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Disney Club Penguin (PC)

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5 Reviews

Genre: Family & Entertainment - Online game / ESRB Rating: E - (Everyone) / Published by Disney

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    5 Reviews
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      11.03.2011 11:28
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      Highly Recommended

      I can't decide who the bigger fan of Club Penguin is in our house - the grandson or me. I introduced it to him after seeing some images for it on the wider web, I knew he'd like having a look at the penguins even if he didn't get into the game side of things.

      Club Penguin, for those who don't know, is an online role playing game of sorts, and it's aimed at the six to twelve years age group. Some younger children with good PC skills will enjoy playing this with adult assistance and most adults who's kids are on it sneakily enjoy a little mess around on here too! The idea is simply that you sign up for an account with a penguin who you name and personalise for yourself. You have an igloo as your home, which you can decorate using items bought from the catalogues with your coins. You get more coins on your account each time you play one of the mini games from around the Club Penguin island, and you can get them from coin codes which come with official Club Penguin merchandise too. You cannot buy coins for your account using real money, and I think that's a good thing! However you can get your older brother or sister, or parent (or grandparent) who is good at the mini games to go on for ten minutes and earn you a load!

      You can also use your coins to buy pet puffles, little fluff-balls who bounce around the place smiling and doing a few tricks designed to impress your average youngster. Plus you can buy a variety of fancy outfits to dress your penguin up in, with outfits including bug costumes, rockstar kit and princess outfits. Children can change their penguin as often as they like into whatever outfits they have bought from the catalogue. When they take an outfit off, it just goes into storage on their player card, and they can get them back easily by clicking on their penguin to bring up this card, and then selecting from their inventory.

      The mini games are varied enough to keep youngsters interested with new games coming into play once or twice a year. Older children may become bored by the limitations of the set games, but for younger kids (ten and under) it helps to keep the game simple enough for them to use independantly. Once they've learned how to play the games, either through reading the instructions or having a go for themselves, or with adult assistance, they can manage to play them alone thereafter. Games include things like mine cart racing, where your penguin sits in a cart and hurtles through a mine, with you using the space bar and arrow keys on your keyboard to direct him or her. The more tricks you do as you navigate the course without falling out more than three times, the more coins you earn. Other games include things like decorating pizzas, fishing in the lakes and flying from the top of the lighthouse. All the games are fairly straightforward, and some get progressively harder to challenge more able players as they go through them. It's easy for even a five year old to earn a few coins, though to get enough to buy the bigger, fancier items - it does help to have someone older on hand to put in ten minutes play to help. In ten minutes the grandson can earn about 100 coins, in ten minutes I can earn 1000 - big difference!

      When you first log onto this game, you have to pick a server to play on. If you've got friends who are also on Club Penguin, you can both go on the same server at the same time - and actually interact together within the game. This will particularly appeal to the slightly older children. Also for the older child, there are some more complex games like the card game within the Dojo. You have to have purchased a set of the Club Penguin cards to unlock this in the game, but as the cards only cost a few pounds to buy, and kids will then have hours of fun playing the game online, I don't have a gripe with this myself. It challenges the child with a kind of 'rock, paper, scissors' game which they play against other penguins to try to earn their ninja belts. I like that with a lot of the games like this on the Club Penguin island, children have something to aim for. Also, this is a game that children don't have to play if they're not quite old enough to understand it or work it out - as with all the games on the island, the children choose if they want to play or not.

      Every now and again, something special happens on the island to keep the kids interested and give them something new to do. For example there is a pirate penguin called Rockhopper who sometimes stops by, and children can go onto his ship and look around when he is in the bay. Sometimes they have puffle parties, and they decorate the island with puffles everywhere just as a bit of extra fun. Every two weeks they hide a pin around the island that kids can collect if they find it by clicking on it. They don't have to do this, and they won't be harrassed to go and look for it if they're not interested either. Similarly, those who have bought the Elite Force DS game can unlock an underground agent section, where they get given a new mission each week. Typically this involves looking around the island for something, and while these missions are too hard for the younger kids to manage, there is always a webpage somewhere that will let us adults in on how to solve the mission in a matter of minutes. Again though, the children choose if they want to do the missions or not - they have to go down to the mission room and actively choose to do them if that's what they want to do. They won't be harrassed or expected to do this part of the game if they're not yet able to or they simply don't want to.

