Virtual Online Worlds for Kids
(or at least the young at heart)
My online chatting experience started with the BBS’s back in the early 90’s, but I really didn’t enjoy them as much as when I hit the internet and worked for a company that gave me access to – then – Fujitsu’s WorldsAway. Man, that was the best! It was a very colorful, 2D world with cartoonish type avatars. It’s now VZones Dreamscape or newHorizone. There’s nothing like it to date, that I have been able to find. Though, it’s not really for the kids, so getting off this tangent…..
The best I’ve found for the kids:
AWOLNow Free trial period, then a fee $9.99 USD to become a “citizen” or “noble” (? Fee to rent a room). I can’t tell if fees are one time, monthly or used for extras.
ActionJetz Gathering Information
Adventure Rock or Tronji World Looks very
available to those using a
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BarbieGirls MP3 player that can be plugged into online site. Seems to be free for 30 days with a monthly membership fee after that. We don’t have it, so I can’t say any more than that.
BeanieBabies20 From Ty. Buy Beanie Babies stuffed animals, get a code. Use the code to go online and play as your stuffed animal character. Get a room, no decorating to date. Fill in a sort of scrapbook. Play games to win prizes like stickers for your scrapbook. Cute, but could be better. It’s new, so maybe…
Be-Bratz Don’t know about this one, as we don’t own the doll/set.
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BittyBay Habbo Hotel –esque, but with animal avatars. To date there are only 2 room open to the “free” public. Buy some “bits” (bought with real money) to gain access to the “Underground” – members only room. With bits you can also alter your avatar. They say personal rooms are coming with the next update. We’ll see!
BoomBang Not necessarily for kids (didn’t seem to be moderated during my visit), so be aware of the element. Very cute graphics, though.
BuildABearville Wonderful so far, though still a bit limited. It has quite a few places to visit and several games to play to build up coins for buying items to wear or decorate your Cub Condo with. Sign up today and don’t forget to get/save/find your Build A Bear Workshop animal’s Birth Certificate. Each certificate has an online code to enter at the site, so you can register your animal buddy too!
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CampFu Appears to be built on the premise of being a flash game site with some chat and future interactive world. Very new with only 4 games to date. Able to minimally customize an avatar and team up with other members to play games.
ChibiFriends Geared towards girls, but boys are welcome too. Similar to Millsberry, but cuter. Basic service is free but real money is needed for extras. Not updated any longer from what I’ve read.
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Club Penguin Disney owned, now. Really cute. Very crowded. Free for a minimal account. Pay for much better upgrades.
CyWorld Must be at least 13 to join. Meant for the teen crowd, and it’s mostly just chatting.
Destiny Online or as previously known as Legend of Golden Plume or LGP If you’ve had any experience with Hello Kitty Online, LGP has a very similar feel. Right now it is probably my third favorite/most played MMO. 2D anime characters run around performing MANY and varied quests – obtaining items, Fed-Exing, slaying monsters, skill building, training pets, etc. Appears to be HUGE in the amount of worlds, monsters, levels and quests. All of this is very colorful and cartoony.
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DizzyWood (You can use Fish885 as the reference code.) Cartoonish human characters on an adventure! You can chat with others using a monitored or limited vocabulary. Change your look. Send someone an emote of how you’re feeling. Ride a skateboard. Play a few games of skill and chance. Explore. But the best part are the quests or missions! I’ve been playing for a few months now and have had plenty of quests to try to earn exclusive items. Don’t forget to earn enough coins and collect the correct items to get your very own pets! I’ve been told there is more to come! Membership has now been implemented, but you can still play via a free account.
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Dubit Meant for UK teens, I haven’t checked it out, but it looks promising.
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Emerald Island A new GREEN MMO. In open beta. Interesting but slow. Has potential.
FairyLand another anime MMO similar to HKO or LGP. In beta and has potential. I wasn’t excited by the battle system, as monsters aren’t visibly roaming the world and your character is just thrown into a fight. Also, it seemed difficult to get around, completing quests especially, when you can’t remember who gave you which quest or even where to locate the party in question.
Fantasy Age (or Fantage) Really cutesy, short, chubby characters. Appears to be a Maplestory contender. Chat a little, play games, wander around….
Free Realms By Sony. In beta to date, but videos and the basic, public website have me foaming at the mouth to get an invite. Appears to be WoW-esque with a brighter and more colorful/cartoony world. Characters are not saddled with one class, rather having the ability to change their class/job at will. The world looks huge with quests to match. Very social type network with fighting/combat tucked into it’s own area(s). F2P with subscription upgrade, I believe.
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Fresbo World Seems to be a Lego contender. Very new - build and construct oriented.
