Herotopia is an educational virtual world for children to create their own superheroes and explore the different environments, while playing and learning. I was interested to try this out with my 5 year old as he enjoys computer time, and I am happy for him to try out new games as long as there is some educational value.
With Herotopia, it is a much wider concept than other games he had played online as you design your Hero and then move them around from place to place in the virtual world, choosing games to play as you go along and earning virtual money to buy accessories and decorate your secret hang out.
We chose a boy superhero and designed the costume in red
You can move around the different zones by clicking the world map.
Here is part of the New York section. Each area has various games in it and you can see the other players moving around too.
This is Banana Splat, one of the games from New York. You have to aim to splat the passing people or monkeys with the bananas. This may not seem massively educational, but it will help develop mouse control and quick reflexes which I am happy for my boy to do as long as I control how long he is on these kind of games. These skills like mouse control will be important for the children growing up in a modern generation where computers are always used in education and work!
Here’s another game from the New York area – Superfly. It involves flying through the sky and using your mouse to avoid obstacles. Again this will help with mouse control, and spacial awareness, and my boy enjoys these type of games.
When you play each game, you earn virtual money which you can spend in stores found in various sections of the world map. You can also earn by doing some actions around the world like picking up garbage.
When you buy some items you could use them to decorate your secret hang out
Here is ours, not yet decorated!
From the Secret Hang Out, we found the Puzzle Powers section which has some more educational puzzles and seems really good. There is a daily puzzle, then the option to choose to do more.
There are all sorts of puzzles, from word based, number based, shape and space based, to mazes. These are games I am really happy for my boy to play (of course in moderation) as they are all educational and encourage quick thinking and problem solving. Some of these were a bit challenging for him at the moment, and some were good for his level. The child will need reading skills to be able to read the puzzle questions, in order to play.
The aspect of the virtual world which I would not encourage my 5 year old to use at his age is the chat and interacting with other users. This option is there on Herotopia, and you can also add users as friends, but I feel that he is too young for all of this. At the moment, he would be more interested with playing the games anyway! Maybe later on if his school friends also registered on the site, it would be fun for them to add each other as friends rather than adding strangers. With these option being around on the site, I would supervise him while he plays for the moment.
There is loads more to explore too, like getting a Smighty (a type of pet for your character), and fulfilling missions. I feel that there will be a lot more depth to the site as we spend more time on it, and almost never ending possibilities of things to do and discover on the website. It really is very vast!
I would say 5 is the lower limit for this website, any younger and they would be better on the more simple games websites but as they get older, this Virtual World environment can be fun to add more depth to playing games. As a younger mum myself, I’m from the generation where we grew up playing Neopets, and other virtual worlds so I remember the fun that can be gained from these, as long as it’s played in moderation of course.
You can get a free membership or premium membership. For doing this review we will be given an All Access membership but even with the free membership there is so much to do!