Dizzywood Virtual World Review – A Virtual World For Your Kids to Hang Out At
With the increasing popularity (and profitability) of virtual worlds and massively multiplayer games on the internet, it is no surprise seeing hundreds of companies jump into this lucrative field. While some companies focus on charging an upfront monthly fee for a superior product (think World of Warcraft), others create a free product that is somewhat lacking in quality (think Runescape). In between this, some virtual worlds manage to find the perfect balance of paid and free versions, offering plenty of original, quality game play. Dizzywood falls somewhat in this category – a new, original virtual world with plenty to offer to everyone.
Dizzywood is an online virtual world targeted at kids aged 8 to 12. It is basically an exploration plus interaction game. Members are encouraged to look around their environment and interact with other members in order to earn points and rewards.
You start off by creating your own avatar. You have access to a large selection of templates to pick from, and can create an avatar that mirrors you in real life, or a fantastical version of yourself. You can then proceed to dress him/her up in various clothes, and plunge right into the game.
As mentioned before, Dizzywood focuses on exploration and interaction. Once you have created your avatar, you are plopped down in a little virtual world where you can dig around for architectural artefacts. You can either do this yourself, or take the help of fellow Dizzywood members in this endeavor. The exploration element is very nicely handled, and evokes some of the blockbuster Lucas Arts games of the 1990s.
The purpose of exploration is to earn rewards in the shape of badges, superpowers, and various items. Items can further enhance your abilities, and in this respect, Dizzywood behaves like a typical role-playing game (RPG). The items can be traded among players.
Dizzywood moves through a linear story arc. A lot of importance is placed on completing missions or goals in order to proceed to the next level. All missions are designed to teach kids about certain things – from gardening to organization skills – and work as pretty handy educational tools.
Dizzywood places a lot of emphasis on interaction with other members. You can chat with other kids in a safe, controlled environment. Dizzywood team members take care to remove any abusive or inappropriate language from the chat stream. The primary idea behind this chat tool is to help kids build social skills, although with its limited functionality, Dizzywood does leave something to be desired.
Dizzywood brings a role-play element to the game with various fun activities such as the Explorer’s camp where members can pretend to be away at a camp, roasting marshmallows and sharing scary stories, the Dizzy TV Studios, where members can pretend to be TV hosts, etc Activities like this encourage open expression and the development of various skills in children, and can be very useful in helping kids get over shyness or nervousness that is usually associated with social interactions.
A key part of Dizzywood is its learning engine. Through a variety of mini-games and lessons, Dizzywood aims to teach players about language, science, art, and issues such as global warming, etc. The mini-games are fun to play, and consist of word games, puzzle games, trivia and brainteasers.
Dizzywood is free to play, but to access certain features, you have to buy a premium subscription.
In terms of graphics, Dizzywood pales in comparison to some of its competitors such as Panfu or Pixie Hollow. The 2D graphics can appear dull and boring after a little while, and the animation is a bit jerky in patches. The avatars themselves are lacking a bit of creativity. This is one area where Dizzywood could have put in a little bit more effort.
Performance wise, Dizzywood is a dream. The servers have very little downtime and run very smoothly. Since the graphics are largely 2D, they require very little computer horsepower to run, which means that even your 5 year old PC could run it.
Dizzywood is an interesting virtual world with a strong focus on social activities, exploration and learning. With its strong parental controls and interactive game play, it can be a fun filled experience for all kids.
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