FusionFall Cartoon Network’s contender to VMK or Nictropolis. Seems to be a WoW for kids. Pick up quests, upgrade gear, shoot and kill monsters with a variety of guns (bloodshed seems to be more of a green goo), chat and play games, all within a realm of Cartoon Network characters.
GaiaOnline basic membership is free, premium membership and certain items (cash shop) are only available for paying customers.
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GirlStuffBoyStuff from Canada or Australia, not sure. Not heavily populated at all. Has potential, though.
GoPets family oriented, but not just for kids. It’s also worldwide. Virtual pets, only dogs & cats at this time, that you care for. Animated - unlike sites like neopets. Accounts can be upgraded with real money. There is a coinciding video game for the Nintendo DS, though I do not know much about the specifics.
Habbo not exactly for kids, but teens might do ok. Human avatar with chatting capabilities among other things. Animated. Upgradable accounts using real money. Similar to Playdo.
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HelloKittyOnline –There is finally (since 2004 or earlier) a tentative opening date of Second Quarter 2009! There was a “closed beta testing” to sign up for, which I was accepted and tried it out. Then there was the “Founders’ Beta testing”, with a Christmas and also a Valentines Day special quest series. The closed beta game was excellent with quests galore, especially designed to teach basics and draw you into the game, a limited world that appears will be large when completed, terrific graphics and superb GM’s or helpers. Additionally, HKO is pro-active in real world community/charity work, building causes into online quests. Can’t wait for this one!
IKnowThat great educational virtual site. Play as one of many bees part of a hive. Earn points while you learn. Use points to upgrade your bee avatar and your cell/room. Would pair up wonderfully with VFK. Really cute!
JellyBeanies The plushes can be bought at the company’s website, etoys/kbtoys, amazon or ebay store. Was advertised on TV with a phone number. Each plush animal, 8 of them to date, is basically a solid color with a sweet scent and comes with it’s own secret code that you use to enter a virtual world associated with your plushie. It appears that the website is not yet fully functional, with only a few features that are working. So far you can enter your animal’s room, play a few games, accessorize your pet and sort of chat with other jellybeanie owners. Had been rather stagnant for some time now.
KaritoKids Karito Kids are 21” dolls (6 of them to date) that you purchase for about $100. Part of your purchase price goes toward a charity - related to the doll’s ethnicity/country – I think. You are able to log in a secret code that gives you access to a virtual world and your virtual doll. Very new toy line and website, so I don’t know much more. Looks interesting, though.
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Kookeys Kookeys is similar to Webkinz in that you buy a plush animal and log on a code to gain access to your virtual pet and it’s virtual world. Since my first visit to KooLand, things have changed drastically. The Kookeys website, now has a BuildABear feel about it. If you haven’t been in a while, I recommend trying it out again. Much better. I don’t know if you have to buy a stuffed animal each year to keep your account, as in the case of Webkinz. Still has bugs.
LittlestPetShopVIPWorlds Littlest Pet Shop VIP Worlds is yet another Webkinz wannabe. Buy your pet at just about any toy or discount store, log on a secret code to gain access to your animal’s virtual self and world. Very cute. Your pet can buy accessories, and decorate it’s house. You can play games to earn more money, but I haven’t found a chat yet…
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Millsberry geared towards kids, from General Mills Foods, kid-like avatars with chatting and games. Not animated. Customizable avatars, own a house and decorate rooms. Play games to earn millbucks to buy things like pets, food, furniture.
Mokitown Mokitown for kids. Safety geared by DaimlerChrysler. Animated, Habbo type world. Chat is NOT monitored and even I was offended by some of the dialog.
Moshi Monsters Pet adoption world. Like Tamagotchi, only way better! Very cute and colorful 2D graphics. Pick a monster to adopt, then customize and care for it. A little bit of socializing, in the form of sticky notes left at each other’s houses. These notes can be reviewed and approved for public viewing, though. Play thinking games to earn Rox - the local currency - to buy food, toys and clothes. Decorate your house. Buy a Moshi Monster cell phone charm to get a special code for exclusive online items.
MushaBelly Cute, but minimal to
date. Buy a Mushabelly stuffed animal (Big ones are a bit expensive so
make sure it includes an online code tag, not just the trading card!) and log
on a code to gain access to games.
You get to go to
MyCoke Resembles a smaller version of VMK. Not necessarily kid friendly.
MyEPets My EPets is almost identical to LPS VIP Worlds – another Webkinz clone.
MyTinyPlanets I believe this to be a
Neopets Cute, but not really chat related or animated. Tons of games to play. Think Tamagotchi meets the internet…
Nexon MapleStory, very cute, and free for limited play. Cash shops use real money to buy personalized or gear. Not only kid inhabited.
Nicktropolis By Nickledeon and Viacom. Resembles VMK, though not as quite as big or detailed. Gets better every day!
