In this week's MMO Family, we've got a roundup of several Halloween celebrations in kid-friendly games. And while most are about the "stuff," there are also several creative contests and events that are worth a look. Get your scare on below!
Spooky Bob and Jack Hallow are back with lots of Halloween-themed quests, and players can purchase all sorts of decorations, outfits, and rides to get in the spirit. Also, for players level 13 and up, there's a new quest from Dworgyn in the Death School classroom.
Wizard101 has a fantastic community, and to celebrate that, several fansites are teaming up to host contests and events (with some fantastic prizes rolled in!). Wizard101 Central, for example, has a full list of both in-game and out-of-game events this month, like hide-and-seek, "decorate your dorm," pumpkin painting, and a "guess how many candy corns?" contest.
Fans of Pirate101 have three reasons to cheer in October. Not only is it Halloween, but the game is celebrating its first birthday, and it recently reached 5 million registered players. Available for purchase are new eye-patches and Haunted Galleon. There's also a free Parrrty hat for everyone who logs in through the 31st. And many Pirate101 fansites are getting in on the celebration with events of their own and special birthday-themed prizes.
Spooktacular returns to Free Realms, with lots of costumes, decorations, a Vampires vs. Werewolves dance off, and the Pumpkin Prince. New this year are several Halloween-themed achievements, including a quest to defeat new overland bosses, One, Two, and Three. Those who complete it can win a weapon with unique particle effects.
Players are organizing some fun in-game events as well, and over the weekend, player Sev Kenek hosted his fun "Phantom Maze" event. A team of players hid in the maze, and those participating had to find several costumed characters while avoiding the ghost-costumed players who were armed with silly string. The Free Realms Developer team even stopped by to give it a try, and several lucky players won some cool prizes.
Clone Wars Adventures
There's even Halloween in space! CWA kicked off its Halloween month with a return of the creepy crate, which awards a variety of fun masks. Also back are the Dark Side duel with Count Dooku, which rewards winners with a Pumpkin Head, and the spooktacular state of Rocket Rescue. There are also plenty of fun costumes to choose from in the Marketplace, like the Purple Fur Wampa Suit and the Pink Tusken Raider.
The Halloween Extravaganza returns, with fun pets, rides, and costumes. Fans can also visit the Haunted House in the Downtown area or work their way through the Mummy Maze found in both Central Park and Main Street. And this year also brings a new scavenger hunt, which makes exploring even more fun!
School of Dragons
The world of Berk is celebrating October with a Harvest Hunt Contest. Each week, the Headmaster will be visiting players' farms and will choose the five best farms. Farms are judged on things like creativity, how well the crops are tended to, and how happy the animals are. Winners will receive an exclusive in-game item that celebrates these best fall farmers. (Hopefully the dragons won't eat it!)
Penguin fans are busy decorating their igloos and preparing their costumes because from October 17-31, there's a Halloween Party coming to town. And members can scoop up some exclusive items through a Halloween-themed iPad app.
Roblox is celebrating Bloxtober with a new costume contest. Players can use the new Outfits feature to submit a picture of their most creative costume; winning outfits will be used in the upcoming Halloween game as well as a yet-to-be announced virtual item. In addition, players who wear one of the winning costumes in the game will receive a prize. This is just part of the ongoing celebration that includes all sorts of gifts, games, and costumes to get in the spirit of Halloween.
There's some spooky fun in Baxter Plaza and the Daily Bugle, with the arrival of new Halloween events. Players can also purchase Frankenstein to add to their Hero team.
As is many kid-friendly MMOs, there are plenty of young fans who use the game as a springboard to write stories of their adventures. The team at Gazillion is celebrating that creativity with a Spooky Short Story Contest. Kids ages 5 and up were invited to send in their submissions, and a winner will be chosen in each of the four age brackets. The contest just ended, but winners will be announced on October 31st, and those players will get to choose from a variety of Heroes to add to their team.
Webkinz is celebrating Halloween with new costumes and a Rickety Haunted Cottage building kit, which players can purchase. There's a decorating challenge this month, with fun prizes for the winners. Also, from October 20-31, players can trick-or-treat in the Clubhouse for fun treats and a chance to unlock a customizable Jack O'Lantern. And on October 31, players who log in receive a Halloween treat bag full of spooky prizes.
Whether you're a fun-loving penguin, a brave superhero, or a wise wizard, there's plenty of Halloween excitement for all. And even though we're halfway through October, there's still plenty of time to jump into the fun events and contests that celebrate the spirit of Halloween!
The MMO Family column is devoted to common issues with families and gaming. Every other week, Karen looks at current trends and ways to balance family life and play. She also shares her impressions of MMO titles to highlight which ones are child-friendly and which ones offer great gaming experiences for young and old alike. You are welcome to send feedback or Wonka Bars to firstname.lastname@example.org.