News, reviews & trends for fathers – a contemporary parent’s perspective.
We’ve given you the basic facts about virtual worlds, talked about some of the key concerns and broken down the 10 most important terms to know about virtual worlds and massively multiplayer online (MMO) games. Now we’re ready to provide with you some recommendations. The following is a sampling of the most popular and best online virtual worlds and MMOs for kids. A few of these are our personal favorites, and a few we had no choice but to include based on their popularity. Certainly there are others that didn’t make our top 10 virtual worlds for kids list, so feel free to recommend others in the comments.
Animal Jam – Brought to you by National Geographic Kids, Animal Jam is aimed at early-elementary aged users and has an educational aspect to its minigames and social interactions. With cute, customizable animal characters, and events and happenings that change with the calendar, Animal Jam encourages players to come back again and again to experience different aspects of the game.
Cartoon Universe – This Internet universe (an online massively multiplayer virtual world built just for kids that exists and evolves 24/7) lets children connect with one another and investigate worlds inspired by popular series such as Looney Tunes and Scooby Doo, while enjoying safe and fun experiences in the company of other live players.
Clone Wars Adventures – Set in the Star Wars universe between Episodes II and III, Clone Wars Adventures is based on the style of the popular cartoon, and features daily activities, mini-games, captivating planets and more, all within the realm of the Star Wars universe. There are even appearances from Yoda, Obi-Wan, Anakin and more. Monthly memberships are available for $5.99 per month.
Club Penguin – Disney’s most popular online world, Club Penguin is a wintry-themed collection of mini-games for players that are designed to be fun and highly-replayable. Featuring a very appealing cartoon-style artwork, Club Penguin is designed for kids of all ages to enjoy, including very young ones. There are extensive moderated chat and friend-filtering options available, and due to the size of the game’s subscriber base, there are often many in-game charity drives that take place.
Fantage – Fantage is a virtual world for kids that provides customizable, cartoony avatars that can be used to participate in a variety of fun and educational activities. Some of the games in Fantage are designed to be enjoyed by multiple players, so enlisting your friend’s help is encouraged. Many schools around the country even use Fantage’s geography, logic and math games to enhance their curriculum.
FusionFall – FusionFall features characters and locations made famous by Cartoon Network’s colorful cast. Throughout the game, you’ll meet grown-up, evil and pint-sized versions of Ben 10, Dexter, the Powerpuff Girls, and more of the network’s top stars.
Space Heroes Universe – Designed by parents, Space Heroes Universe is designed to be extremely kid- and family-friendly, placing players in the role of adorably customizable space heroes who travel to various themed planets such as a forest world or icy planet, taking part in mini-games, solving mysteries and discovering rare items. Memberships provide enhanced features and access to additional items, and cost $6 per month or $54 per year.
Minecraft – Minecraft is the ultimate online sandbox, in which players create their own structures and communities out of various bricks, while working to avoid attacks by monsters. The simplicity of the game’s objectives and operations lead to a great complexity and diversity of user-generated creations. There’s a free sample version available on the site, or players can join the Minecraft world for a one-time fee of $26.95.
Moshi Monsters – Moshi Monsters invites players to adopt an exceptionally cute pet monster, who must be lavished with a combination of funny, gross and weird items to be kept happy. Players will rely heavily on the game’s in-game currency of Rox, playing daily mini-games to earn more money while connecting with friends. Moshi Monsters saw it’s popularity surge when if switched to a free-to-play model, and offers greatly enhanced memberships after players have already started for $5.95 per month or $49.95 per year.
Skylanders Universe – This online virtual world is sort of a companion to the wildly popular Skylanders video game franchise in which players use real-life figurine toys and place them on a “portal of power” to bring them to life within the game. The game has the same art style, music and other sounds as the games, but is mostly a fun place to play mini-games and play with your Skylanders in diffeerne tways. Skylanders Universe is free-to-play, provided you have purchased Skylanders toys, which can be input into the game using either a USB-attached Portal of Power or the unique ID code that comes in every package.
Wizard 101 – Become a student at the Ravenwood School of Magical Arts and learn the various aspects of magic to equip yourself for a battle against the evil Malistaire and his evil minions. Wizard 101 remains one of the most popular online virtual worlds, and offers memberships starting at $9.95 per month.