Hello Kitty Online is a small 2D-MMORPG of Sanrio Digital (formed by a chinese branch of Sanrio together with the chinese company Typhoon Games). The official english site from Sanrio concerning Hello Kitty Online with all the freshest news can be found here: http://www.hellokittyonline.com/
Social features of HKO Edit
While the gameplay of Hello Kitty Online is much more of a solo-game than a multiplayer, some nice social-network-features are available outgame. The game HKO is linked in several ways to the website of Sanrio-Town  and offers free online features to all of the registered Sanrio-Town-users:
- every HKO-player gets his/her own free e-mail-adress to use with an e-mail program started from the Sanrio-Town-webpage after logging in
- every HKO-player is offered his/her own blog for free and also tools to make blogging comfortable. You can take a look into your own blog and/or blogs of other users ingame
- there is an easy animation-tool ("Dream Studio") to put videos or slideshows together and a place to collect all of the videos players made to show and be appraised. You can take a look at your own videos and those of other players ingame too
- you can find circa 30 minigames on the Sanrio-Website as well as ingame, additional to the minigames that are imbedded in quests - and there are some quizes on the Website as well
- of course an official forum exists too , this new forum is from vBulletin, started in March 2011 and is much more comfortable than the old one has been. But there is only one forum now for all international and US-/Canada players, while before there have been many different forums for different languages...
- you can gain Loyalty Points for the item-shop by using some of these outgame-features which can be traded for some certain HKO-ingame-items like the very important level-4-farm-certificates. Other items can only be bought with Cash Points bought by real money though!
- some Sanrio character themed media is available from Sanrio Town too, like E-cards you can send, Desktop themes to use, Calendar pages to print out and older trailers to watch
The gameplay itself is not so "social" though. Except at events sometimes. You may help others out on player-farms by gathering or watering crops and helping to build up houses faster - but not on startup-farms with level 1; only on farms with level 4 or higher. Resources in the wild cannot be used by more than one player at a time. You may fight creatures together with other players, but there will be only one piece of loot given to just one player. Fighting will not provide you with experience-points at all. This also applies for fighting in teams, and also gathering from plants - you can only choose how the one piece of loot you get each time should be assigned to the team-players; either by chance or in turns. Doing quests in teams doesn't help each other out at all; only sometimes at events there may be "real" team-quests.
The game-world of Hello Kitty Online Edit
The world of HKO called Sanrio Land consists of different landscapes connected by arrows leading you to the neighbouring maps or into some of the houses (most of them cannot be entered though). The landscape is mostly painted in cushy pastel colors with imaginative bushes and trees, also featuring fanciful funny buildings and many cute details.
Well-known characters from the "Hello Kitty"-product line are not only present as NPCs in the world but also shown as statues or images on buildings, signposts and such. There are a lot of nice or funny decorations like candy, flowers and even cups full of coffee on some houses or sweets growing on plants in the wild as well.
2D-Drawbacks and Positioning-Problems Edit
Everything in HKO is drawn in 2D, even though it might look like 3D. You cannot rotate the scenery or look at it from other than a fixed isometric-frontal angle, since the world is not really 3D despite it's look. Characters, creatures and NPCs can turn to 8 directions only and cannot be watched from another angle; characters are animated a bit, but not much.
Most buildings and trees will turn transparent when your character or a creature walks behind it, but ressources, characters and creatures won't. So if you're growing plants on your farm you'll have to be careful not to plant trees or tall plants in front of smaller ones, or else you won't be able to harvest the smaller ones since you cannot even see them - not until you chop down the larger ones in front.
It can also be hard sometimes to "catch" a creature with your mouse when it's hidden behind a raw material source. Even when you are already being attacked by the creature, you will still have to lure it out from behind the source, or else your character will only start to gather resources when you're trying to click at the creature.
Generally you will always have to get very close to a creature to be able to fight it. If you click on a creature a bit farther away with the intent to attack it, your character will just walk close to it and then stand there passively while being hit. So better accustom yourself to first walk close to a creature and then to right-click it to fight and to better click at the creature for several times as well to make sure to start a fight.
Sometimes your character even might not fight back at a creature when being really close to it; this is most often the case when your character is standing to the left side of a creature. If this happens you should try to place your character above or right below the creature.
Positioning does not work precisely as well; so to change maps you may have to try to activate the arrow leading to the next location repeatedly from different positions close to it till it reacts. Better right-click on arrows when you're close enough instead of trying to walk unto the arrow directly. While at other times you might want to walk around an arrow leading into a building but your character may still walk onto the arrow or much to close to it and such will enter the building.