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Panfu Very cute panda avatar online chat world. Looks like a Club Penguin wannabe.
Papermint A crazy looking world that is in the same style as Paper Mario, video game). No more info at this time.
Playdo From Sweden, but can be played in English. Very small setting and avatars, similar to Habbo Hotel
PlanetCasmo Cute little animated people that can run around chatting and somewhat interacting with their world. Play games for money. Dress your avi. Decorate your avi’s house. New place that looks like it’ll be a good ‘un! Chat is not monitored much, but you can report offenders. Fee for upgrades.
Poptropica Similar to Dizzywood in that you perform quests or missions. Silly looking 2D cartoon characters (similar to Rugrats) travel to different islands for different missions (some are a little educational even). To date there are 8 different islands, with more pending. A little bit of advertising on the site, like Lego, Fruit Loops and Yogos. Nothing outlandish or offensive, though.
Quest Atlantis 3D world built around educational tasks or quests. Chatting and socializing are available, but not the sole purpose to this game.
ScapeNation Justice/Limited Too – the kids’ clothes store has a new virtual world in beta. Quests appear to be limited to play a game to remove the dark fog from the imeediate land. Yawn. Interesting look to it, but it is VERY slow and the chat filter is VERY unforgiving.
ShiningStars Shining Stars started out to be Webkinz first rival, but doesn’t really seem to come close, IMHO. You purchase a stuffed animal, slightly more expensive than a Webkinz, log on to the website with a secret code, and gain access to your virtual pet, its’ world, and some games. Part of your purchase price goes towards being able to name your very own star and supportting a children’s charity. Great cause, and very neat idea naming a star, but the website is very limited to mostly just flash, arcade-type games. You can kinda buy a home/world and decorate it, but nowhere near the extent of Webkinz. I, personally, don’t see this one lasting.
Sifaka A kind of Animal Kingdom virtual world. Cute, but very sparse so far. Membership required for certain aspects.
Smallworlds In viewing this one I get the feeling of a very socially motivated MMO, similar to VMK, but based more on the real world. Doesn’t appear to be truly geared towards the younger crowd. It seems to be more inviting to those in their 20’s and 30’s who might be mate searching. Change your look, add a cat or dog, decorate your apartment, and perform LOTS of quests that promote socializing with the other locals. So far it’s in beta and F2P (free to play).
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SuperSecret A virtual world similar to Dizzywood, in look and feel. Geared towards the tweens, your avatar starts life at age 10 and grows to age 16 (to date). Age is achieved by completing quests and gaining “Age Points”. Currency is “Spenders” which can be found by clicking various spots in a scene, by finding and completing tasks/quests, or won by playing games that are scattered throughout the SuperSecret world. As in real life, with age comes new responsibilities, such as owning a pet when you turn 11 or getting your drivers license at age 16. For me, the upside to this site is the feature that resembles Highlights’ “Hidden Objects” in each scene/area. While the website does have menu chat, free chat is allowable (though not well filtered) with parents’ consent. Also, the older crowd is purportedly corralled into a separate area (server?) from the younger kids. Appears that a free account can only grow to age 13, while membership will allow your character to become more mature.
Taatu French, MMO? Gathering Information
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ToonTown by Disney. Really great adventure MMO. Your characters look like toons, as do the “monsters”. The “fighting” is actually pranks that you pull, such as a water-squirting flower or throwing a pie, etc. Very non-violent. Colorful worlds and pets to gain. Many quests and lots of games to play. Chatting is restricted to a menu based chat. Basic game is free, but you are limited to only a piece of the entire game. Upgrade via paid subscription to gain access to more quests, better pets and gear and a much larger playing field. All ages roam this one, but it’s still very safe for the little ones. J
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ToppsTown Collectable cards virtual world. Contender to UpperDeckU. I haven’t checked this out, so no information to offer.
Trollz geared towards kids and focuses on the Trollz doll/toy line. Can message friends with premade phrases, but no real chat. Play games to earn trollerz to buy accessories for your Trollz and her room. Doesn’t appear to be kept up, but still fun to play every once in a while.
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TyGirlz Remember Ty Beanie Babies? Same company, new concept. Ty Girlz look like Bratz, play online like Barbie’s version of Webkinz, and are backed by Ty. Not too much here that will appeal to most of the male population unless you enjoy virtual shopping, dressing girl dolls and playing make-up artist/costume designer. There is also an interior designer feature and the ability to play games, but to me, the idea appears to limit itself.
UBFunkeys Very interesting twist to this line – you buy a starter kit that includes one large looking Funkey and two regular Funkeys. The large Funkey plugs into your computer’s usb port. The smaller, normal Funkeys plug into the larger one. Each Funkey separately allows you to enter UBFunkeys’ online, virtual world as that particular Funkey. Each Funkey accesses a different part of the world and can play a game that is exclusive to that Funkey character. Cute and relatively cheap – after purchasing the more expensive starter kit.
