Millsberry is an online virtual world game created by General Mills, the food giant. However, the virtual world is 2D and not 3D. Millsberry can be played online and is completely free. Once a player signs up and creates an account, they have a variety of options to choose from: the avatar’s outer appearance, clothing, etc. These things can be purchased using Millsbucks, the in-game form of currency. Initially, each player is provided with a certain sum of money, but then, the players have to earn this money by playing different minigames.
Each player’s performance in the game is judged by the following 5 factors: health, fitness, intelligence, civility, and hunger. In fact, Millsberry is a very educational game: children learn to open a bank account, send a mail to the post office and many other things that are useful in life.
What kids get excited about, though, are the options available for avatar customization and all the goodies they can buy once they have enough millsbucks. They can buy their own house, decorate it, make friends and visit their houses. That being said, the virtual world lacks the X factor as it is two-dimensional. You never have a holistic idea of what the place is like. Navigation is a bit tricky and there are other glitches too. Because of this, children sometimes feel dejected; They create their perfect home, but somehow. It just doesn’t look that good in the game. This problem is compounded by the fact that there is no preview option.
The Millsberry minigames destined for the Millsbucks collection are interesting. Games like Archery and Solver keep kids hooked on Millsberry. They place great emphasis on creative activities such as music and photography. Therefore, they promote these interests in children and children can develop their skills here.
But again, they come with their own set of problems. The instructions for these games are not clear and children are confused about the rules. Also, games tend to get repetitive and boring after a while.
The plot of the game has weekly stories that are also related to minigames. These are updated regularly, but still, there is no core story running on Millsberry. However, the weekly look manages to keep kids curious.
One area that is impeccable at Millsberry is the security aspect. Parents have absolutely no reason to worry about their kids playing Millsberry. There is no offensive language, there is no obscenity at all. But this is a direct implication of the fact that there is no communication in the game. Millsberry lacks interactive qualities and only has educational books. This makes the game a bit monotonous. After all, children love to interact and make friends.
Millsberry also falls short when it comes to the community aspect. There is no sense of social bonding. One would expect it to have a strong community, being an online game. But there are no chat forums or any platform that facilitates conversations between other players. There are only a few predetermined sentences that cannot sustain a normal conversation.
General Mills has also used the virtual world of Millsberry to advertise its own products. All the food products that can be bought in the game carry their logo. These products are ridiculously expensive in price, and this reportedly annoys parents. They believe that since everything is so expensive, children tend to become obsessed with collecting money. They are driven solely by consumer trends. However, this is one of the minor problems.
Therefore, Millsberry is cute and kid-friendly. But it has its share of technical and thematic problems that must be examined.