When wanting to gather ressources from a certain position where aggressive creatures will not attack you, you might have to use small steps and might even have to walk back and forth for a while until the positioning of the character is to your liking.
Other inconveniences Edit
If you want to look at the infos of other player's characters, you can right-click them from afar. But to trade with other characters, to see infos of their pets, to pet, feed or clean their pets, you will have to walk - really - close to the characters/pet-owners. Better ask the players to stop moving; or else it won't be easy for you to catch up with them as they will not see your character moving at the same speed as you do.
Mostly other players can see your character still walking towards them from a distant when at the same time you already can see your character standing close to them. That can lead to messages like "XY refuses to trade with you", even though the player XY didn't even get any trading-invitation from you, because the system needs some time to realize/confirm the characters positions. Before starting a trade please don't forget to talk to the other one first to give notice of your intentions properly.
Furthermore you should be prepared that your character will often be seen at another position on other players' computer-screens than what it looks like to yourself on your screen. So others might see your character masking their own character or overlapping an NPC even if you have placed your character next to it with a distant. So please keep in mind that if a player's character seems to stand "inside" an object or another character, the player most likely did not plan to do so and will also see the positions differently on his/her computer-screen than you do.
Create your own style, pet, farm, house - play for free Edit
This is what some advertisment-banners of Hello Kitty Online will tell you. It suggests that you can "create" a house in HKO by choosing from different parts and color it at your will like in "SIMs"; or to "model" clothes free-style like in "Second Life" or to create pets like in "Spore"...
This image is misleading. You cannot really "create", but only "choose" your favorite pieces/pets/houses from a limited selection of fixed design models.
Individualization / Customization has its limits in HKO. You CAN craft several clothes and accessories, but they have fixed styles in fixed colors, and also fixed stats. You cannot dye pieces of clothing like lots of pay-to-play-MMORPGs offer. You also cannot chose colors for your house, walls/floor of your room and the like, nor alter your pets color/shape; you even cannot dye your character's hair at will but can only buy fixed hairstyles in limited colors.
The variety of ingame-clothes and accessoires extends over 30 levels of your characters life - which means: at each level there will only be a small assortment of clothes, glasses, hats etc. to choose from to get appropriate stats. There are also several "accessory"-clothes (or "adornments") ingame that will be visible instead of the equipment after equipping. Your only alternative to get a much more individual look for your character is to buy stuff at the item-shop.
There IS a large option for accessories carried in your characters hand instead of wands for every level ingame though. There are also lots and lots (53 + 41 bosses + 8 fixed mixed breeds) pets to choose from ingame, even if it will take time to get pets. And there are quite many hairstyles to be bought ingame as well as lots of other hairstyles to buy from the item-shop.
Only 3 kinds of possible houses are available ingame via quest. You can only have one house in HKO; so if you "upgrade" to a new house your old one will vanish forever. "Creating" a house means that you will have to gather a large quantity of different materials (depending on the house-certificate), to play a minigame and then "work" on your farm at the construction-site (just right-click and wait a looong time) to actually "build" the house. It doesn't mean you can choose anything about the fixed look of your house.
Many other - very creative looking - versions of houses for your farm can only be bought via item-shop. But you can have only one house on your farm (and only one farm per character), the certificate will vanish after building the house and cannot be retrieved when you choose to abondon = destroy your house to build another one in its place. You can have different farms though, but only will be "active" and you'd better not "downgrade" to a farm with a lower-level as this will make you loose your house...
There are not many pieces of furniture to be crafted ingame, they will come in fixed colors again, and you will have to wait to reach Paris at least to be able to make them. You can sometimes get limited furniture at events and your last alternative is to use the item-mall to buy nicer looking furniture. However the former large choice of furniture has been reduced a lot.
You'll need a lot of Loyalty Points at one point to go on playing Edit
HKO is free in principle but pushes you a bit since 2010 to use the item-shop that is enclosed with the game.
After completing all the quests in Sanrio Harbour and Florapolis the quest-chain will take you to London. For some of the early quests there you will need crops that can only be grown on farms of at least level 4 to complete your quests. Farm-certificates for farms level 4 and up are not available ingame (anymore), only in the item-shop. You don't have to pay money for a level-4-farm, but can also "pay" with Loyalty Points that you can collect by doing outgame-activities: http://www.sanriotown.com/main/loyalty/about_loyalty_us.htm
You can collect Loyalty Points (SLPs, LPs) to "buy" the farm-certificate for the farm called "Field Style" from the item-shop. You may alternatively buy a farm-certificate of either the farm called "Air Garden" or for "Sweet Childhood" by using Cash Points bought with real money (the smallest "pack" of 400-425 Cash Points will cost 5 US-$ or 3,50 Euro) http://www.hellokittyonline.com/shop/payments .
