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Since I did a guide to the best adoptables/virtual pet sites, I have decided to get a little more in depth and review them. I’m starting with my newest account at Kingdom of Knuffel.
The site is quite nice looking. The graphics and art are very well done. KOfK is also smaller, and has fewer members, so if you are intimidated by the big sites like Neopets, or even Subeta, this would be a better option for you. Unfortunately, there ends the good qualities. This site requires an extremely high level of interaction and offers little in return. The sites currency is called food, food points, or fcs. You use it to by Knuffel, the KOfK’s virutal pets/creatures, clothes and items for your avatar, and material for quests. You earn food through posting in the forum, voting in forum polls, selling items (done through the forum, as there are no user stores) and original art, leveling your Knuffel or having them dig, submitting and getting comments art in the gallery, and rating and commenting on art in the gallery. There is only one game. Quite a few ways, huh? Not enough.
The food you earn from doing these things is miniscule. 4-10 through posts and voting on polls, and even less for voting and commenting in the gallery. You can only get food from the game once a day, and it depends on how well you score. Likewise, the amount of fps you get for leveling your Knuffel varies depending on how high the level is, but it takes 2500 food points to buy a Knuffel. You do not get a Knuffel when you join, you have to buy one from the Knuffel shops. After two and a half days I was able to buy my first Knuffel. It took 72 posts in the forum, probably half that number of polls, and voting and commenting on over 100 gallery items. This is that high level of interaction I was talking about. It’s easy for a dedicated newbie to get up to 72 posts in three days, but it’s not a realistic standard for year round, as there isn’t that much activity in the forum. The activity there is is mostly limited to the spam forum. A website the bases it’s currency around posting in the forum will always end up a spam central. Even the posts that are not in the spam board lack substance.
There is also very little to do. Despite its original copyright date being listed as 2007 the site is devoid of interesting activities. Posting in the forum, feeding/playing with Knuffel, the quests, and the sites lone game are virtually the only things available. The quests don’t seem in any way fun, and the are really only available to established members due to their expense. Ah, the expense. This is the most expensive site I’ve ever come across. Everything costs more, and you get a lot less money for your efforts. Items in the shops cost even more than the Knuffel do, with prices up to 9000. Selling Fairy Coins is the easiest way to make money, earning 6-8k per coin, and the easiest way to clothe your poor newbie avatar. Fairy Coins are earned through donating to the site. But remember, everything costs more here, even the FC. Every € 1.90/$2.50 gets you one coin. So you would have to donate $5 to get just two coins. This site is even more expensive than Neopets! Even VDex Project, which gives donation points per $2.50 gives 2 for each. Treasure Trove, the “FC Mall”, if you will, is where you spend them. It’s a good thing the items there only cost one FC each.
If you are interested in the attitude of the staff, the admin has a rather ignorant stance on ad blocking.
“People who use ad blockers (and do not contribute to the costs by donating) on KOfK are people who expect starkad and me to spend around 200 hours per month working on the site and paying hundreds of $ by ourselves, without being willing to contribute with something as small as “looking” at a ad banner. Quite selfish if you ask me. If all people had that attitude KOfK could not exist.”
Um, no, I expect not to get a virus from your site. Now, understandably, most site owners do not like their users blocking ads, but completely ignoring the #1 reason people do it (the safety of their computers), and making generalizations about them is rude, and yes, ignorant. If it keeps a site I like online I can tolerate ads. What I will not tolerate is having my computer destroyed by viruses, and unfortunately a large majority of them come from ads. Oh, yes, you can “report” an ad if it has a virus in it, but by then it is too late. Even the best anti-virus program can’t stop everything. I’ve lost many irreplaceable files and had computers rendered useless due to viruses, and I do not have the money to buy a new computer every few months, or pay hundreds in repair costs. Yes, I get it. You pay a lot to keep the site you choose to run online. I paid a lot for my computer, and I choose to keep it as virus free as possible. I don’t think that’s selfish.
The site has been online since 2007, and there appears to be no evolution. It is still small, there are still very few members, and there is still nothing to do. In 2010 there should be more real interaction, especially from a site that requires so much attention from its users. If Kingdom of Knuffel ever wants to get out of this rut the owners need to start thinking outside the box.
Kingdom of Knuffel does have potential, and it’s sad seeing it squandered. Those oh so costly items are well made, like all the art on the site, and the Knuffels are attractive. A good looking site like this should have new members coming in droves. The problem site needs more content, new features, and a better money system. A good new feature would be to allow users to see who clicked their Knuffel allowing them to return clicks, and a new way to earn fp could be getting food points per unique Knuffel interacted with. Both would give incentive to click more Knuffel, and encourage more user interaction. Adding more ways to earn fp, as well as adjusting the fp rate would make the site altogether easier, particularly for new members. Without new members and a motivated staff a site cannot grow and cannot change, and the sites that don’t grow and change are doomed to be left on the wayside while better, more innovate sites pass them by. It appears the site will remain stagnant in the months to come, as the webmasters appear content with letting things remain as they are.
Final verdict: Don’t bother. Kingdom of Knuffel is a waste of time as it is now. Even if you do get ahead, or have plenty of money to donate, in a few weeks you’ll have nothing to do. The shiny newness will wear off, and you’ll move on to something better.