Marapets is the subject of this website.
The Marapets website is a web based game owned by a young English college student named Ian; released on August 15th, 2004. The artwork and graphics on the site are done by a member called Laimay. Marapets is a virtual pet site, with members totaling a bit over five million (As of Dec 2009).
Marapets has its own non-animated virtual world map called Marada, virtual pets, shops and four different in-game currencies: Marapoints, Dukka Coins, Baspinar Points and Restock Points. The site also has its own flash games with marapets in them.
Gameplay and Worlds
Reviewers of the site say that it offers a wide range of entertaining and addictive activities such as quests, missions and temples. While fairies were not part of the world of Marada previously, they got introduced in August 2008 (See: Fairies). The Marapets website's original concept was to target children audiences, but critics believe now that it is more suitable for teen audiences, and adults; as it has gotten reviews condemning the use of violence and cruelty against marapets and minipets.
Marapets currently has 19 different worlds with many activities in them. In activities like the Undying Festival people must gather clues and finish tasks from all over the worlds to solve a riddle. The Undying Festival is one of Marapets yearly Halloween activities. A similar activity called the Easter Egg Hunt goes on around Easter time. While Saint Valentine's Day was always celebrated, in February 2009 they conducted a hunt for hearts all over the site for the first time.
Missions, Temples and Goals
The Marapets missions are somewhat different from the other pet sites missions. Some require books, CDs, or instruments to be taught to your pets. The Temples are another type of mission that can only be completed once. They require keys and runes from the Lost City Of Simeria introduced on July 2008. Some missions require the assembling pieces of a map like the Fugunzel Mission. Temples do not have a time limit, like missions and quests do.
Goals are also one of the unique activities in Marapets. There are unlimited goals to finish per world. They require you to complete certain activities relevant to those worlds, you need to own certain pets, to purchase certain rare items or to earn certain number of quests. Only then you can move on to the next level. Users get a badge on their profile with the level of goals they've completed. Just like Temples, Goals can only be done once.
FairiesMarapets Fairies are unlike the fairies that most people are familiar with. Apart from the body building fairy Gigantic Fairy which encourages players to exercise and be in shape, the fairies are mainly evil, gruesome, aggressive, and/or lazy. Some fairies love torturing marapets, like the Decapitating Fairy, who cuts the heads off marapets, and the Light Fairy who lives in the Sundial in the Lost City Of Simeria; who will kill your pet with a knife to turn it into a mummy. The Trash Fairy is an outcast, she is a lazy alcohol-drinker who lost her job due to her drinking, then comes the fugitive of Maradan justice, the Dukka Fairy who is a smuggler and a thief.
Marapets has a large community that takes part in Maramail and the Marapets forums. A big part of the Marapets forums and maramail, are the site avatars. There are over 300 avatars to collect to show off in the forums. Some avatars are easy to get but some of them are retired and some are nearly impossible to get.
Marapets forums are suitable for ages 13 and above, and users are prevented from access to the forums if they are not 13 or older. Members who brake the rules of the forums will go through having their accounts set to under 13; commonly known in the community as "underaging".
The Adult Forum is another part of the community in Marapets, users must buy access with real life money as it is part of the Account Upgrades enhancements (see below).
The Account Upgrades are an optional feature of the Marapets website. With them, you're given the chance to buy items to dress your doll, costume or enhance your pets, and improve your account. Account Upgrades are paid for in real life money. Some of the Account Upgrades benefits are items you can sell in your shop or trades for marapoints.
News reports show that Americans purchased $127 million of miscellaneous goods, services and merchandise online in 2007, one of them being Marapets Upgrades; although the amount spent in Marapets alone is not mentioned.
The Marapets site experiences a high number of exclusive visits daily. Although the number of users does not exceed 1,600 during the day (in the USA) at any given time, it has been reported that it gets as many as 150,000 exclusive visits each month within the months of June and July. That is roughly 5,000 visits per day (US data). Quantcast ranks it at around 9,300, of mostly teenager and female audiences in the USA. 
Marapets has a much higher traffic in the United Kingdom ranked at 3,970, in Australia at 7,474; and 1,028 in the Philippines calculated by Alexa. 
At peak times when hunts and festivals are in effect the number of simultaneous online users can be of at least 2000. In December 30, 2007 the online user list was of 2,671 users.
Critics And Competition
Marapets is so far the biggest rival and competitor of Neopets. When it was released they shared the same types of activities. For that reason they have been compared against one another in terms of game play.
Marapets has also been heavily criticized over the past few years since its release. Critics claim that Marapets is a "copy" or a "rip-off" of Neopets, which has caused quite some heated controversies in blogs and message boards over the internet. It is common to see Neopets name where ever Marapets is mentioned as people compare them to one another.
Another reason for criticism is the excessive adverts on the site. One Marapets site page can sometimes exceed eight, all different sized ads. This is frowned upon many people and leaves the impression on a small number of viewers that the site might be unsuitable or unsafe to use. All ads from Marapets however can be effectively blocked by using the Mozilla Firefox web browser and an addon called AdBlock.