      Membership for Club Penguin is a bone of contention with some parents. It costs £3.95 per month to be a member, though you can play totally free and I'd recommend doing this for a week or two to see if your child likes it before you sign up. At first I was slightly peeved with the seemingly high price tag, but after I saw how broad the game was and how much the grandson enjoyed playing it, I was happy to pay out. You can easily pay £30 for one Wii game that kids will only use for a total of five hours all year. For Club Penguin, I paid £38 for a year's membership (slightly cheaper to buy a year in one go) and he is using the game for half an hour three or four times a week now. He could just have a free membership, but being a member means he can buy more puffles, more items for his penguin and igloo, and participate in more games. The free membership is perfectly adequate, but for a child who really enjoys using the game to it's full extent, I recommend the full membership and think it's reasonably priced (especially considering it's Disney lol).

      For young children, there are far less educational things they could be doing in their spare time than playing Club Penguin. I'm really impressed with how this game has helped the grandson to hone some of his early learning skills. He reads instructions and signs around the site for himself with ease thanks to their child friendly formatting, and the simple icons took him very little time to work out. He uses the island map to navigate around with and he has learned to co-ordinate his hands a little better (something he struggles with) by playing the mini games too. I even catch him reading the Club Penguin times newspaper from time to time too! He has to use math skills to make purchases from the catalogues, despite only being at the stage where he looks at how many digits he has and how many digits an item costs to work out if he can afford something.

      Furthermore, the game is a safe way for him to be online. There are two kinds of accounts you can set up - one with free speech or one restricted to using pre-set speech bubbles and emoticons only. If you allow free speech, children can say whatever they like to each other (bar rude words that are censored out), and if anyone is unkind then kids can click the 'moderator' button and report the culprit. For younger children like the grandson, you can prevent free speech and take this possibility away. The grandson can only communicate, and be communicated with, by using the pre-set speech bubbles from a drop-down list. He can say things like 'hello' and 'let's go skiing' etc by clicking on the phrase he wants to use. Or he can just click on an emoticon to wave or smile etc.

      Finally, the graphics and sound quality are excellent, and you can check these out for yourself online by signing up for a free account, or just having a browse around the main page. The graphics you see on the homepage are the same as you will experience in the game - colourful, crisp and often cute too. The music and sound effects are of the usual Disney standard and unlike some games, they don't annoy me too much either. I like that the characters all move smoothly around the island, and it doesn't usually take too long for each new map location to load either. There are sometimes problems with servers filling up and freezing your game, but you can try to avoid this by going on servers which are less full when you start to play.

      Club Penguin has been a huge hit in our house and I'd definitely recommend it to others. It's fun from the children's point of view, and it allows them to play freely and interact with others if they want to as well. From the adult's point of view it's safe, educational - and if you're anything like me, a bit of fun for us too!

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      • More +
        14.11.2010 01:39
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        Great game for young kids. :)

        When I was younger, as I go on Facebook and Dooyoo 24/7 now, it used to be Club Penguin! Club Penguin is a virtual online world for 6-14 year olds with 2 different safety modes to ensure your kids are safe online.

        When you first sign up, you get to choose the name of your penguin, your password and the colour of penguin you want. You also have to fill out the parent's email address and wait for the parent to confirm that their child is alowed to play on the site.

        The first safety option is 'Ultimate safe chat' where your child can only communicate to other members by using phrases, questions, answers and jokes that are pre-written and they just get to choose which one they would like to put. The other option is to let the child type in what they want to say, but as the site needs to be safe for everyone to use, it blocks certain words and personal information. If the kids feel threatened in any way by another user, they can report them: when they first sign up it should tell you how to report members on screen.

        As soon as you have chosen your penguin name, colour and safety option and confirmed the email, you can start playing! Your penguin will be given a small igloo, which you can decorate and furnish to your choice if you become a member (I'll write detail about becoming a member further down).

        If you click the map, you can visit lots of different places, the main ones being:
        The Town:
        In the town there is a coffee shop. There are a few different things you can do in there which involves playing a game called Bean Counters, where you have to catch the big bags and stack them up while dodging all of the other falling items. Upstairs you can play a game called Mancana with other members of Club Penguin. Next to the coffee shop is a night club. Downstairs is the dance floor and you can make your penguin dance, and in the corner you can buy tracks (if you're a member). If you go upstairs there are two different games, Thin Ice and Astro Barrier. Any of the mini games that you play earns coins for you penguin to spend. The last place in the town is the Gift Shop. You can buy clothes, wigs, for your penguin, change the colour of your penguin, change the background of your profile card and buy other things here, most things you will need to be a member before you can buy.

        The Plaza:
        The pet shop where you can buy pets called Puffles, non members can buy two, members can buy upto 18 puffles. There is a mini game there to 'Round Puffles'. You can also buy accessories for your puffles here. The stage is for performances and you can buy outfits from the costume box inside! Next door is the Pizza place where you can have a job making pizzas and earn yet more coins to spend on your penguin!

