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Video Game / Fantage

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Fantage (pronounced Fan-Tay-J) was a popular free browser social MMO aimed at kids. Created in 2008 by Fantage Inc., Fantage was created with the purpose to provide a fun safe virtual playground for kids but ended up attracting people outside its target demographic and becoming a cult classic. While it was considered a rival to Poptropica, it was still rather unique game on its own.

The game featured you controlling a fully customizable animesque avatar and exploring the island of Fantage (short for Fantastic Age), a place run for the most part by kids. Being a social MMO, there was a lot more focus on socializing with friends (and making new ones) than other virtual worlds for kids. That said, games were still important, because winning games gave you stars, which werre then used as currency. The currency could be used to buy aesthetic items such as outfits, accessories, costumes, and flying skateboards.

The game is generally separated by fans into two eras: Old Fantage and New Fantage. Old Fantage lasted from 2008 to 2013, and featured more emphasis on playing games within the MMO, and interesting events. When the developers noticed the popularity with the older crowd, they changed the game so that it could focus more on social interaction and customizing. While both versions of the game started out extremely popular, Fantage started losing a lot of its player base to other, more popular, free games. Eventually, the entire game shut down permanently in 2018, going out with a bang by giving everyone free premium accounts for the last week.

Fantage contains examples of:

  • Animesque: The game uses an anime influenced art style.
  • Big Bad: There tends to be a different one for each event. The most recurring antagonist, however, is Dr. Finkelstein. He appears in some form in most of the events. The evil fairy Cindleline also is the cause of quite a few events in Fantage.
  • Breakout Character: More like breakout location. Star Cafe was very clearly not intended to be a major location by the creators. This didn't stop the location from becoming probably the most popular hangout spot in Fantage, due to the relaxing music combined with the nice layout.
  • Character Customization: Fantage has a lot heavier focus on customization than most other non-fashion based kid's games. It could be argued that the real point of the game is to get as much money as possible so you could buy tons of accessories, outfits, and costumes.
  • Cool Board: Unlike other games, where your primary method of moving around is via walking, you travel around in Fantage by the means of one of these. Collecting boards is one of the most popular things to do in the game. There are also a large variety of things that are classified as boards, from a mass of clouds to a smiley face with wings which sticks its tongue out at you.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: The game a magical forest, futuristic floating city, a wizard's home, and an arena where robots can duke it out, amongst many other things. All of this is located on one island.
  • Mini-Game: Being a MMO for kids, Fantage has a ton of these:
    • Downtown has Top Models Inc., where players could participate in and host fashion shows. Downtown also had Star Café, which has Snack Tic-Tac-Toe, Fruit Stack (a Connect Four-styled game with apples and oranges), Memory Mix-Up (a memory card game), and Jigsaw Jigsaw (self-explanatory).
    • Uptown had Buzzer Beater, a basketball game, though in later years this game would be moved to the Carnival.
    • The Beach had Splash!, two fishing mini-games (Jelly Fishin' and Fish Fish), and a DDR-style rhythm game inside The Palm.
    • The Forest, Grotto, and Wizard's Domain had mini-games that would give the player Gems if they got at least a certain amount of points while playing. These games are:
    • Other than the Creature Arena, the Creature Area also has Bobo Fish, where you move one fish to another to make a line of fish, not unlike Snake.
    • The Castle had Snow Day, where players throw snowballs through cannons at a yeti (or another player if you play multi-player), and Type Boo, where players type words quickly to dispel ghosts.
    • Mt. Fantage had Boxy, where players stack boxes, and Extreme Snowboarding.
    • The Carnival has a wide variety of them:
      • Putt Putt Revolution, a mini-golf game.
      • Go-Cart.
      • Rocket Board, where players ride on a roller coaster and have to jump to avoid obstacles.
      • Pearly Pop, a Puzzle Bobble clone.
      • Galaxy Hero, a Galaga clone.
      • Bricks Breaking, where you break blocks with the same color.
      • Whack-A-Veggie (self-explanatory).
  • Ms. Fanservice: Agent Scarlet is a spy with long red hair, Cool Shades, and a leather catsuit.
  • Series Mascot: Michelle serves as this, being the most recognizable character in the game.