Hey folks, Cobalt here. Ohoho, do I have a rant for you.
So, I went on Poptropica today, as I do almost daily. Here’s the news: both Wimpy Kid islands have been opened to all (Wimpy Wonderland and Wimpy Boardwalk), and first-time finishers get 300 credits (instead of 150). And there’s a Wimpy Shirt prize for going on one of those islands.
But there’s a bigger issue here, and it’s glaring right in our faces. This update truly is wimpy.
I thought, well, it is Wimpy Kid Month, and Jeff Kinney is the author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. So I didn’t have any doubts at all they would advertise it at some point. Despite me not personally enjoying the book series after the trillionth release, I logged on anyway. It’s not like it was going to ruin my Poptropica experience for me.
Oh wait, it did. It really did. Look at this. It looks so tacky and cluttered it makes me think who was orchestrating this mind-numbing catastrophe opened up MS Paint and just played around with it for two minutes. On top of all that, April has become “Apriil”.
There are six different fonts in this. Six. Are you guys aware that HPuterpop and UiPE from the PHB do design work for free? Hire them! Like, what is this?
The prize card that Poptropica so obnoxiously and cringingly shoves in our face is also poorly made. They couldn’t even make good what they advertised so heavily.
Like, is this just a belated April Fools prank? The text is off-center, the image is highly pixelated, and it all makes me wonder who thought this was okay. Honestly, if this person got paid for making this, it angers me. Not only did they recycle the redhead from the other ads, but they also recycled the prize shirt itself without adding anything new. Poptropica, you can do better than this, and you have in the past. Why deteriorate now?
Some of you may remember Smockers, the first PHB author ever, not including Slanted Fish? He hasn’t played in years. And yet, this shirt is part of his look. It’s that old.
This was an ad prize a long, long time ago that they’re passing up as something new and exciting. I’m not even joking, this frustrates me. Also, care to notice how that recycled, low-resolution lady is wearing a necklace? She’s covering up the collar above Greg’s (The Wimpy Kid) face. Why are they advertising a shirt and covering part of it up? That’s like advertising a watch and wearing a long sleeve shirt and covering some of it.
Honestly, I’d love to go even deeper into this, and why I think the quality (and quantity!) of the ads are as downright pitiful as they are, and how it’s been 50 days since the last island (and a simple tutorial one at that), and how Daily Pops are inconsistent, and getting any sort of update is slow and disappointing… but I don’t want any controversy from my viewers or the Poptropica team themselves. So, I’ll leave it at this crude joke from fellow author Brave Tomato:
I think Poptropica should really rethink their priorities, their graphic designer(s), and what kind of content they consider approved for the game.
This whole thing is really embarrassing, and I’m not happy about it. Poptropicanos, can you really tell me this isn’t honestly a complete annoyance? This is hardly the first time Poptropica has released poorly designed promotional graphics, offered disappointing prize items, or offered a bunch of extra credits for a first-time island completion and called it news. And while it’s great that a couple members-only islands have been unlocked to the public, they should have been free in the first place, as they were before that fateful member-lock update last summer.
I honestly don’t want Poptropica to be chagrined over this, but hopefully, this is a wake-up call for them.
When community manager Skinny Moon said they may have had something planned for Wimpy Kid Month, I was expecting something better.
Are my expectations too high? Or was the delivery too low? What do you Poptropicanos think?
UPDATE: Poptropica Creator Skinny Moon left the following comment on this post in response:
Hey there Poptropicans,
We hear your concerns and we admit it — we rushed this Wimpy Kid promotion and we apologize. We need to do better. Honestly, we’re glad when you point out something that’s not our best work. All fan feedback is helpful!
We do hope you enjoy your rare Wimpy Kid shirt, though! It’s true that it’s an old-school Poptropica item. We thought you’d enjoy a little piece of history!
Also, we know you’re wondering why there hasn’t been a lot of new stuff happening on Poptropica and why we seem to be pretty quiet. All I can say right now is that we are incredibly busy working on very exciting things for Poptropica, and we’ll be able to reveal more towards the end of the month.
Please know we’re listening to your feedback — keep it coming — the good and the not-so-good!
Thanks for hearing us out, Poptropica. We hope it gets better!
Until next time,
– Cobalt Spinner