What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a casual massively multiplayer online game (MMO) where you grow and feed cute little animals (called Fauna) while fighting pollution. The game is particularly attractive to young girls and women as it is cooperative, pro-environmental, and social. The game targets the casual game player ages 13 and up, and thus does not have parental controls and the in-game chat is open with bad-language filters in place. Most of the breeding of Fauna is facilitated in off-line forums which can get dicey since players may be tempted to exchange personal information. While initially free, players will find that the best way to breed and participate in this online game is with a subscription ranging from $2.49 to $9.99 a month.
What's it about?
FAUNASPHERE is a casual, social, pet simulation set in a massively multiplayer online world. Players become caretakers of cute animals like horses, dogs, cats, elephants, and and variations of these, all called Fauna. Game play involves breeding the Fauna, keeping them happy, exploring the world, and zapping pollution along the way. Players are also responsible for the Faunasphere where their Fauna live and can decorate it, create sleeping Dens, and grow Treat Trees that will provide food for the Fauna. Building Resource Totems can generate resources used to grow the Community Canopy, which is a cooperative project. And if you donate, you will receive rewards and raffle tickets for more prizes, including decorative items for your Faunasphere. Managing your totem for efficiency, yield, and profit is a mini-game in itself. By zapping pollution, players earn more items and fill up an egg meter, the way this game allows you to breed new Fauna. Breeding the Fauna requires players to trade eggs with others.
Is it any good?
Faunasphere is a browser-based game so computer requirements are relatively low, making it easily accessible. It is simple to find things to do because in each area of the world there are Goal Stations where players pick up quests. Players often team up to accomplish the harder goals but most of the multi-player interaction is done out of the game, in the forums, where players ask for eggs or trade eggs. The community is friendly, helpful, and generous in not just trading, but actually giving eggs to each other. But getting eggs to others requires traveling to another's Faunasphere, not an easy task within this game since you can only travel to others on a Friend's list.
While this game can be played for free, to get the most out of the breeding game, players need to subscribe to the game. As it is a casual game, the cost of subscription is relatively low and the game itself is not fast-paced and goals can be accomplished in 15 minute chunks of time.
Online interaction: Chat is open chat with no restrictions except for language filters. However, most of the interaction actually take place on the forums rather than in the game. Because trading of eggs to breed new Fauna tends to start in the forums and requires being added to another's friend list within the game, kids may be tempted to exchange personal information.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about online Social Behavior and boundaries. Why should you not give out personal information online? Does a character's behavior impact the way you think about the person controlling that character. Do you think what you do in game reflects upon you as a person?
Families can also talk about pollution and the impact on the environment. Can animals mutate when they live in polluted environments?
Families can also talk about in-game Consumerism. How does this game make you want to spend real money? Is it worth it?