NeoPets: Puzzle Adventure
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this game is a spinoff of the NeoPets virtual pet website, an online community that sees kids creating colorful little creatures, engaging in quick games, and buying various virtual items using Neocash, which is purchased with real-world money. The game features unlockable items that players can access only by joining NeoPets community. That said, the game can be played without ever visiting the NeoPets website; the story and puzzles take place in a world distinct from that which exists online.
What's it about?
NEOPETS: PUZZLE ADVENTURE inserts the virtual creatures from the popular NeoPets online community into a standalone story filled with puzzles and mini-games. Players begin by creating their own neopets, selecting gender, color, and a name. They then steer them around small maps where they meet, visit with, and accept missions from other creatures.
Is it any good?
Anyone who enjoys puzzles can have fun with NeoPets: Puzzle Adventure; there is no need to be a fan of the NeoPets universe, nor does playing the game necessitate becoming part of the NeoPets online community. The puzzles seem simple at first, but get more complex as players level up their characters, earn special powers through captured neopets (such as the ability to arbitrarily flip enemy tokens or change the scoring value of certain squares), and equip various items that upgrade their statistics. The mini-games are a bit too basic to hold the attention of older kids, but they don't have to play a major role; players can choose to focus their time on the more strategic Reversi-style puzzles should they choose. And if you do happen to be a NeoPets fan, then the game will give you the opportunity to earn several rare virtual items for your existing online Neopets.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about virtual communities and online safety. NeoPets is designed for kids and incorporates safety features meant to protect their identities, but do you understand why these communities and your parents are concerned for your safety? Do you know what could happen if your identity was revealed to the wrong person or people? You can also discuss micro-transactions -- the purchase of small, inexpensive virtual items that players use to help develop the look and abilities of their online avatars. What are you getting for the real-world money you spend?