        There are also other places like The Beach, The Dock, The Ski Village, The Stadium, The Forest, and many many more. All with hidden mini games to play and for the kids to hang out and chat safely with other members.

        Now, being a member. Most things in the game - buying clothes for your penguin, getting to higher levels on the games, decorating and upgrading your igloo means you will have to pay to do these. You can either pay online or buy gift cards from places such as Sainsbury's, Argos, WHSmith and probably a few more. I think it costs about £3.95 a month or £19.95 for 6 months so it's pretty expensive, my Dad would never let me spend my money on being a member and I still got plenty of enjoyment out of the game.

        In lots of shops you can now find merchandise that have been released by the makers of Club Penguin: Penguin or Puffle toys with a coin hidden inside to unlock something on the game, DS games Nintendo Wii games and a lot more of that type of thing. I think these can also be bought online from the Club Penguin shop itself although I'm not completely sure.

        Overall it's an enjoyable game for young kids, I don't play it anymore as I'm too old and spend most of my time on Facebook and Dooyoo haha! If you have kids... it's one of the only safe and fun websites out there and they should give it a go. :)

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          22.08.2010 18:15
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          ENOUGH FREE FEATURES TO KEEP THE KIDS ENTERTAINED.

          Club penguin is a virtual online world which is safe, suitable and stuffed with fun and games that should keep your children entertained.

          You can access club penguin through your pc or i phone. It is simple to find. Simply type into your search engine, www.clubpenguin.com . My 10 daughter loves this site. I have noticed that alot of her friends are equally enthusiastic. This site has been specifically designed for children, whilst providing activities that also appeal to the teenage population. Thus making this site popular with all age groups.

          The basis of this site is that you create your own penguin. My daughter loved this because she felt she could express her individuality through the design of her penguin. You are able to decide what colour your penguin is going to be and also provide a name that is unique to your penguin.

          These penguins live in igloos within the club penguin town. From here your penguin can visit locations and landmarks which are situated around the town. These include places such as the village, the iceberg, the plaza etc. Judging by the location, you can carry out a vast array of activities which is associated with the location chosen. For example in the plaza you can visit the shops. These include gift shops, sports shops even a pet shop where you can spend coins on various items of your choice.

          In order to get coins to spend, you have to play online games on club penguin. My daughter loves to play these games as she finds them fun and exciting. They are very age appropriate as they are not too childish and patronising. One of my daughters favourite games to play whilst on club penguin is jet pack adventure. This is a fast action game where you have to guide your jet pack around the screen picking up coins. However it is exciting as you have only got a limited amount of fuel so there is a race against the clock. My daughter loves this game as she finds it challenging and fun.

          there is a pet shop in the club penguin plaza where you can adopt a pet
          called a puffle. you can get the fluffy friend in a couple of colours. and the pets have different personalitys. for example a black puffle is very miserable. threre is a club penguin newspaper that comes out every thursday. which a club penguin writer called aunt artic. you could send in a question joke poem comic etc etc


          The best thing that my daughter loves about this site is she can talk to her friends online. I am happy for her to do this as she uses the safe chat option. I know that this element of club penguin makes my girl feel alot more grown up and independent. I would never allow her to use facebook (as some of her schoolfriends do!!) so I think club penguin offers her a happy medium.

          All these functions are free on club penguin, however there are other features which you can only access if you are a club penguin member. I was rather shocked to see that it costs around £6 a month to be a club penguin member. I think that considering this site is based for children, £6 is a heck of a lot of money. I don't think this is a reasonable sum at all. I wouldn't pay this subscription as I feel that there is enough free features on this site to keep my daughter happy.

          Club penguin is certainly popular in my home. My daughter enjoys this site and I can see why. It is very colourful and enthusiastic. It is fun and comforting in it's safe environment ambiance. I am more than happy for my daughter to use this site as I feel it is an excellent example of a well thought out site specialising in a fun and social site that older children can enjoy.

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          20.05.2010 15:16
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          safe site and fun

          What is Club Penguin ? well its a virtual world thats safe for children to play online, its for 6-14 year olds and is a snow covered world where your child gets a penguin avatar when they join.

          Signing up is easy and straight forward and once you have helped them join, they then get to choose the colour of penguin and its style. They can then explore the snow-covered island of Club Penguin, where they can play games and do puzzles and other acitvies, which are fun for children and keeps them entertained and you can rest in the knowledge that they are safe online.

