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Neopets is based in the virtual world of Neopia. Neopia is a world that has many aspects, from economy to fighting in the Battledome. The world uses a virtual currency called Neopoints. When you create an account, you can choose to create up to 4 pets. You can even opt to adopt a pet from the pound. From there, you can do whatever you chose. There is no predefined goal. You can play games, build a shop to sell items and earn lots of Neopoints, or even train you pets up to fight in the Battledome.
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If you enjoy playing with the economy, there is lots of it to be had in Neopets. You can test your luck in the neopets stock market, sell items on the trading post, auction items, or create a shop to sell items you find good deals on or win from games. Don't forget to check out the Shop of Mystery! When you click on an item in your inventory, it gives you basic market information such as it's estimated value, what type of item it is, and options for using it with your pets, if applicable.
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Neopets has a multitude of game choices availalbe, most of which award Neopoints. Approximately once a year there is also a Game Master Challenge, where you play a predefined game each day, and try to beat certain scores. You win special items for each game, as well as a grand prize in the end if you meet certain goals, such as winning every day of the challenge. Unique to Neopets is a game called KeyQuest. It is a new board game developed by Neopets, and you can play with up to four players. The goal of the game is to collect all 5 keys and be the first one to make it to the door. There are many obstacles to overcome as many cards are collected to further yourself or prevent others from reaching the door. Some examples include catapulting a player back to their home square, stealing a key from them, or giving yourself the max dice roll. There are four keys to be won, so everyone wins something. The higher the key though, the bigger the prize.
There are daily games to complete in order to get prizes every few hours to every 24 hours. The Wheel of Monotony is an example of a daily chance game you can play once every 24 hours to win a random item. You have to let it spin for quite awhile though, sometimes a few hours. If you close the window, you lose out.
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Neopets has also implemented a Battledome. You can train up your pet's stats at the training school using Codestones. These are found randomly throughout the site or won in games such as KeyQuest. You can train your pet's strength, defense, movement speed, hit points, and level in the training school. There are also many items to acquire throughout the game such as weapons, defensive items, and healing potions. Once your pet is equipped with up to eight items, you can choose to battle other players or NPCs. You unlock NPCs randomly throughout the site. Currently, there are no rewards for playing, just fun and rating. I am not sure if this is something that is going to change in the future.
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Reviews of three more great free online virtual pet sites are here.