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Powerpets is a virtual pet web site. Virtual pets are becoming increasingly popular, the most famous site of this kind is probably Neopets. The gameplay involves adopting one or more "animals" to care for - you feed them, play with them and train them; all these activities need "money" which you can earn by doing quests and jobs, by buying and selling goodies, by playing games etc.

So what sets Powerpets apart from the other sites ?

  • It claims to be the most realistic site around. Its primary goal is to bring attention to animals in need and to teach the basics of caring for animals. The site contains a wealth of useful real-world information, mostly in a form of special pet encyclopedias, which the players have to read in order to progress in the game. You won't find here any "fantasy" pets or spooky/disgusting food. You won't even find any chocolate - once there used to be a lot of chocolate-containing items, but when the developers realised that they're giving a wrong message to the players - in real life chocolate is deadly poisonous to most of the animals - the chocolate items were replaced with animal-friendly alternatives.

    However don't get scared by the educational content - it's non-intrusive and doesn't lessen the enjoyment !

  • A really special Powerpets' feature is books. The books are not just another item to use on your pet - they are actual stories to read and enjoy ! Every player can write and submit books, the best 100 books are chosen every month, and their authors receive commisions from each of their books sold. It is also possible to submit pictures for new items.
  • The gameplay is especially interesting because of its complex and "hierarchical" structure - it involves many tasks, some of them to be performed in particular order. Most notably, it's the Evolutions project which allows the player to obtain a very special creature by hatching it from an egg - but in order to obtain the egg, you must collect 12 puzzle pieces, and for each piece you have to perform a quest, bringing the Dark Guardian a few items and answering a question from a 'petpedia' (pet encyclopedia) book, but first you have to collect all 11 petpedias by doing another quest for the Librarian... Sounds complicated ? See if you're up to the challenge !
  • The interface is very user-friendly. The site uses Flash, however most of the site works fine in text mode, which makes it fully accessible to disabled users and to the users with low-end computers or slow Internet connection. There are dozens of little niceties making the life easier, such as the site map, conveniently listing all the locations on one page; the shop search which allows all the results to stay in the browser cache so you can go back and forth between them; an automatic shop pricer which helps to price your items optimally without doing tedious and time-consuming shop searching; and more.
  • The pets' hunger and happiness is changing only while the player is online, so there's no need to login every couple of days just to feed your pets so you won't find them starving. On the other hand, the bank interest is growing continuously and there's no need to collect it manually every day. In a word, Powerpets doesn't try to "push" the player to visit daily. If you end up spending too much time on it, it's entirely your own fault !
  • NO ADVERTISEMENTS - no banner ads, no popups, no links to sponsors ! Although this most likely will change as soon as the site will grow big enough to attract commercial companies. Currently the site is funded by players' voluntary donations.
  • A notable fact - about 1/3 of PowerPets users are over 18 - it's not a "just for kids" site.
  • Last but not least - an awesome support. There are chat boards specially for posting bug reports, problems and questions, the staff usually responds in a few minutes. The players are encouraged to post suggestions, and the best suggestions eventually are implemented.
I have to mention one fact that causes most of the users' complaints - Powerpets doesn't have many mini-games which are common on the other pet sites. Currently there are 4 games, all of them quite primitive and frankly, boring. More games are expected in the future - the developers don't place the games at high priority and prefer to work on more important aspects of the site. As for me, I agree that the games are not so important - there are already thousands of online games on the Internet, so for those who like this kind of entertainment, it's easy to find alternatives.

Finally, the URL of the site is (predictably) www.powerpets.com , so if you're curious and would like to see everything for yourself, you're welcome to drop by !

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