          Your child gets a lovely cool igloo when they join and playing the games can earn them virtual coins with which your child can then buy things to decorate the igloo. They can also chat to other members, send greetings cards and use emotion icons the smileys and waving and dancing ect.

          The site is aimed at safetly and the chatting takes place in two versions, one is pre selected chat and messages.
          Ultimate Safe Chat limits what users can say to a predefined menu of greetings, questions and statements, as well as emotes, actions and greeting cards. When it comes to chatting, these users can only see other Ultimate Safe Chat messages. This can be set when helping a small child join.

          The other version is Standard Safe Chat which allows players to type their own messages to other users. Every message is filtered to allow only pre-approved words and phrases, and block attempts to communicate a phone number or other personally identifiable information. Which is great for peace of mind.

          Its free to join and free to play but you can pay for special events which you need a membership for and this will cost you a few pounds a month, but playing for free is good enough.
          you can also set a timer for how long your child plays on this site and it clicks down as they are online so they know how long they have left to play. Or you can set a daily time limit instead its up to you, the parent has a good control of playtime on this site as it really is aimed at safety for children.

          You can also look at the toys on offer from the site and it tells you where to buy them and there is also an online Club penguin Store.
          there is so much for your child to do on this site they will love it, my grandchildren do. they can learn how to draw a penguin and other aminals, it shows outside activities, recipies, arts and crafts, how to print and colour and lots more as well as the online games and puzzles and tasks to complete.

          If your child is bored try them on here its fun for them.

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            17.04.2010 16:46
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            Brilliant way for kids to interact online.

            A year or so ago, my kids were hooked on a MMORPG designed for kids called VMk, or Virtual Magic Kingdom. We were really upset when the website closed down for good, and looked for something similar to fill the void. It was then that we discovered Club Penguin, also by Disney, which is a safe, virtual world for kids to play games online and chat with friends. You can play for free, or pay a membership fee to access additional content.


            The first thing you do when you sign up for club Penguin, is name your penguin and pick a colour for it. You are given your own igloo to decorate and furnish as you wish. You then have access to a huge virtual world, which includes many different areas, such as a town, a beach, an island and a forest. The different areas all contain different activities and games, as well as allowing you to interact with other online users.


            One of the things I like about Club Penguin is the safety of the site. You can opt for one of two methods of communication. The first, ultimate safe chat, means your child can communicate with other users using a limited list of pre-selected phrases and questions. The other option allows the child to type in sentences of their own, but restricts the use of certain words or the relaying of personal information. Kids are also encouraged to help moderate the site themselves, reporting abuse and users who don't conform to the code of conduct.


            The games on the site are varied and fun. In one, you have the ability to be a "secret agent" and complete missions, which are quite involved and test the child's puzzle solving skills to the max. Other games are more arcade style, such as melting blocks of ice to cut a path without doubling back on yourself. Another game allows you to steer a mine cart as it hurtles out of control down the mine, or maybe you would like a job in the Pizzeria, putting toppings on the pizzas as they increse in speed down the conveyor belt!


            Some activities help kids with their keyboard skills, allowing them to type out stories with a choice of different outcomes. In fact the whole site is excellent at encouraging kids with their reading and writing.


            Personalisation is also the name of the game, as you can buy clothes for your penguin with money won playing the games. You can furnish your igloo or buy a new one, or have a pet, called a puffle, which you need to look after, or it will run away. On the free game, many of these activities are limited, but if you are a member, you have full access to all the clothes, puffles and furniture.


            There are several ways to be a member. One is to pay by credit card, where the payment of about £3 will automatically be charged each month. I wasn't keen on this idea. More practical is the membership card, which you can buy from Sainsburys for £3.95 for a single month membership. You can also take out membership for longer periods.


            The game has lots of variety, and usually the whole virtual world is decorated according to different themes. During the recent "music jam" the whole town was transformed into a giant music festival, with related games. Last month they had a "Puffle celebration" with the release of a new, orange puffle. The whole virtual world was "puffle" themed, with special areas and activities. This mean the world never gets boring, as it is constantly changing and improving.


            The Club Penguin website certainly has the Disney hallmark of quality about it. Everything is beautifully done, with great attention to detail. The site has millions of members worldwide. Disney has cottoned on to the site's popularity by releasing related merchandise, such as soft toy penguins and puffles, books, and a DS game. The merchandise comes with a code that ties it in to the online game. If you enter the code online, you can access clothes for your penguin, as well as some virtual cash to spend in game.


            I am more than happy to let my kids play on this site, because of the commitment to safety and great variety of activities on offer. They can also communicate with their friends and family if they know the username of their penguin.


            For me, this is THE best kids website online today.

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