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Neopets: Legends & Letters

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Neopets: Legends & Letters App Poster Image
Disappointing word adventure focuses on in-app purchases.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Scrabble-like gameplay is easier with larger vocabulary. The difficulty curve makes progress dependent on purchases. 

Violence

The fantasy violence involves battle among Neopets. Damage is indicated by flashes, and death is shown by characters vanishing. No blood or gore is shown in battle.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

In-app store indirectly pushed by difficulty curve; progression depends on leveling characters, and this takes ages without making purchases. Coins are earned by adventuring or watching ads, and cash for character upgrades can be purchased with real money or earned through play. The game is based on popular Neopets franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Neopets: Legends and Letters is a free-to-play word game with role-playing elements based on the popular Neopets franchise. Players summon Neopets by spending coins in a mini-game of chance; coins can be earned through adventuring and watching ads. Neopets are upgraded with virtual currency that can be earned in game or bought with real-world cash in the in-app store. In addition to currency, the store also offers vanity items like clothing, paint colors, and backgrounds as well as potions, and energy-restoring food for Neopets. Players can send friend requests to strangers; there's no in-app method of blocking requests. While there's combat in the game between Neopets, damage is indicated by flashes across the screen, and defeated enemies just disappear, without any blood or gore being shown. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change. 

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

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Teen, 17 years old Written byToadette March 18, 2019

Pretty Good But A Little Glitchy

The game is actually really enjoyable mixing both Scrabble and an action, adventure card game theme. I really enjoy the leveling up aspect of the game and the l... Continue reading

What's it about?

NEOPETS: LEGENDS AND LETTERS is a freemium word game with adventure and role-playing elements. Players choose a main Neopet hero and join the fight against an evil entity called “The Claymaker,” who wants to destroy the Neopets' world. Players progress through the story with a party of five Neopets by fighting a series of turn-based battles. Battles consist of Scrabble-like gameplay where players use a handful of letter tiles to form words on an open grid -- the longer the words are, and the more difficult the letters are to use, the more powerful the attacks become. Players can recruit single heroes from other players' collections and friend those players post-battle. Winning battles earns players experience, additional heroes, and different types of in-app currency. The latter is used to power up Neopets, and players can accelerate the power-up process by buying in-app currency with real-world cash.

Is it any good?

While this franchise was once bit among tween girls, this release just sadly illustrates the company's disconnect from its current audience. Neopets: Legends and Letters' first mistake is ignoring the uninitiated. People who weren't playing Neopets back in the day don't know the characters, their world, or their backstory, and the app doesn't do much to bring you up to speed. There's a brief mention of a bad guy named the Claymaker, who's threatening the Neopets world. As a result, you're thrown in with some guy called Krawk and headed into battle with him. This raises the app's second mistake -- not building on its core gameplay. Neopets is all about taking care of pets, and there's little of that here. While you can replenish your pets' battle energy with food and put clothes on them, the main idea is playing a Scrabble-like word game against the AI. This could work -- match-three apps succeed in adding combat by adding cool effects, power-ups and changing board formations. Neopets attempts something similar, but doesn't go beyond simple word formation and basic attacks, and over time things get monotonous. This gets even more pronounced when the difficulty rises, preventing you from progressing until your Neopets get significantly stronger.  

When that happens, you have two options -- you can spend hours replaying the same repetitive battles, or break down and buy the items you need. Neither's all that appealing, and the app's lackluster storyline and thin social networking aspect don't help matters much. You'd never know the app came from a franchise built on passionate fan community; the in-app friend list isn't good for anything since you can't play with friends, and the app doesn't connect to your existing Neopets account, which is baffling.  Done right, Neopets: Legends and Letters might well have slowed the decline of a once-popular interactive fad; as it is, the mediocrity of the app's more likely to hasten it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how apps hide advertising inside of gameplay. Do your kids know how to spot ads when they're mixed into their favorite apps and games? 

  • Do your kids understand the cost of jumping on and off game/app/TV show bandwagons? Do you think games and shows are designed to get you interested in following all of these media trends to support various projects?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Pricing structure: Free (Contains optional in-app purchases.)
  • Release date: February 28, 2019
  • Category: Word Games
  • Topics: Adventures
  • Size: 184.50 MB
  • Publisher: Neopets
  • Version: 1.3.0
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 11.0 or later; Android 4.4 and up.

Themes & Topics

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