9, 2022 7:34 AM NST
I'd love a Skyrim style neopets game, but that'd take a lot of time and effort and isn't a quick cash grab like these shoddy knock offs
beyondelsewhere, January 9, 2022 7:35 AM NST
I looked at that and thought, "wait, I'm already playing this with Gardenscapes". And who the heck is that faerie?

And I loved Ghoul Catchers. I am sad they abandoned that one.
luuviick, January 9, 2022 8:11 AM NST
Why does the faerie look exactly like a Sims 2 sim with custom content
jaudaran, January 9, 2022 10:20 AM NST
This looks very bizarre and not very promising. I was willing to give them a chance with another match-3 game if it was good, but it's getting hard to keep hoping this might be even half decent...
twood, January 9, 2022 10:54 AM NST
I just want more avatars man it's not that complex
demoness_sapphire, January 9, 2022 6:11 PM NST
I didn't download it. Just saw the pics on here.

Can they bring back Ghost Ghouls? Habitarum? Key Quest??
clock_flower, January 9, 2022 7:09 PM NST
Okay, I gotta admit, that Shoyru is precious. They actually made the pupils colored instead of the irises! (I was really disappointed when Island Builders overlooked that little detail so I'm glad it hasn't been completely abandoned)
Other than that, though, all I can say is eh, might be fun, but not really my jam
moonlightwitch, January 10, 2022 5:40 AM NST
If they would put as much time in on the site as they do on the apps we would bring back players and the money imo
contessa, January 10, 2022 7:54 AM NST
nothing there to interest me
coryldork, January 10, 2022 8:10 AM NST
It's cute, but it's not Neopia.
mavegibson, January 10, 2022 12:47 PM NST
They killed two perfectly good - and enjoyable - mobile games, only to come out with this garbage? I thing this JS era is the worst so far for Neopets. So much disappointment these past couple years.
gabzzz12, January 10, 2022 2:55 PM NST
It straight up looks like a pre-made game that they lightly adapted to mention neopets. Why the studio? It has nothing to do with neopets! It's kind of upsetting they care so little about making an app that means something to us. Jumpstart and Netdragon, please sell the site.
cherry_pie18, January 10, 2022 6:11 PM NST
Well, it's better than expected, but there's nothing particularly "Neopets" about it. I mean, movies are BARELY canon in universe. I would have liked to see it based on something that actually has a presence in-universe, or at LEAST something magic-based instead of movie-based.

And picking the generic setting of "Neopia Central" is such a cop out. Most glaringly, why are there PAVED ROADS? Cars literally do not exist in Neopia, it even says it right in the Neopian Times submission guidelines: http://www.neopets.com/help_search.phtml?help_id=172
cherry_pie18, January 10, 2022 6:37 PM NST
Also did someone forget to tell them that Faerieland actually FELL several years back and is no longer in the clouds? Not that that castle is the right shape anyway!
howdareyoufreezeme1 - JN Staff, January 10, 2022 7:16 PM NST
@cherry_pie18 not to spoil the plot too much, but that castle is not Faerieland, it's the Dream World :O

also a recent editorial announced the imminent welcoming of technology https://www.jellyneo.net/?go=editorialdb&type=id&query=20854
cherry_pie18, January 10, 2022 9:15 PM NST
Oh no I hate it more
ziporen, January 11, 2022 7:29 AM NST
You could just crop the screenshot with the normal reindeer and it would tell me enough. It should be a Christmas Ixi/Kau, or a Raindorf, Cougi, Chrismas Nuk, Bika, Christmas Whinny... there are so many actual Neopian options.
snudycaisu, January 11, 2022 8:06 AM NST
looks stupid! I got bored quickly with candy crush, I wont download this at all. is this where neopets is heading? sad! they need to make updates to the existing site, not crap like this. either reverting all pages back to the old layout, or making all pages the new layout.
galifan, January 11, 2022 10:59 AM NST
Might as well do a daily colouring page with scenes from Neopian history. That, at least, would get people to watch a few ads. This... no, no thanks. I could do Match Dragons if I need cuteness.
mephialtes, January 12, 2022 6:05 AM NST
The more and more I see from them, the more and more I feel like JS/ND's plan isn't to keep the existing Neopets audience, it feels overwhelmingly like what they're TRYING to do is to get a new one-- one more receptive to the glitz of modern stylings, who isn't familiar enough with Neopets to have much of a frame of reference otherwise.

It's been depressing to see them seemingly have absolutely no idea what they want to do with Neopets as a franchise aside from this ephemeral 'make money' goal, which... I guess is doing well enough that they can make new mobile games to keep that revenue flowing, right?
tailsthedragon, January 13, 2022 7:17 PM NST
I signed up to beta test on Android but haven't gotten an email and the link above doesn't work. Am I just out of luck til the game launches or are others also still waiting on their invites?
xxsinger, January 14, 2022 2:23 AM NST
Does Apple iPad not work?
sentehisshou, January 21, 2022 12:25 PM NST
i love the style of it! i wish they'd put some of the visual-art money they put into this towards stuff for the site like comics etc.

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