The site, although popular with people of all ages, is aimed at children. There is a parental permission form to be filled in for children under 16, however the site is very safe for all ages.
The site is 100% free to play, but there are adverts on the site, and some of the games are sponsored by companies, but all products advertised are suitable for children. There is also a lot of merchandise available, from T-Shirts to soft toys, which all help to keep Neopets free.
The aim of this entry is to give you an introduction to the world of Neopets, but not to give everything away, as the fun comes from exploring and discovering for yourself.
There are numerous pets to adopt on the Neopets website. They aren't real animals, rather cute alien-type creatures, and there's sure to be one who takes your fancy. There are too many of them to choose from to list, but you can go here to have a look at them all. There are two ways of adopting a Neopet - the first being to create your own pet. This is the most popular method, as you can choose the species, colour (red, blue, green or yellow), and name of your pet yourself. The second way is to go to the adoption centre and adopt an abandoned Neopet. This way you can look through the pets on offer to find one you like, but you can't choose the name of the pet as it has already been named by the person who abandoned it. You can own up to four pets, but each pet needs looking after (playing with, feeding, etc) so it is best just to have one to start with.
Developing Your Pet
Each pet has certain abilities - health, strength, defence, movement, and intelligence, along with an overall level. These are generally only of interest to you if you wish to enter the Battledome (see below). You can increase these levels in various ways; if, and by how much, you increase them is up to you.
There are other ways of developing your pet, depending on how much time and effort you want to invest. You can create a webpage for each pet you own (and maybe even win an award for it), you can change the colour of your pet (from rainbow to ghost and everything in-between) with the various paintbrushes there are to buy, or you can get them a pet of their own to play with.
Yes, Neopets has its very own world to explore. At the time of writing, the areas are: Terror Mountain, Neopia Central, Haunted Woods, Lost Desert, Meridell, Faerieland, Tyrannia, Krawk Island, Mystery Island, and the Virtupets Space Station. Each area has a different theme, different games, different shops, and other activities to make sure you don't get bored.
NP, or Neopoints, is the currency of Neopets. You can earn NP by playing the numerous games in the site, and you can spend it in any of the shops in the game to buy food, toys, or anything else you want for your Neopet. There is a bank where you can deposit your money and have it earn interest, or you can keep it in your pocket for spending (watch out for thieves though). You can even set up your own shop to sell unwanted items, and see the NP come rolling in.
There are over 120 games to play within the Neopets site, so you don't even have to adopt a pet for the site to be fun. Most of the games will earn you Neopoints if you do well enough in them, and you can earn trophies for your virtual cabinet if you do really well. There are games to suit the tastes of everyone - from card games to shoot-em-ups - you're sure to find one you get addicted too!
Neopets is home to numerous 'guilds' - small communities of like-minded people. There are guilds about everything from Harry Potter to favourite Neopets. Some guilds give away free items to new members, others have contests for their members only. Guilds also exist to help you meet people, or to get help with any aspect of Neopets. And if you can't find a guild to your liking, you can make your own.
There are a few contests you can enter within the Neopets site, and if you win you get a trophy for your cabinet. If you're artistic, there are drawing competitions (such as the beauty contest, where you submit artwork of your Neopet), or you might prefer the poetry or storytelling competitions. You're bound to find something you want to enter somewhere, and if you persevere, you'll soon have a shiny new trophy for your efforts.
The Battledome is the area of the Neopets site where you can battle other players and computer characters with your pet. By no means a compulsory part of playing, it can be fun if you train your pet and buy items to help in the Battledome. Training your pet can be an expensive process, as it generally involves the purchase of 'codestones' (which are then taken to the training centre on Mystery Island) which generally cost 4,000NP or so. However, if you explore the whole world there are ways of increasing the levels of your pet more cheaply.