Published on Saturday, 08 November 2008 18:52
In this colorful world, kids create and name their own animated "monsters." Every creature begins with an empty "room," which quickly becomes the center of activity.
Players can decorate their rooms with exotic wallpaper and unusual furniture (I love my sludge fountain!) from shops like "Yukea" and "Bizarre Bazaar." Kids interact with their pets, feeding them and playing with them. (My monster even purrs when I scratch her ears!)
The room also has a clothes closet for outfits and accessories, and a garden, busy with bugs and birds. It's there that one plants special flower seeds in hopes of attracting a moshling, which is a sort of monster pet. Note well: certain species of moshlings prefer particular plots of flowers, so you'll have to check the online forum for the "secret" combinations to plant if you want a really choice moshling.
Of course all this landscaping and decorating costs money, I mean "rox," and you earn rox by playing games in the Puzzle Palace. There is a "Daily Challenge" you can only play once a day, and many other games you can play as often as you like, although you will only be "paid" for playing once a day. The games are mostly of the "Brain Age" type: they involve letters, numbers, words, shapes, and colors. As you play, your monster watches from the sidelines. (Mine either jumps for joy at a high score, or bawls loudly if I'm not even trying!) The games change too: if you're struggling, they get easier, if you're really good at one, it ups your challenge level.
There is no live chat feature in the game, although players can leave notes to each other on the public pin board in each monster's room. The messages are filtered and monitored, as are posts in the forums.
It seems to work very well and handily walks the line between "wide-open but risky" social networking and "locked down but way short of fun." It appeals to many age groups from reading age and up, and there is even a forum for (ahem!) adult players! Be sure to "friend" me if you visit. Look for Netmom!