Metacritic: N/A
Release: 1997
Reviewed on: PC

Active Worlds

Site Score
Good: Old and established – Content creation – Community size
Bad: Full access requires subscription
User Score
(81 votes)
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Active Worlds (or AW for short) is a long standing virtual world that is available on Windows. AW has been online since 1997 trading hands and companies many times during the years to eventually establish itself as a leader in the genre.


The inspiration for the game was to create a 3D version of your web browser and for the most part AW has stayed true to its original idea for the game. The game had two years of beta (starting in 1995) before opening to the public.

The gameplay of Active Worlds is very similar to other games in the genre allowing users to explore a vast 3D universe, create their own 3D content, browse the web, instant message other users or use the voice chat features.

Most users in Active Worlds enjoy spending their time on the building aspects of the game which is similar to what you can expect from other popular virtual world games such as Second Life or IMVU. Players can build with already made objects in the game world or import their own objects which offers great flexibility.

When you aren’t creating new content there is plenty of places to explore in Active Worlds. The game is split up over a number of worlds that each offer a different game environment. These worlds can be either under the control of the Active Worlds administrators or by individual users who have purchased worlds.


Worlds often have their own theme which attracts certain communities of people allowing you to make new friends easily and then chat to them using the wide range of available options (global chat, area chat, private messaging and voice based chat options).

The age of Active Worlds definitely shows in a good way with tweaked features, gameplay and a vast array of options to explore. With constant updates and overhauls to the system the game never looks out of date.


  • Launched in 1997, one of the original virtual worlds.
  • Explore a beautiful 3D game world split among many worlds.
  • Lots of chat options to connect you with others.
  • Plenty of creation potential.
  • Purchase your own world within the game for more freedom.

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Active Worlds, 8.2 out of 10 based on 81 ratings
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