I made a discovery yesterday – something that may change everything. Actually, so much stuff has been going on lately that I’m sorta worried – school is starting soon!
I was searching through Amazon for ‘poptropica books’, as I do every once and a while. I’m super hopeful for the Mystery of the Map graphic novel! But instead, I found more of the ‘Poptropica English’ books – if you’re not aware of the first, it was called ‘Future Island‘ – I discovered it back in 2014.
Digging further, I zoomed in on one of the backs of the books, and went to the site it directed to – pearsonelt.com/ourdiscoveryisland. This redirects to an intro to ‘Our Discovery Island: Powered by Poptropica’. Once in the site, I was shocked – this was what Pearson was up to? Apparently, ‘Poptropica English’ was a part of an educational class made by Pearson!
But there’s more. Going to ourdiscoveryisland.com, I was shocked – orange Poptropica! Trying to create a new player, it seemed you need an access code to get in.
So, I went to Chris Barney, a dev of Poptropica who I am in contact with. He told me that Poptropica contributed (not sold) its engine to Pearson, and that more of these “Poptropica clones” may be showing up soon.
The wording on the site made it seem like that they had created actual islands based on the books. Watching a few videos (FROM 2011?!), it showed these islands (they look like real islands, too!). Here’s the thing, though: these characters had actual audio voice acting!
In addition to that gameplay video, there are also animations for Our Discovery Island on YouTube – likely related to the “Poptropica animations” we’ve heard about before.
I wasn’t completely convinced, until my friend Pixel got into an account! They do have voice acting – and it isn’t half bad! And let me remind you that this is pre-SUI (still unsure about my cash-cow theory?).
There are a number of these islands, based on the books (so yes, one for Future Island too), each following the simplistic plot of the books.
Again, Chris said that there are more of these to come! I wonder what troubles this could cause…
Our Discovery Island is not easily accessible, and I’m probably going to have to buy the books to get in. However, it has the Poptropica name plastered all over it, and so it technically is official content. The Poptropica Wiki has got some work to do.
Also, it’s run by Pearson – could this be why Poptropica left?