Starting today, we’re ushering in the Year of the Rat, one of the twelve animals in the calendar cycle of the Chinese zodiac. 🐀
Poptropica has joined in the festivities too, with a blog post featuring a big, sorta creepy-looking rodent, and dropping slight hints about what’s to come. (Editor’s note about their picture: Lunar/Chinese New Year certainly begins on the 25th this year, but is celebrated for days afterward!)
This Saturday marks the start of year 4718 of the Chinese calendar, the Year of the Rat!
We’re wishing you guys the best of luck in the coming year, and we’re looking forward to it ourselves! Some big game updates are on the horizon, and we’ll be posting more details about them soon, as well as the results of the art contest!! Stay tuned!
Hmm… “big game updates”… vague but promising. The results of the art contest (the costume design contest, which ended earlier this week) are something more concrete to look forward to, at least!
Also on the blog, Poptropica recently put out a poll asking the all-important question, “Where do you play Poptropica?”, specifically, “phone or computer?” If you haven’t answered yet, you can still cast your vote or change it with a click on the poll post. These are the results as of now:
Out of 650+ votes, the majority (76%) say they play Poptropica on the computer, while almost a fifth (20%) say they play on both, and the remaining minority (6%) are on team phone. Taking the “both” vote into account, that’s 94% who play on the computer and 24% on mobile.
Are you surprised by the results? Do you think this justifies Poptropica’s efforts into building for the newer and ever-rising frontier of mobile gaming, or should they spend more focus on just the desktop game? (Though, with current tech, one probably relates to the other.) Sound off your thoughts in the comments!
This past Friday, January 24 was also Compliment Day, an occasion not quite as historically established as the Lunar New Year but nevertheless also celebrated by Poptropica.
They put out a post with a drawing featuring Myron van Buren giving a friendly compliment to fellow (Pelican Rock?) prison inmate Dr. Hare on just how perfectly evil his vibes are, along with a note of encouragement for all Poptropicans to say a kind word to one another. Good vibes only, y’all. ✌️
Today is Compliment Day! Say something nice to your fellow Poptropican, and let’s show each other how much we appreciate one another! You never know when a small kind word could make someone’s day.
So on that note, here’s a compliment for you, dear reader: great choice of reading material today by being here on the PHB!
But seriously, you matter to us, and to the communities you’re a part of, whether they’re your family, friends, or the collective of Poptropicans on the internet. We’re super grateful that you’re here, and we hope you’ll journey on with us into the coming year as we see what’s next for Poptropica! ✨
Hello, everybody, it’s Lucky Joker here! Today I’ll be guiding you through yet another advertisement that can be found on Home Island.
The featured ad this time around promotes the newly released Disney Channel comedy horror series, The Owl House — which is about a teenage girl who stumbles into a fantasy world and pursues her dream of becoming a witch. I’ve heard the reviews are great, so you might want to check it out. I think I’ll give it a whirl myself!
Okay, anyway, head inside and talk to Eda. She’ll give you her staff, and you’ll be redirected to the mini game. You needn’t worry, it’s pretty easy.
The mission is to save King. To do that, owl you got to do is move your mouse from left to right, dodging the dive bombing demon attacks without losing all your lives. You have 5 of them, so be careful!
Once you manage to successfully keep King from being stolen, you’ll receive your very own King Friend Follower and Flying Staff. Yes, you can actually fly on it! Pretty neat, huh?
Well folks, that’s all for today. Don’t forget to tune in to new episodes of The Owl House every Friday on Disney Channel and to check up on the PHB for fun posts coming soon.
As always, thank you for reading and I’ll talk to you in the next one. Pop on!
Hello, everybody! Gentle Dolphin here with news of recent Pop updates!
It may be the middle of the month, but we still want to highlight the January member gifts! This month, members are gifted six exclusive items: two outfits (Stylin’ Oufit and Cool Outfit), two pet accessories (Bling Glasses and Bling Collar), and two furniture items for your clubhouse (Cinema Lightbox and Classic Record Player).
*Special thanks to Osmium for providing the clubhouse picture!*
This is definitely a cool member pack, but there are a couple small things I want to address. First, the Stylin’ Outfit looks incredibly similar to an outfit from Poptropica Worlds. I mean, just look at these two photos and try to tell me they’re not the same:
Second, the Pet Barn has been updated to include the Bling Glasses and Collar. Strange that two exclusive items are being sold in an in-game store, made even more so by the fact that they are marked members-only in said store.
Along with new member gifts, January also brought a store update! Like last month, the January update features many older items and costumes. That’s cool and all, but 11 of the 34 items are for members only.
