M-Pets is an Internet based game that can also be implemented via SMS on a mobile phone. The word 'also' should not be misinterpreted as soon after signing up it becomes apparent that certain aspects of the game can only be executed via SMS. According to the website M-Pets? is the flagship game from M-Games?. As the name suggests it is a company that is pioneering mobile gaming and so it is not surprising that they perhaps wish to have a game that encourages mobile phone use as their flagship. The game is based on the 'virtual pet idea that made Tamagochi and Pokémon so successful. When you register you choose from an array of pets that you can then initially customise with a name and colour scheme. The colour scheme tool is actually one of the most advanced I've seen. Rather than just select your colour scheme from a limited selection you actually paint your pet using a Photoshop style brush kit. Registration was as straightforward as any other site. I did run into trouble when I tried to confirm my registration vi SMS but solved it simply by logging back in. It is perhaps worth pointing out that M-Pets is still in the final (beta) stages of testing so I have emailed them about this problem and a number of others that I have experienced, in all cases they have been very helpful. Once registered I found moving about the somewhat vast world very simple. Movement is limited to one global location per day but you can move within the several areas within your chosen location as much as you like. Each location is themed on something such as the simple ?Bienvenu Village? where you start right through to the diabolical delights that are found in the ?Forbidden Forest.? There are far too many to go into details about but essentially you will be drawn to specific locations by what aspects of your pet you wish to develop and the facilities there that will help you achieve this. Details on things to do with your p
et are detailed in two 'day in the life of' examples and with these you can build up a clear picture of how to develop and keep your pet happy. A help section is also provided and it is good to see this popping up in a separate window rather than the main screen. I?ve spent most of my initial time on the site honing my pets volleyball skills by challenging some other users to games. The only way to do this is to send a text to the special M-Pets number with a message instructing you pet who to play with and what to play. When you challenge another pet not only do they become your friend but your skill level at the game played increases. I?ve specifically chose to challenge people who have left messages asking for friends. Messages can be left for everyone to read at specific locations. You can also send personal messages. Texts I send are charged at my standard rate but for almost all cases M-Pets? need to reply to me and for this I?m charged 25p. I played 3 games of volleyball today which in my view is alright once in a while but, for the next few days, in order to keep my bill under control, I intend to leave my pet searching for items that I can then sell for money, use to develop my pet or help it in certain situations. While I?m doing this M-Games promise to only send me 1 message a day at their 25p rate. If I really want I can turn off messaging altogether. After scavenging a bit I might touch up my water skills in the gyms of Oceana. This can be done from the website at no extra cost. Half the fun of this game is exploring its depth and it would spoil it (and probably be very boring) if I went into any more detail. If the above didn?t give you a good enough idea then visit the site at www.m-pets.com and read the ?day in the life of? passages. As the game is still in its final stages of testing its not surprising that the challenge function, where you try out your battle skills against other pets,
doesn?t work yet. Again I?ve emailed M-Pets about this and they are on the case. As soon as I hear its fixed I will rewrite this section. Despite this the site functions well (although it doesn?t format properly in IE on the Mac, I can just use Safari or Netscape.) Ease of use is clearly above average. 25p for a message is in my opinion a little steep and it would be nice to see cheaper options for regular texters. They are after all the ones making the site go round. To be fair its up to the users to make this site into something good as much as the people behind it. At the moment the amount of regular users is a very noticeable con but as things develop and the site moves out of testing the idea of building a community like this through extending the ?virtual pet? idea in this way is one I?d recommend signing up to.
Really Cool! - Advantages: Unique 'M-Pets' friends & game that is fun and real easy to use. All ages appeal!, I like the way you can use mobiles and PC's/laptop. , Totally absorbing and couldn't wait for next interactions. - Disadvantages: I did not find anything that was less than perfect!