A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Ostensibly, the game teaches kids that they can have moods and be cranky, but can choose to be nice. The default mood for pets is always cute rather than cranky.
Positive Role Models
The game asks what mood the player is in and the child can change the online pet from cute to cranky, but all the other creatures in game are in 'cute" rather than cranky mode. Kromdar the Dinosaur is portrayed as a wise wizard.
Ease of Play
Game-play consists of mouse clicks and use of the keyboard, but learning to play the game is not so easy. There isn't a tutorial, but kids will find a few tool tips when they first enter the game.
Violence & Scariness
Some mini-games have mild violence, like one where kids use a toy cannon to shoot down escaped toy blimps and airplanes.
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Products & Purchases
This is an online game about playing with pets. You get one pet for free, but all others must be purchased at Hallmark stores and then their code inputted so that they appear in the online game. A closing screen when logging out informs players that they can purchase more of the physical toys with a two dollars off coupon at Hallmark Gold Crown stores.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that FREAKY PETS is an online pet game. Playing with a single digital pet is free, but additional pets have to be purchased from Hallmark retail stores. These collectible toy pets appear in the game when a special code is entered under the Parent's account to add the pet to the child's account. Parents also need to know that the online game is browser-based but does require the Unity plugin to play.
Is It Any Good?
Freaky Pets is free to play online with a single pet, the Purriz. The world is small right now with only a handful of mini-games for kids to play. The mini-games are diverse and well designed, and include racing and dance games, with varying difficulty levels. A subscription ($5.99 a year) unlocks more games and difficulty levels, as well as provides monthly in-game gifts. Playing mini-games earns in-game coins to purchase items and customize your pet, but items cost upward of 1,000 coins. Kids will have to play a lot of mini-games to earn this amount since scoring well in each game only earns kids between 100 and 150 coins.
Online interaction: Kids under 13 are limited to menu chat. For those 13 and older, the free chat is subject to a strong language filter and human monitoring.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.