Posted: April 29, 2011 in 3.5 Hearts, Uncategorized

I remember when Neopets first came out…Me and my friends played for hours. Back when it was owned by some obscure british company no one had ever heard of, and it was only a website to boot. Well, now Neopets is owned by Nickelodeon. The other thing I clearly remember from my childhood is that Neopets didn’t use to have nearly as many banner ads as it does now. And there definitely weren’t Neopets toys and video games all over the place. But well, that’s how times change, I suppose.

So here’s the basic idea of how this works. You have a pet of some kind and you have to take care of it, feeding it and the like. In order to buy things for your pet, you have to get neopoints. You can get neopoints by playing games. Pretty simple, right? The games themselves are pretty good too. I particularly like Maths Nightmare, Evil Fuzzles from Beyond the Stars and Destruct-o-Match. Don’t forget that you can buy toys for your pet and read them books and fun things like that.

Downsides…you knew there had to be some. Advertisements. The entire site is swimming in them. Everywhere you look, they’re trying to sell you something. To make matters worse, they’ve added Neocash. Its basically a new currency that can get you special things, but you have to buy the currency with real money. That’s right. Real money.

See how I’m cropping the images down? Yeah…there’s more ads on the side of the main page. Remember, this site is for kids. There are message boards here that are automatically censored, and if you set your age as under a certain age, you can’t even talk on them. But there are ads everywhere the eye can see. I have a lot of issues with advertising in games for kids.

I will admit, playing Neopets is still fun, even years after I made my first account. Things have certainly changed, including a lot more security to try and avoid scamming, but not all of it is bad and some, like that security, is quite good. The quality of the games has also improved greatly. I wish there was a way to block out all the ads, but I understand enough how making a profit through a website works to know that they won’t be going anywhere.

Neopets is about 13 years old and over all, I’d say its worth at least trying out. Its changed a lot since my fond old memories of it, but its still fun. Go sign up! Teddy_Woof could use some friends. I suppose I should give Neopets a rating now, shouldn’t I? I award Neopets with 3.5 out of 5 hearts. Its fun and has some really nice games, but the advertising and the Neocash and everything leave me with a sour taste in my mouth.

  1. Eric says:

    The issue of micropayment-driven games is an interesting, and relatively new, one. I strongly recommend an article talking about them.

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