Anyone who grew up in the 2000s needs no introduction to Fantage. Though not as widespread as Club Penguin, Fantage enjoyed a more than 30 million user count by the end of 2014. It was an MMORPG designed for kids and ensured child safety. It had attractive features like avatars, games, parties, and graphics which are now synonymous with our memory of the noughties. Unfortunately, Fantage Inc. decided to close its servers in 2018, marking the end of a fantastic gaming age. While there is little hope for Fantage’s return, some promising alternatives keep its vibe alive.
Poptropica, an RPG developed around the same time as Fantage, is numbering first on this list. Created by Jeff Kinney, famous for his Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, the game earned great success, including its feature in Time Magazine’s list of “50 Websites that Make the Web Great”. In this free game, kids create their avatars and explore different islands. They solve mysteries and engage in a narrative that draws from factual history. Although some parents complain about the game’s difficulty level, Poptropica is amazingly fun to play. It strikes a sweet balance between entertainment and education, thanks to its original developers at Pearson.
2. Animal Jam
Animal Jam is an MMORPG like Fantage and continues to attract about 3 million active users monthly. It was released in 2010 as a collaborative project between Wildworks and the National Geographic Society. It allows gamers to create an animal avatar and play games, during which they learn about zoology. What takes the cake is the game’s graphics; it’s vibrant design and cute animal characters are extraordinarily appealing. It is safe for young gamers and has won many awards, including the 2016 Parents’ Choice Awards and the 2017 Google Play Awards. However, its claim of child safety has been challenged, like in the case of Jenna Glatzer, who commented on instances of cyberbullying and cybersex on the game on The Washington Post.
3. JumpStart or Jump Ahead
This is one of the oldest edutainment games, dating back to 1994 when Fanfare Software developed it. However, Jumpstart 3D Virtual World was launched only a year after Fantage in 2009. Its USP is its claims to cover an entire grade’s worth of learning through puzzles and games while keeping track of the player’s performance. This may sound schoolish, but JumpStart engrosses users so they do not snap out of the game narrative while learning. Its remarkable feature is its particular regard for safety and child engagement. In the long run, it has earned more than 300 awards and is loved by parents and critics.
Fishao or Fish Always Online is a widely liked RGP launched by the Dutch game developers at GamoVation. It enjoys 40 thousand daily users who can interact online among themselves. With classical RPG graphics, Fishao offers a colorful world where one can catch over 400 unique fish. Gamers here can customize their character, chat with friends and compete in tournaments. They can also breed fish and decorate their homes. There is no way one could get bored playing this game. It is intense and competitive, and the player with the most skill and quickness takes the best fish. No wonder Fishao enjoys impressive reviews all over the internet.
Habbo was initially founded in 2000 as Habbo Hotel, and since then, it has continued to grow in different ways. It is centered around virtual hotels where one can access rooms, look for items, and chat with friends. At the same time, it is not too similar to Fantage and caters to a relatively older gamer demographic. Parents and users have often raised issues about hate speech and cybersex on the game. As a social community, Habbo may offer a unique gaming experience, but it is in no way the friendliest and safest among the alternatives.
These are the top five games that stand a chance at making up for Fantage’s shutdown in one way or the other. Still, you can utilize these free Fantage accounts if you are determined on playing games on Fantage only and want to access them. Although the original games of the 2000-10s, like Club Penguin, Toontown, and Moshi Monsters, cannot be replaced, new and surviving games remind us of them and a significant era of gaming. The nostalgic former users of Fantage enjoy alternatives like Poptropica and Animal Jam. In contrast, others like JumpStart are ideal for young players who currently need an edutainment game.
Guest article written by: Aryan Naithani