UpperDeckU Collectable cards virtual world. Contender to ToppsTown. I haven’t checked this out, so no information to offer.
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VerbNow Meant to get the kids moving, instead of vegging in front of the TV or computer. Based on active avatars – those that play sports and such.
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From Disney – Virtual
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Webkinz From Ganz. Have to buy a stuffed animal, Webkinz or Lil’ Kinz, that includes a tag with a code. Enter code at website to officially adopt your stuffy and enter a plush world. Play games, care for pet and build & furnish your pet’s house. Animated. Must be renewed yearly with the purchase of another tangible plushy. Very cute, but addictingly expensive. They have since come out with heaps of “Feature Code Enclosed” accessories you can purchase, such as clothes (for Webkinz plushes), mouse pads, body spritz and lip gloss (for humans – not the plushes), bookmarks, and charms to wear on specially purchased charm bracelets and charm necklaces.
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WhuddleWorld At only about a year old, WW, shut down due to no monetary support and were searching for a backer. Has since re-opened under new management. It is definitely not crowded yet, but has real potential. Free for the basics, extras cost real money. Has a whimsical feel with characters resembling mice people. Is not animated and chat is in the form of personal forums/journal. The few quests I’ve enjoyed have been craft based or hide and seek. Very family friendly.
WhyVille Educational online community geared towards kids. Money is earned via educational games and can buy furnishings and more.
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Wizard101 by KingsIsle WOW. If I were to write a full review on this one, you would be reading all day. This is by far my favorite! It is best described as a Harry Potter type game that lies somewhere between Worlds of Warcraft and ToonTown. I was lucky enough to play the closed beta and the open beta before the public launch. It is truly amazing for ANY age. Right now you can only play a VERY limited area for free. Free play also gets you menu chat and access to read the forums too. Paid subscription gives you access to 5 worlds (Dragonspyre is the newest – with more worlds still promised), open chat (for over 13 or with parent’s permission), more spells, more monsters, more items/gear, ability to read and post in the forums, etc. Characters play as wizards, choosing from 7 different schools of study. Each school has the ability to learn spells from that class, plus a secondary school to completeness or a few different classes of only basic spells. Spells are animated and amusing to behold. It is not overly violent, relying on spells for attacking monsters and showing no bloodshed. Battles are turn based and can accommodate up to 4 wizards and 4 monsters at a time, ensuring that each player gains experience and drops equal to his fellow comrades at arms. Worlds are colorful and rich with dimension and detail. Characters can be customized to fit most personal tastes. And the sounds and music are likewise phenomenal. Quests are plentiful and varied. To date, I have played up through the current last world and just below the 50 level cap. It is truly an amazing game and the ONLY one I have even considered buying a subscription for.
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Wonderland Very similar to Maplestory. Pay for online accessories. Download the client.
Wonderville 3D Not a chatting community, but an educational 3D immersive world. Choose boy or girl to skateboard around the city searching out many, great science activities. Must allow for pop ups on this site, though.
Woogi World Cute characters. Seems to be a very child safe environment with many parental controls/options. Aimed at the elementary kids. A bit preachy (and slow) regarding internet safety, good citizenship, and balancing computer, family and service. Beginning missions can be reviewed, but mini movies have to be watched in entirety again. It’s very linear in play (at least in the beginning) and level of play difficulty can be a bit challenging for elementary age children.
Xivio Chat based world. Cute animated humans and non humans. One game to play with more in the works with Xivio 2 (anticipated second version). Change your look. Buy a room (apartment, store, school, spaceship, whatever you can imagine) and decorate. Watch videos. Listen to mp3’s. You can earn 7 vios (local currency) per logged in hour (15 for paying members). Or you can buy vios and special/rare items for real money. Tween and teen crowd seems to frequent this one.
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http://aftermathzone.com Seems to be gone.
http://dreamville.e-games.com.my Unfortunately the “Theme Park” has since closed, but maybe again someday…
http://kupika.com/ Not a community, but a website for finding penpals. Simplistic, but nice.
http://www.soracity.com Virtual city with chatting avatars for your Mobile Phone. One can only hope this will go online as well.
If you are looking for virtual pet sites like Neopets try these:
Bossa Nova Concepts’ Robot World
Cars Virtual Worlds
Cartoon Doll Emporium
Club Time Machine
DC Hero Zone
Empire of Sports
Fashion Fanstasy Game
House by MTV
McDonald’s Happy Meal 3.0
NASA’s Education World
The Saddle Club
Second Life Teen Grid
Star In Me
Tamagotchi’s Tama & Earth Expo
Tech Deck Live
Treetures cute, but not a chat world. Educational environment site.