A farm level 4 "costs" 1250 Sanrio Loyalty Points at present (June 2011).
A few days after registering you will have 250 Loyalty Points credited to your account. Log in daily on Sanrio-Town to collect 40 SLPs each, then post something on the Sanro Town Forums to earn 25 SLPs with each post, but only max. 7 posts a week will be counted. Opening a new forum-thread can get you 40 SLPs, but only twice a week will count.
Play 5 minigames on Sanrio Town to get 20 SLPs, and don't forget to send your scores, doesn't matter how high or low they are. Write an entry into your free blog to get 50 SLPs, but only 2 per week will count. Watch 3 Dream-Studio-Videos, label them as your favorites and recommend them to a friend - that will make 45 SLPs per day or 315 per week.
Play one quiz on Sanrio Town too for 5 SLPs or 35 per week. Also play 5 games a day at the Minigame-Manager ingame in HKO, this will get you 20 SLPs or 140 a week. Making your own Dreamstudio-Video will give you 80 SPLs, but only 1x per week. Getting high scores at the minigames will also add to your SLPs, as well as getten your creativity chosen by GMs and playing/winning at an GM-Event in HKO. Sending E-Mails or E-Cards will not get you SLPs any longer like they did back in 2009.
This means it will take you at about 1-2 week/s of daily activities to collect enough Loyalty Points to buy your level 4 farm. Alternatively you can ask players with high-level farms for help (farms level 4, 8 or maybe even 12 or 16, since such high-level-farms have been available in 2008 and 2009 too). You can help by harvesting the plants on their high-level farms if your planting level is high enough and if your gathering-level is at least the level of the seeds planted. On level 1 farms, players cannot help each other out at all though!
At some ingame-events of HKO you might also have to buy stuff from the item-mall with either Loyalty Points or Cash Points to participate at the event or to get some more optional quests. Some events won't force you to buy something from the item mall at all, but there will be special items fitting the event available in the item-mall (like heart-shaped beds for your ingame-house at Valentine's or Santa-Claus-costumes at christmas) as long as the event is up in HKO.
You'll also need stuff from the item-mall to be able to start the main quests of New York with low-level characters - even though I'd not recommend that at all! I believe it's much better to start New York after completing all the "normal" quests on Sanrio Land until completing Beijing and to just visit New York to get some healing New York Pretzels for free or some clothing from the few low-level-quests there.
The "official" Wiki Edit
The English version of the game HKO was run by aeria games before who also maintained a very well updated "official Wiki" about Hello Kitty Online: . Since May 2010 Aeriagames is now only responsible for marketing and running the game clients; but support and operation of the game have been taken over by Sanrio Digital in China. Such the Aeriagames-Wiki was closed off but taken over by players 1:1 and is now updated with every new stuff by several players; it's located at: http://wiki.hellokittyonline.com/index.php/Main_Page .
HKO went through some changes in 2010/2011 Edit
The European version of the game HKO has had different operating companies, but all support and servers for Europe were transferred to Sanrio Digital Hongkong in April 2010. The former homepages in German and French as well as some forums have gone down and vanished. On February 24th 2011 all non-english Sanrio Town forums (German, French, Turkish, Spanish, Italian) were closed down as well, they hadn't received support for a long time before. There's only one new US-forum for all "international" players to use.
All international players will now have to do with English support, English news, English forums and also English Wikis. Even new ingame-content for events and New York was and is no longer translated to German and English for their clients and servers even though volunteers have offered their help for free; their offers were turned down by Sanrio Digital. It's no wonder that the majority of the German and French players have stopped playing altogether after those changes.
On February 5th, 2011 two HKO-servers have been closed as well: the Indonesian and Brasilian server. http://forumus.sanriotown.com/scripts/mb2/mb2.cgi?rm=show_topic&period=0&topic_id=45578 All accounts, characters, blogs and collected ingame-items for players on those servers were lost, their forums have been closed as well. No reason was given for this, but it seems obvious that thoses servers haven't been profitable enough.
About this HKO-Wikia Edit
This Wikia started on 31 March, 2008 and was founded by Hellomimi. Lots of facts from the Closed Beta of HKO in 2008 can still be found in this Wiki and show how much the game has changed until today. The Open Beta of Hello Kitty Online started in 2009, the European release of HKO was in October 2009.