What’s also unfortunate is that the prices of these items have gone up and I mean WAY UP! While most of the items are within the normal 250-350 credit range, a few of them are now worth up to 500 CREDITS!!! Yikes! Your dreams of owning that Mini Dr. Hare follower may seem impossible, but don’t give up hope! Speaking of dreams…
In case you missed it, January 13 was National Make Your Dreams Come True Day. Poptropica celebrated by sharing words of encouragement on social media along with an inspiring illustration from Blue Tooth.
You heard right!! Here’s a word of encouragement from the Poptropica Creators to you! No matter what it is that makes you happy, big or small, chase it until it’s yours!
Work hard! Take breaks! Learn from your mistakes! Be patient with yourself! Most of all, stay hydrated! Very important. WE’RE ROOTING FOR YOU!!
On the Instagram version of the post, several people have commented some dreams that they want to come true. One dream that a lot of people mentioned and agreed with was to bring back all of the old islands. Hopefully, that wish will come true soon…
If you’ve been here a while, you may recall when Poptropica ran a contest called #MyPoptropicaCostume back in 2016–17, inviting Poptropicans to design their dream costume and promising to create the winning designs in the game. And now, in 2020, it’s back!
Really, it’s pretty much the same concept, as you might’ve guessed by the use of the exact same picture. Here are the general guidelines, though you’ll want to refer to the Creators’ Blog post for full rules:
Create with any method you like, whether it’s drawn digitally or made physically and then scanned or photographed.
Add details about your costume, and give it a name.
Create something that can be reproduced as a costume in-game, meaning avoid super-small details or too much color.
Be original — don’t imitate copyrighted media.
Up to three entries per person.
Include your Poptropican’s name in your entry, and send it along to email@example.com with your first name as well. Optional: Include your social media handle to shoutout if you’re selected as a winner.
You have from now till January 21 (Tuesday) at midnight Eastern time to enter, giving you almost two weeks to dream and deliver.
And did we mention the prizes? One grand prize winner gets their design made as a costume in the Poptropica Store, plus an NPC on Home Island will be wearing it, and there’s a 6-month membership to be had! As for the runners up, of which there will be three: one month of membership and their designs featured on the official blog. For ten honorable mentions, just the latter.
They did make a few changes to the distribution of winners and prizes compared to last time, probably due to their track record of not exactly delivering on all their promises back in 2017.
Anyway, it’s cool to see the Poptropica costume design contest return, and the promise of a stupendous fashion stunner coming soon to a game screen near us. What are you waiting for? That could very well be your design!
Hey, Poptropicans—welcome to 2020. As you may have heard, this year will bring about the end of Adobe Flash, the engine that much of Poptropica runs on. The implications are huge for this game, and we’ve already seen it affecting 29 of the oldest islands and many more features.
Here on the PHB, we’ve mentioned the Flash issue here and there, but now we’re taking the opportunity to make a whole post hashing out what’s happening, what it means, and where it’s all going. So let’s get started!
1. Where are the old islands?
In July 2019, Poptropica removed 29 islands from the map. They were all considered “old school islands”: Poptropica’s earliest islands, created and released from 2007–2013, which were built using ActionScript 2 (AS2), a programming language primarily used for the Adobe Flash Player platform.
The good news is, you can still play the old school islands using the Old Island Directory created by the glitcheridk. Although they’re currently inaccessible from the game itself, it’s possible that the old islands will return. Poptropica’s reason for taking them down, for the time being, was because they were “causing a lot of problems for players.”
2. Poptropica’s Promises
On the first day of the new year, Poptropica posted the following on Instagram: “2020 is going to great [sic] — a non-Flash version of the game, new islands, the return of some old islands, and so much more!!!” (Our emphasis added.) So, there’s hope yet that the old islands will return—but as the Instagram post indicates, it may not be all of them.
We’re not sure which ones are coming back and which ones might not make it, nor do we know why, but perhaps there’s only so much they can work with. Still, in addition to directly playing them via theOld Island Directory, you can also relive their memories with the PHB’s collection of Island Guides.
3. What does it mean that Flash is going away?
Adobe Flash Player was an instrumental engine for a lot of the early internet, particularly for games, video, and animations. Poptropica is among the many websites that used Flash, just like other popular game sites of the 2000s and 2010s, like Club Penguin and Neopets. For those of us who’ve grown up playing these games, losing Flash is not just saying goodbye to outdated technology, but watching whole worlds from our childhoods crumble away. RIP. 😢
And yet, Flash is going away simply because tech has evolved for the better—modern web browsers have adapted to HTML5, and the end of Flash also means better security and battery life. So, if Poptropica is to continue, they’ll need to keep up with the tech and move off of Flash… which is what they’ve been working on for the past few years, even though this has meant fewer islands and more cosmetic changes—and yes, even the seemingly odd creation of Poptropica Worlds, built with Unity and launched in 2017.
