All About Moshi Monsters

According to the site itself, Moshi Monsters is a free online game for kids, in which they adopt monster types and look after it. As the site's developers (Mind Candy Ltd., based in London, England) stress on their open page to parents, "the three core elements at the very heart of the Moshi Monsters experience are FUN, EDUCATION and SAFETY."

Obviously the site isn't just for children - parents or adults without children are probably frequent participants too. But this site, unlike some social networking sites, does seem to be more focused on capturing the 6-12 year old crowd. After receiving approval from their parents in signing up, kids can choose one of six fun, cute monster characters - a Katsuma (rabbit-like monster), a Diavlo (tame-looking devil), a Furi (a cross between Big Foot and "Sulley" Sullivan from Monsters, Inc., a Zommer (a drooling zombie), a Poppet (cute little rodent of some type?), or a Luvli (sort of a flying tomato?). Once you add colors to your monster, name it and agree to the terms and conditions of the site, you're ready to go.

Children care for their monster by solving puzzle games (generally educational in nature), which earn their monster virtual rewards called Rox. Kids can spend Rox on items like food-items, furniture and other treats and toys for their monster. Over time their monster will increase in level, be able to visit new locations in Monstro City. The monsters have three characteristics to keep track of - a mood, health and happiness. One unique feature about ROX (and one most parents probably will appreciate) is that there is a finite amount of ROX you can earn in a single day. Doing the daily puzzle will get you the most ROX (about 70-130 on average a day). There are other ways too to get ROX but the site limits how many you can get from the other puzzles and games on the site. That's a good thing because it really does limit the total time spent on the site on a daily basis.

Your monster can also have its own pet, called Moshlings. There are 40 different Moshlings altogether and collecting them is one of the more fun aspects of the site. But more on that later.

A large component of Moshi Monsters is the social networking interaction. Your character is able to add friends, including a certain amount of best friends (three for non-members) and visit the homes and send bulletin board messages to approved friends. You can also visit homes of characters you come across in Moshi City and rate their room. Moshi members can also send gifts to other site members. While there is no live chat functionality, the friend's list, board messages and ratings do offer a limited amount of social networking.

The last thing to realize is that while the site is free, only about half the site is completely free contest. For an additional fee ($5.99 a month in the USA), you can become a Moshi Monsters member, which opens up additional site content as well as a number of special features (which we discuss further on our members page).

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