This virtual world for kids is all about adventure - traveling to new and exciting worlds and seeing new things. Every child loves the idea of an adventure quest, and Wiglington and Wenks brings this experience to children in grand style, with new quests and adventures all the time. In addition to exploring the world, you can visit a "party" when a variety of other members are online just to socialize, or you can spend time just playing games in various spots throughout the virtual world.
When you first visit Wiglington and Wenks, the first think that you'll notice is that it shouts travel, adventure and excitement from the very main page. The login is on a piece of parchment, and the hero adventurers - Wiglington, the dashing man with his arms crossed on the left, and Wenks, the sassy lady on the right with her hands on her hips - stare out at you, the visitor, and dare you to enter your login credentials so that you can embark on an adventure of your very own.
The first order of business, when you create your very first account, is to create your avatar (the character that will represent you in the virtual world for kids). While the avatar creation tool is a little bit limited in choices, the "cute" factor of these little characters more than makes up for it. Your child can create a little adventurer with the same hair color, eye color and any color of clothes and shoes they like.
The first think you'll face when you log in is a blank blue screen and three choices - Wiglington, Wenks or FiloRat. As an introduction, this screen isn't very intuitive, and could be confusing for younger kids - as they'll be unsure what they're supposed to do at this point.
However, the three icons are the three areas you can visit, along with the visitor count. If one area is completely "full," you can still explore using one of the other worlds. They're all the same, so you aren't missing out on anything - unless there's a party going on (where lots of members meet at once). Click on any one of the pictures and you're ready to go on your quest!
You'll start your adventure within this virtual world for kids in the town square. Here you'll find the Hall of Fame, Henry's Diner and the Post Office. Most areas of the world are set up like this, with several buildings grouped together that you can explore. Your first quest is to collect objects as you find your way through the Wiglington and Wenks world. Depending what building you visit or where you travel to, you'll find different things to do, like play games, chat with friends or find objects for your quest.
Along the way, the makers of this game strategically place interesting and educational facts that kids will learn when they click on certain objects. For example, in the post office, clicking on the bulletin board pops up an interesting fact about the first postage stamp.
There are also fun games scattered throughout this adventure world. For example when you walk into Henry's Diner, you'll discover a pool game where you can shoot the cue ball around the table to try and sink some of the other pool balls. The games are clearly for somewhat older kids, not toddlers. The appropriate age group for most of these games is over 8 years old. In fact, there are some games that are so confusing that even adults might have difficulty figuring it out. The complex "Drop the Parcel" game in the post office is a case in point.
As you explore the world, you'll uncover lots of other buildings with games, objects to collect for your quests, or even shops where you can get new clothes or other things for your character. You can either pay real money for those items, or you can play games and earn Wiglington coins that will also buy you those same items.
There are other very fun things to do in various parts of the world - and you'll only discover what those are if you explore. For example, at the cinema, you can select a short video clip to watch and it'll show up on the movie screen in front of your avatar.
On the left side of your screen, as you are on your Wiglington and Wenks adventure, you'll notice that you can click on a couple of icons. One is "Throw or Join a Party on WW!" and the other is "New Quest Travelers, Click here for HELP!" The second link is perfect for those younger kids who aren't sure what to do. But the first link is a great place for your child to make sure they're online when a large group of other players are - during a WW party!
WW parties are fun, because usually lots of players are grouped at the town square or throughout the world, and there are many opportunities for very fun conversation. Of course, the chat feature at Wiglington and Wenks is full featured - kids can type whatever they want - so it's important for parents to keep an eye on who their children are talking to while playing this game.
Overall, this kids' world is still rough around the edges - a few of the games need to be made a little easier for children, or removed entirely. Additionally, the chat feature should have more safeguards, like at most other online social networks for kids, where conversation is limited to a set of select statements.
On the other hand, the world of Wiglington and Wenks offers something that most other children's social networks don't - a focus on adventure and exploration, and the excitement and thrill that goes along with that. If the makers of this new world maintain that focus, and appeal to the sense of adventure within every child, this virtual world for children should become very popular.