Newer islands, which have a larger screen and ambient music, were built with ActionScript 3 (AS3), which is more compatible with current desktop standards as well as the rise of mobile applications. We started calling these islands SUIs, which stands for Sound-Updated Islands.
In 2013, Poptropica launched a beta version of 24 Carrot as an SUI called BETA Carrotene, and after fixing up some bugs, they were ready to roll out Virus Hunter, the first official SUI. From then on, all islands were released as SUIs, and sometimes the Creators even went back and re-made a former island, like Time Tangled or Mythology, into an SUI. Unlike older islands, these newer SUIs are able to survive without Flash, which is why islands now come as SUIs.
4. Poptropica’s Progress
Poptropica Worlds was intended to be Poptropica’s solution to the post-Flash dilemma, but for some reason, things didn’t quite pan out. By 2019, it wasn’t being updated anymore and was even actively hidden from the homepage. Instead, many of Worlds’ standout features have since been integrated into the original Poptropica, like device syncing and player clubhouses.
Poptropica even wrote in their recap of 2019 that many of that year’s updates were “a really important part of the conversion process for getting the game off of Flash” suggesting that their post-Flash solution will focus not on Worlds, but on the original Poptropica. Some more of these updates over the past year include a new layout for friends and the store, SUI-ified common rooms, and plus, who could forget the adorable pets?
However, the shiny new things are eclipsed by the loss of many beloved classic features that may or may not be compatible with the future of technology—such as the old school islands.
We’ve also lost a lot of old costumes and items, mostly from the store, though some are gradually coming back through each new monthly rotation of store items. We’ve lost friend features like the ability to add by username, viewing medallions, and even the Multiverse (and tribe!) party rooms. Island photos were replaced by Photo Booth pics, but even the Photo Booth is currently down, with no word on when it may return.
Still, if Poptropica’s previous statements are worth their salt, perhaps there’s still hope yet for a brighter Poptropica post-Flash…
5. Poptropica’s Future
As Poptropica has stated here and there, they are working on porting the game over to newer technology, so that it can live on even after the plug is pulled on Flash. Poptropica Original is here to stay, continuing its legacy both in the web browser and now on mobile devices.
We’re likely to see at least some of the old islands return, based on Poptropica’s Instagram post mentioned above. And they’ve mentioned working on “new islands” as well, including, most recently, the announcement that Zomberry Island will be back—with a new level!
Also, though Poptropica hasn’t confirmed anything specific, perhaps we can still hold out some hope for the return of some of the beloved features we’ve lost, or at least see them morph into viable alternatives.
After all, even Realms disappeared for over a year before it finally returned in late 2018. Meanwhile, Multiverse may be gone, but now we have player clubhouses (introduced in late 2018) to meet up with friends. While they’ve still got some work to do to really make clubhouses as big of a hit as Multiverse was (namely, being able to easily find specific friends whose houses you want to pop into), it’s a promising start to a new era for Poptropica.
Whatever happens, we’ll be here to watch it all go down.
Hello once again everyone! Spotted Dragon here bringing you the December recap for Community Creations! December’s theme was Opposites and the featured work is not in any particular order. Be sure to check out all the featured artists!
The Love Between the Hero and the Villain by Meganf123456
Wow, lots going on in this scene! Effort was obviously put into each corner of this drawing, with all the surrounding objects drawing the viewer’s eye to the center. The concept certainly fits our theme of “opposites,” and continues to explore how opposites can come together. I love all the bright colors and effects! Find her DeviantArt here.
Fire and Ice by Quick Fang
A piece that’s spot on to our theme! Fire and ice are classic opposites, so they can easily be applied in this case. The Poptropican designs here are super cool- er, um, hot? Both, yeah, both. And the colors play well into the concept. I wonder what these two would be like if they were actual characters in an island? Find their blog here.
Sphinx by happyclonetrooper
Oooh, wow! I love this scene from Mythology Island, and it’s been captured wonderfully in this drawing. The concept of “life and death” is one of great significance and flexibility, making its way into our theme of “opposites” in a unique way. The colors in this scene are beautiful, particularly in the glowing flower, highlighting the beauty of life. In contrast, the pile of bones beneath the fierce beast is truly a deadly sight. The textures and lighting effects are fantastic as well! Find her DeviantArt here.
