By Vincent Haoson (Vincenthaoson), OnRPG Journalist
So here you are fancying yourself a pet and you cannot really decide what kind you want. You drop by various games that supposedly offer you different kinds of cute and uniquely designed cyber-pets. However they fail to grasp your attention because you want something small, unique and bug-eyed, something like an alien. That’s where Alien Adoption Agency, or A3 comes in. As the title says is a web-based game that gives you the opportunity to adopt a “little green man” of your own. You get to own your own bug-eyed outer space wonder and it is your responsibility to take care of the little tyke.
Yes you get your own little alien!
As in every adoption procedure, A3 lets you choose what kind of alien you would adopt. Sadly you cannot customize how your alien looks, so no weird shaped mega-scary aliens for you. What you get though is the stereotyped bug-eyed, slit nosed, big headed alien that kids would often draw if you asked them how they would picture an alien.
Given that you cannot make a freaky alien as your pet you are given the alternative of choosing the color of your alien. You are given a wide range of colors to choose from and the game puts a little zing to the colors you can choose. Imagine getting an old-school green, angry red or ugly purple colored alien for you to adopt, now that is something you do not get to have every day.
Now unto the fun part
As a ‘parent’ of your adopted alien it is your responsibility to take care of your little space baby. You can train your space wonder to become one of the meanest, strongest, smartest little bug-eyed man in this side of Sol Prime, the planet where your alien lives. Or you would have a sociable alien that would rather talk than fight. You have the freedom to choose how your alien grows in the game. This adds to the fun factor of A3 because you are not really constrained to follow a set path on how you want your alien to grow.
To help you along the path of nurturing your alien, A3 gives you various ways of how you want your alien to live in Sol Prime. You make your aliens work, study or you can even get your alien to have his or her own alien partner. To provide for the basic amenities of your alien, your alien must work for a living. Like in real life an uneducated alien would only earn a measly amount. This is where studying comes in. The more your alien studies the more it rakes in and of course the more your pet “develops”. Developing your alien pet means more stat points. This in turn makes your pet meaner, badder and smarter where you can try to duke it out with other aliens in the PVP arena the game has.
Real life for your alien
As you progress through your game in A3, the game feels more like a simulation game, with the arena system as something of a bonus and “bragging rights” thing you have. A3 is not really much of a PVP centric game and it gives more importance to how the in-game community grows.
Welcome to the family
Upon entering the world of A3, you are immediately welcomed by the staff. The first thing you would notice is the chat where most of the action is happening. Of course this depends on the people who are online at the moment you join the game however the staff does its best to welcome you into the game like you are part of one big family. You are smothered by members asking you to join their guild upon beginning of the game. This may seem a little daunting if you are the type you want to test the water first before immersing yourself into the game community.
Getting the hang of the game is easy to do because almost everything is given to you in such a casual manner. The tutorials are in comic-style so that anyone can easily comprehend what you should do. The drawback however of this game is that the target audience of A3 is the teenagers, so it is kind of difficult if you want to find someone you would like to talk if you are in your 20s.
A3 is an upbeat and fun web-based game where the only thing that limits you in enjoying the game is your ability to imagine. A browser-based game is already a game limit in itself but A3 circles around that limitation by giving you a lot of things you can do and enjoy even if the game is strictly browser-locked.
One of the drawbacks A3 has is that if you have prior experience on browser games like Neopets or Gaia Online, there would be times that it feels like you are playing like Neopets or Gaia minus the flash games. The thing about A3 is that it has lessened the cutesy factor that turns off most people from pet browser games and gives the this genre an edgier and more mature feel. Think of Hobo wars, a game application in Facebook and pet aliens as your basic gameplay and you have A3 pegged to the dot.
The game is first and foremost a community based game and you would not really truly enjoy your game experience with A3 if you would play this game solo. Nurturing your alien to its highest potential is only half the total fun you can have in A3, if you do not have buddies where you can share your achievements in the game then it defeats the purpose of Alien Adoption Agency altogether. There is a saying that goes no man is an island, the same is true to aliens.
– You get to own your own little green alien
– The character designs fit with the cartoonish-feel of the game
– The game makes you feel like you’re taking care of an actual pet though it’s an alien.
– You can’t customize the look your alien has
– The games sometimes feel a little too casual
– You can’t help compare the game to Neopets.