Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Review: The Travels of Wiglington & Wenks

The Travels of Wiglington & Wenks is a virtual world designed for kids ages 7-14. As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was recently given the opportunity to try this out along with the boys. I first went and set up a free account. It was then upgraded to a subscription account and we were now "Elite Quest Travelers." This gave us access to some things the free account does not have. Click here for more information on the different levels of paid subscriptions.

What exactly is Wiglinton & Wenks? It is a virtual computer world that kids can explore. Their goal is to find famous historical people who have suddenly forgotten who they really are. As kids explore the virtual world, they look for these people along the way and try to help them out. There are also various games to play as well. There are two videos on the main page of their website that explains it a bit more.


My first mistake was not looking closely at what I was doing while setting up my account. I had planned for the boys to try out the account I was setting up since it would be upgraded to a paid version.  However, I inadvertently set up a "girl" as our avatar instead of a "boy!" Yikes! My 13 year old absolutely refused to use this avatar at all as he was not going to a girl character! I really can't blame him. I looked and looked and looked and could find no way to change this once the account was set up. I didn't want to delete the account and have to restart it so I left it alone and I played around with it for a bit myself. I let N9 & B13 set up free accounts with their own information instead. I actually found it very frustrating that this couldn't be changed anywhere once an account was set.

I also did not like the chat feature at all. I simply do not want my kids chatting online ever. I know. I'm strict. However, their safety is my responsibility. No matter how tight a game says their security is and how they make sure it's only kids on there, there really is just no way to know. Sadly, the makers of W&W are currently upgrading their safety features - a good thing. However, some of the chat safety features are not working at the moment which is a bit scary to me.

I am not a huge "online" world kind of mom anyway. My kids bug me enough as it is to play on the computer. It's one reason I've refused to buy them Webkinz thus far. While I thought the educational elements of Wiglington and Wenks would outweigh the fact that they were online playing, I really don't think it does. My boys spent most of their time just playing games.

Overall this wasn't a good fit for our family. I know the boys enjoyed it but it seemed like another time waster to me. However, if you really love computer games, it might work better for you - the graphics are excellent. I do know that the makers are currently beefing up their security features as well.

Be sure to head over to the TOS Homeschool Crew blog to see what other Crew members had to say about it.

*Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. All opinions shared are my own. TOS Crew Members are given the product free of charge in exchange for our unbiased opinion of the product.

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