A few days back, I was poking around a couple of the virtual pet sites I’ve previously registered in to see if they were still up and running. I’m one of those kids who went through that “Neopets phase”, and my roughly 8-year on/off relationship with a huge number of virtual pet sites left me susceptible to reminiscing the fate of some pixel creatures.
It must have been that I’ve overdone the “reminiscing” part, such that I have gotten myself deeply entangled in my virtual pet games again, making sure to check every hour or so if another item had been sold in my shop or if there had been any updates or plots that I should take note of. The effect of this momentary (?) addiction is that my friends seemed to have noticed that I take longer time to reply to their messages on Facebook.
I could’ve sworn that I’ve made a vow to no longer get addicted to “childish” video games, but the lure of virtual pet sites was too strong. There’s nothing such as being too old for “pet” games. Here are some features that have convinced me (and will, hopefully, convince YOU!) to join the pet site craze:
1). The Pets
I understand that more than a few of us couldn’t have our own pets at home. Having to actually take care of one might even be too costly or time consuming for some. In virtual pet sites, pets are easily maintained by a few clicks here and there. Actually, pets rarely even die. I’ve experienced leaving pets for 50+ days without feeding them (this is inhumane in real life), and they were still “alive” when I returned!
At the same time, it’s horribly difficult to look after several assorted pets of varying needs and temperaments, but it’s possible to do so in pet sites (without being accused of animal hoarding). For example, in Subeta and Flightrising, one could have a nearly unlimited number of pets provided one could afford unlocking extra pet slots.
If you want to do more with the pretty graphics, you may customize your pets even further. Painting them in a variety of themed colors is an option (this is available in Neopets, Subeta, and many other pet sites). More complicated, yet interesting features such as genetic variation, mutation and the like could also be found in other pet sites (Flightrising and Khimeros). You could also make your pets wear a variety of clothes.
2). The Human Avatar
Already done with dressing up your pets? Well, there’s still your human avatar. This isn’t a feature available in all pet sites, but I consider this an attractive component. One of the more popular sites with an excellent wardrobe and avatar customization system is Subeta.
3). Is it the Battledome or the Coliseum?
Pets could also get into fights to pick up item rewards. Some people train their pets to incredibly high levels for this purpose. There are some pet sites that offer pet rankings based on how powerful they are, or how many foes they have defeated. During plots or site events, greater “wars” could even occur!
4). The Community
Most pet sites offer forums wherein one could interact with others. There are lots of topics being talked about and finding a conversation niche wouldn’t be that much of a great difficulty. It’s also easy to make friends. Afraid that you wouldn’t fit in an age group? Well, there are people of all ages in pet site forums. The oldest person I’ve met was a 50-something year old man, and the youngest was around 9.
5). The Economy
Pet sites have their own economies. They have their own laws of supply and demand—for example, common items are cheap, retired or seasonal items tend to be expensive. You can set up your own shop or start trades to make more money, and being a very rich player would allow you to afford better or rarer items. Some pet sites, like Subeta and Neopets, even have their own stock markets!
People who are into games like Candy Crush or Bubble Pop might also find something similar in virtual pet games. Mini-games are often used to allow the player to collect more in-game currency. While some sites only have a handful of mini-games, Neopets alone has more than a hundred mini-games.
And there’s [MORE]!
I’m not sure if I’ve convinced you enough to check out some virtual pet sites, but if ever you decide to join any one of them, drop a comment below. I’d be glad to welcome and help out a couple of newbies!
Note: The author is in no way affiliated to any of the sites mentioned in this article. A comprehensive list of pet sites is also available in the Internet.