Angie and Demi by Gentle Dolphin
Cool, another classic set of opposites! I love Gentle Dolphin’s cute, clean style. Such smooth line art and coloring! And the well-known concept of angels and devils on either shoulder is applied perfectly here. The split composition and corresponding colors/emotions are very appropriate, and I think that we can all relate to the confusing conflict created when trying to make important decisions. Excellently made! Find her DeviantArt here.
Inverted Challenge by ANNE14TCO
Interesting application of our theme! “Opposite” colors can be interpreted many ways, such as complementary colors, saturation differences, etc. But color is often an important element of art to master, so the challenge of inverting color is super cool! The challenge makes for a unique submission, and one that plays with the emotion behind color in an interesting way. Reminds me of a certain scene in Poptropica with Zeus, huh? Nice work! Find her DeviantArt here.
Such a cool set of submissions this month! Keep up the creativity guys, well into the next decade! 🙂
January: How Do I Participate?
Community Creations is a cool series for anyone in the Poptropica community to join in on. To sum up what it’s about, it’s basically a chance to show off your artwork, creepy fan-fics, Pop clubhouses, costumes, and anything else that pops into your mind.
If we really like the piece you submit, we will feature it here on the PHB! As long as it relates to that month’s theme. So what is December’s theme? January’s theme is…
Time travel is an interesting concept, and with the new year, or should I say new decade, rolling around, now is the perfect time to explore it as a theme! Unlike our previous theme of “historical,” time travel can apply to the future as well as the past. Different eras, in fact, can be found all throughout Poptropica! So how will you apply it to your creative creations?
The possibilities, like always, are endless! Perhaps construct the perfect costume for a time traveler! Or write a story of our your Poptropican got stuck in another timeline? Or draw some of your finest art inspired by Time Tangled Island! Maybe build what your Poptropican’s house will look like far in the future! Time for you to get started creating! 🙂
Comment below with a link to whatever you’ve created OR share it with me (SydVC aka Spotted Dragon) on DeviantArt, Twitter, or Discord.
Results: I will feature 5 of the submissions as well as 3 honorable mentions.
Limitations: Nothing NSFW, and make sure you relate to the theme.
Due Date: I will take any entries before the end of this month. Submit as many things as you’d like!
I will always be sure to let you know I have seen your creation. Bonus points if you make a compelling description for your piece! While quality counts, I’m mainly looking for something to simply catch my eye, so don’t be afraid to join in!
So what are you waiting for? Go make something awesome!
As we wind down on 2019, we’re going back into an old routine: looking back on the year that was, and recapping the highlights (and lowlights) of Poptropica and the PHB community. This year: flashing new, slashing old.
Poptropica recently shared their own recap of 2019, where they explained many of this year’s game updates, which were largely aesthetic changes, as “a really important part of the conversion process for getting the game off of Flash.” As a refresher: Poptropica was originally built on Flash, an older technology that will lose browser support by the end of next year. So, for some time now, Poptropica has been working on rebuilding away from Flash.
This process has brought about some fun design changes to the game over the past year—but there have been losses, too. Let’s hit rewind and get to it!
In February, Poptropica gave members another perk: double the credits from the daily Wheel of Loot. It seemed silly at first, but then in March, the in-game Store got a makeover—and while the visuals were a big part, there were some other changes as well, and they had to do with membership: even members had to pay for store items with credits, and many of the items became for members only, even ones that used to be available to all.
Also in March, Home Island received the first of 2019’s various redecorating schemes with a pastel spring look!
Plus, a new face on the Creators’ Blog finallyintroduced herself as Blue Tooth, Poptropica’s official blogger. She isn’t quite as active as Poptropica’s former social media manager, Skinny Moon, but her engagement with the community has involved a more active Instagram page (and a less active Twitter feed). With it, she delivers Pop news in a fun, excited tone, as well as featured fan art and look book outfits, including a short-lived “Look of the Week” series and the never-delivered “Clubhouse of the Week” promise.
Indeed, this was a year of makeovers, as even the Poptropica homepage got a facelift with a bright green play button and new art (that’s gone through multiplechanges since then, too). Most noteworthily, Poptropica Worlds is no longer linked to on the homepage, though it can still be accessed here. It seems safe to assume they’ve quietly stopped working on Worlds, considering its lack of updates and the activity happening on the original Pop instead—including a steady stream of ad games and prizes.
Further confirming the theory that Pop Worlds is a thing of the past: in May, Poptropica launched syncing between devices for Original Poptropica on both the computer and mobile app, which was originally the big selling point of Worlds. At least it shows the Creators are serious about keeping Poptropica accessible in this modern age of gaming on the go!
