Virtual world low activity; pretty high on safety.

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

Points are awarded for battling in part of the site.


Users can purchase a link to an adult area and message boards may not be monitored.


The site allows words like "damn," "hell," and "crap."


Playing simple games and chatting on the message boards earns three different kinds of free points, which can be spent on glamour goodies like doll contact lenses, sunglasses, and lipstick color. Point-purchased items can also be traded or sold to other site users. The site solicits money from users as "donations."

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this virtual world offers users several forms of online expression, including personal journals and Web site pages. It's easy to register for one adult message board -- the other requires a fee -- and although the board is fairly clean and the site says it has near-constant monitoring, it's not hard to find some questionable posts (one asking another user to give someone a plane ticket). Also, it's worth noting that the site allows words like "damn," "hell," and "crap," and while users are instructed not to post about religion on the boards, they're told it's OK to mention it in their journals. The site also constantly asks for donations, and stresses buying things for your virtual pet.

What's it about?

MARAPETS.COM allows users to create virtual pets that can travel through 16 virtual worlds, which users can then write about on the free Web site and online journals they receive when registering. Both are hosted on the site -- as are a number of ads.

Is it any good?


Virtual worlds area dime a dozen these days, and unfortunately, this one doesn't cut it. Besides having not much to do, kids will probably get annoyed by the constant solicitations for donations (you can pay via credit card or cell phone) which in a Catch-22 situation, also gets users a few "extra benefits, items, and rewards." Users must care for and feed their virtual pet or it will die; but that just typically involves answering a question about whether or not you want to feed your pet. When traveling through the site, you stumble upon some food, but nothing really happens. This activity, like the rest of the site, is low on interactive fun.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the dangers of posting personal information on public areas of Web sites -- even if those areas are restricted to registered site users. What information is OK to share online? What should be kept private? How can posting or giving someone personal information such as an email address be unsafe?

Website details

Genre:Virtual Worlds
Pricing structure:Free

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byRre232 January 14, 2010

Great Site With Some Ifyy Things

I for one am a great user of the site, but will admit some stuff on it is iffy. The posts people put aren't always.. Perfect. Because many users have decided to self ban, instead of doing it the proper way, they decided to say some "not-so-nice" things on the forums.
Parent Written byElementum August 13, 2013

Avoid at all costs!

The site is in overall, completely unsafe. It was hacked at least five times in less than a week by a hacker who was never even caught. The Staff in this game informed me that the hacker was only able to infiltrate Marapets' security because their site had NO security at all--according to them, it wasn't even necessary because they have never had an issue with hackers up until now. What kind of logic is that? It's like leaving your doors open and just waiting for the burglars to come charging in before considering those locks. Because of their incompetence, explicit material such as pornography and much more were posted for hours in a CHILDREN'S FORUM. Not only is their practice incompetent, but it's also extraordinarily unethical and I would not advise any parent to allow their children to visit this site--it's just not safe. Their ads are also constantly riddled with malware and my anti-virus has blocked dozens of attempts at a security breach while browsing its pages. Apart from the safety and ethical concerns, this site is also not worth investing in. Updates are typically delayed for months at a time, and this is because this site only has one game coder -- a man named "Ian." This man is not qualified for the job and has permitted countless bugs to exist in the game at the expense of players' good experience. It is no wonder why when I visited this site years ago, there used to be at least 5,000+ active players... but nowadays you'll hardly find it reaches as little as 600. This game is dying, and quickly. Its Staff Team is also extremely rude and will ban you without an explanation... you literally just get a ban notice with no explanation! They've banned me personally five times, and I had to spend hours arguing with them that their reasoning for doing such doesn't stick before they unbanned me. They exonerated me from everything, but after each unbanning, I never got so much as an apology and they ALWAYS acted as if I was to blame. They're evidently too prideful to admit they made a mistake. This game has provided me with what I can bluntly say the WORST consumer experience I have ever experienced and I would not recommend anyone to join this game unless they're a sucker for disappointment and abuse.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Safety and privacy concerns
Adult Written bypalmtrees_palmtrees April 5, 2010

Mara vs. Neo?

I looked at other reviews about marapets before eventually joning.As for forum trolling you'll find idiots that will knock you down because of the things you like or the things you do basically everywhere on internet unless you go to a pet site where trolling is banned like petRPG (RPG IS GREAT!!).I personally stoped going on the neopet forums because I was called a few names and harassed here and there.But are the two realy the same? Well,both have fairys exept not even neo's Darkest Fairy or Jhudora go to the point of drunkeness (trash fairy), promoting obesity (obese fairy), or literally killing your pets (decapitation fairy and light fairy).I agree with the person who said you have to accept dark humor to love the site.Maybe even warpy humor.I have both so I find mara enjoyable except the fact you must keep your pet from "dying".And both neo and mara have annoying (VERY ANNOYING!) ads exept mara's can be more "disturbing".And "gold members" are the only ones who can create the "limited edition" pets I believe,maybe I'm wrong. But that doesen't bother me.Too much.I love both neo and mara but both need to say "Vomvoyage" to thier ads.My conclusion is mara is a great site, but only for some.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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