Neopets recently underwent a change in management, with the rights to the beloved pet simulator website transferring from previous rights holder NetDragon, to a group of independent staff known as The Neopets Team. Following this leadership transition, new Neopets management announced a range of changes coming to the website, including refreshes for broken web elements, and the cancellation of announced NFT and metaverse projects.
It appears the first stage of these promised changes have already been implemented, as a range of classic Neopets mini-games, originally based on Adobe Flash Player, have now been restored, as spotted by The Verge.
While pet rearing and item collecting is the primary objective of Neopets, these actions can’t be performed well without participating in daily games. During the height of Neopets Mania – when the website was popular enough to inspire a massive McDonald’s toy collector craze – min-maxing and grinding for Neopoints via mini-games was key to growing your prestige in the community.
Players would play and analyse a range of Adobe Flash Player games to ensure the greatest daily return on effort. Games could be played daily 3-5 times, which each round delivering a potential boon of Neopoints.
Some were more worth the effort than others, with mini-games like Kass Basher being particularly lucrative, as you could easily milk 1000 NP from each round once you unlocked the most effective bat in the game. Hassee Bounce, with its fun see-saw and letter-collecting gameplay was also popular, as were titles like Faerie Bubbles, Faerie Caves, Turmac Roll, and Ultimate Bullseye.
Sadly, when Adobe ended service for Flash Player, many of these games were rendered unplayable. They simply disappeared from the website, along with half the worlds and exploration mechanics. While developers were given ample warning about this eventuality, preventative action was seemingly not taken by the previous Neopets team. Wide speculation was that issues with ancient, 1990s-era coding prevented change from taking place.
Now, that appears not to be the case at all – as new Neopets management has swiftly restored access to a range of classic Neopets mini-games, with the help of the newly-integrated Ruffle emulator, which provides a virtual environment that allows Flash Player games to run.
Given the seeming ease of this change, and its immediate improvement to gameplay on Neopets, it’s baffling that action wasn’t taken sooner – as large parts of the Neopets website had previously been allowed to degrade with the loss of Flash.
As The Neopets Team continues to restore the classic website and reinstate features that have been non-functional for years, we expect to see it evolve further. While the website has recently languished, a major overhaul and refresh provides hope for a brighter future.