But July came with this year’s hottest new content: Reality TV: Wild Safari Island, a successor to the original Reality TV Island (which was one of the ~30 victims of the purge of old school islands). It didn’t quite live up to the hype of Poptropica’s previous islands, but you can read more on that in our review.
August was a quiet month for Pop, but things picked up again in September with several updates: common rooms finally upgraded to bigger screens and got arcade game stations, Poptropica celebrated its 12th birthday with a strange cake car costume, and Home Island got two more makeovers: fall and Halloween. Suitable store items accompanied the changing of seasons.
Poptropica’s next island adventure was confirmed in October—a remake of Zomberry Island is coming, though later than anticipated, seeing as it was promised for “later this year” and the year is wrapping up. Still, we’ll be waiting for it in 2020!
And now, let’s turn to the next half of this rewind…
Last year, we commented on how little the Creators posted on their blog in comparison to the past, and even in comparison to the PHB. Fortunately, things have gotten better since Blue Tooth joined the scene. While the Creators’ Blog has hidden its post counter, here at the PHB we’ve delivered 135 posts to you in 2019, and they’ve been some good ones.
For starters, in early 2019 we took a look at the direction Poptropica has been taking over the previous few years in an op-ed that asked the question, is Poptropica turning into Mocktropica Island? Echoing popular sentiment from the Pop community, we lamented how the lack of new islands to play—core to Poptropica’s identity—has taken a backseat in production priorities to make way for the hyper-focus on visual updates.
On a lighter note, the PHB played around with the idea of a Poptropica fighting game, Smash Bros-style: “Smash! Crackle! POP!” It was just an April Fools’ prank, but we had fun with it—and we hope you did too!
We also brought back our annual Readers’ Survey, and the results were announced in May. Among the stats, we found that PHB readers are getting older (15–18 was the highest age range), many discovered the game in its earlier years (2007 was the top answer), and many of you found the PHB in the past couple of years (2016 led the chart on this one).
Marking the PHB’s 11th birthday in July, we held our annual Poptropica awards event, the Poppies, with a livestream to announce the winners you all voted for and a party to celebrate. Hosting a party on Poptropica was a bit trickier than in the past with Multiverse officially gone from the game after the friends profile update, but MM and idk (our Popular Poptropican of 2019 winner) helped us all find a backdoor way (which unfortunately no longer works) to access the much-missed feature. Anyway, catch the recap of the party and winners here!
We also celebrated our traditional Halloween costume competition, now in its 11th year, with a “Heavenly & Hellish” theme. The winners of PHB’s Halloween Eleven did indeed seem to come from the highest heights and lowest depths, with Jean of Pop’s “Heavenly Healer” and Quick Fang’s “Red-eyed Zombie Carnie” being crowned respectively. Even the PHB staff joined in the fun with costumes of their own! You can find all that and more in the PHB’s recently updated Look Book (i.e. Costumes page), which is now easier to navigate.
Speaking of this community’s creativity, this is also our third year of hosting Community Creations, our monthly series where we feature works of fan art based around a theme. Let’s commemorate that with a gallery of some of this year’s top pieces, with one drawn from each month. (December’s features will be announced on the first of the month, of course.)
And finally, we figured 2019 was a good a time as any to look back on the past decade in Poptropica, so we dug through the archives and gathered up what became The Poptropica Yearbook, accessible via the Pop Plus page.
This PHB project compiled Rewind posts of previous years as well as created new ones for years we hadn’t summarized before, and placed them all in one convenient location for Poptropicans to reminisce. And now, as we close another chapter, this 2019 Rewind will be remembered in its pages, too.
So that’s 2019! We gained some, we lost some, but we press on. To recap:
What’s new: Pets, friends profile layout (now with sticker wall, photo booth album, message board, mood, background, likes, clubhouse link), store layout, homepage, device syncing on Poptropica Original, official island tour pages, five Home Island makeovers, Snagglemast Island (tutorial), and Reality TV: Wild Safari Island—our only real island of the year, and a rather mediocre one at that.
What we’ve lost: 29 “Old School Islands,” Multiverse, various friends features (adding by username, island album photos, viewing all friends instead of only about 10, island medallions, pop quizzes), photo booth (so much for the new photo booth album on the friends profiles…), and, while still accessible, Poptropica Worlds has been quietly hidden away and left inactive.
With 2020 bringing about the end of Flash, the Poptropica Creators have been promising that they’re working on rebuilding Poptropica with newer technology that’ll keep the game around for years to come. That’s meant a different pace of updates in the last few years—without many new islands to tell new stories, it feels for some like Poptropica is missing its storytelling magic. But a new year—in fact, a new decade—is on the horizon, and perhaps that means new life for Poptropica. Stick around, and we’ll all see!