Poptropica Worlds has arrived at long last, and now – at a comparatively quicker rate – so has the PHB’s review of Worlds. Welcome!
In this post, we’ll go to great depths analyzing what Worlds has to offer, reviewing what we like and dislike about it (providing suggestions for improvement along the way), as well as comparing the similarities and differences between the original Poptropica and Poptropica Worlds. Let’s pop right into it.
Animation & Visuals
In most areas – like background scenery and items – Poptropica retains its unique, semi-2D artistic style in Worlds. The main thing that’s new is the design of the Poptropican avatar, which was recreated to have a more detailed structure overall. Also new are its animations, such as the running or jumping movements as well as the occasional idle action of stretching or kicking at the ground.
Poptropica continues to stun us when it comes to scenery designs – Crisis Caverns Island, in particular, is full of gorgeous crystals, detailed rocks, and other little bits that make up a delightful, whimsical world to explore in. Keeping the unique charm of the style we’ve come to know and love has worked out well.
The re-design of the avatar, too, is a noteworthy accomplishment. Although some may find that it takes some getting used to, the new character looks pretty good with its limbs that aren’t just mere lines anymore, and better yet, new kicks you can customize to your liking. Moving your character around also goes over quite naturally.
One thing that’s a bit of a give-and-take is the addition of the idle actions, which is when your character is standing around for a little too long and randomly decides to yawn or kick their feet or something silly like that. Sometimes, they seem to fit, yet at other times, they seem almost too comical, perhaps unnecessary.
As far as the art style goes, it’s much like the way it is in Poptropica Original, with the notable exception being the new avatar design. Both the avatars of new and old Poptropica are charming in their own ways, yet the new design fits in fine with the rest of Worlds (which is just as well, as it’s here to stay).
Most of the controls are similar to what we’re used to: a cursor we can point and click to move in a certain direction and a hand for clickable parts. What’s different is that clicking and holding will no longer show you the long arrow that gradually gets smaller as you get closer to your target, and in fact, there are no arrows, least of all colored ones corresponding to the direction of movement.
Overall, the new controls are just as usable as the old ones, even with the differences. Some may miss the long colored arrows that showed when you’d run, jump, or climb, but you are still able to do these things with relative ease with the single cursor – just click and hold.
As mentioned, there are slight differences with how the controls are presented, but they are easy to figure out. The new does not seem to be any better or worse than the old.
One of the first things you’ll notice that’s different in Worlds is your avatar: it’s undergone some changes, but it remains inspired by the original version. With the new style, however, you look more three-dimensional, you’ve got fingers and shoes on your feet, and your limbs are even significantly thicker.
All of this means that you’re going to have to start over in the outfit department. But not to worry: you’ve still got some decent options. Aside from editing your look at registration, you can also customize via clothing parts you buy individually from the shop, some of which are exclusive to members. Shoes and handheld items included.
Remember when Poptropica advertised that “the possibilities are endless” when it comes to customization? Well, of course that’s hyperbole, but when “the possibilities” are way less than they were in the original Poptropica, you can’t help but feel a little stiffed. Of course, we definitely understand that they’ve started from scratch, and the new art style doesn’t allow for the old clothing to be imported without them manually creating something new. So, in that respect, it makes sense that the possibilities aren’t going to be endless. Not for a while, anyway.
As far as the actual selection available in the shop, it’s decent. If you comb through every page, you can probably find things you like and assemble something cool out of it all. For a new game, the selection is not bad – but of course, there’s a long way to go before we get near the unfathomable number of options that existed on the original Poptropica! That’s just the reality of it being a separate new game.
What’s pretty cool about the new system is that you can now buy costume parts individually from the shop, so you get only what you actually want, and it makes each thing more affordable. One downside is that there’s no way of telling whether or not a costume contains members-only parts until you click on it and realize that there are, which is a bit of an inconvenience. A simple membership icon over the costume (perhaps partially colored in to represent how much of it is member-exclusive) would help to eliminate this issue.
When you go to put on the clothes you’ve acquired, you can flick between tabs that correspond to the relevant areas (such as leggings, hairstyles, etc), which is pretty useful. It would be nice to see this implemented in the shop window as well, to make it easier to browse through clothing parts by category rather than just by costume.
Two customization features are noticeably missing with the new system: the Colorizer and Costumizer. Both would be highly useful, and it’s our hope that they eventually implement them again. At the moment, you can only modify your hair and skin tones at registration, so if you pick something you don’t like, you are stuck with it for the foreseeable future. Plus, there aren’t very many color options available, in contrast to the wide array of possibilities offered by the color selector of the Colorizer on the original Poptropica.
As for the Costumizer, it’s simply nonexistent on Worlds, but on the original Pop, we could use it to copy clothes from various characters (both players and NPCs) we encountered onto our own avatars. This much-loved feature definitely deserves to return, though of course, clothes from the shop that we hadn’t yet bought would remain uncostumizable.
Glitching (and Glitches)
Because Worlds is running on a new engine (Unity), all the methods of glitching that have been used by glitchers of the original Poptropica are invalid in the new game. Perhaps with time we will uncover new ways to “get ahead” on Worlds, but for now, the only glitching you’ll see are the bugs nobody wants.
So, there’s no glitching for fun in Worlds (at least, not yet). Well, that’s not such a bad thing. If you miss glitching, though, you can still do it all on Poptropica Original!
As far as glitches of the not-so-fun variety, though, they do exist – not too surprising considering that the game has only recently been released. A notable example of this is “Bleachy Boy” – what the PHC community has dubbed a glitch that removes your mouth and turns your avatar’s hair and skin white (and of course, with no Colorizer, how could we rectify this abomination?).
The game also runs into other bugs, such as not being awarded your coins at the second completion of Crisis Caverns, or furniture not appearing in your house items after being purchased. Hopefully, Poptropica will fix these issues in a future update!
Poptropica Original definitely has ways to game the system, if that’s what you’re looking for. From the ASG to iPop, glitchers have discovered and spread various methods for making the most of your Poptropica experience that you simply won’t find with Worlds, because that’s a whole ‘nother ball game.
And yet, even as Poptropica Original had its technical bugs, so Worlds also has a number of issues with gameplay: Bleachy Boy, for instance, might remind old-time players of the infamous Afro Guy. If all else fails with either game, the usual advice remains: clear your cookies/cache, try a different browser, restart the island, and of course, contact Poptropica support if necessary.
On Poptropica Worlds, you get to customize your very own home! You can find it by entering the house interwoven with the big tree to the left of Home Island. Inside, you can click the “Decor” button on the bottom right to place furniture all over your house – although first you’ll need to acquire furniture via spending coins at the shop.
On the whole, this is a pretty awesome feature to have, and definitely the highlight of Home Island (it’s in the name, after all). There are a lot of fun options with which to decorate your house, from classy brick walls to hipster-aesthetic triangle wallpaper, potted cacti and mounted antlers, and three whole floors to fill up.
Some items (like the wall map seen above) are members only, but non-members will still find lots of cool options to play with (though members do get a 25% discount on everything!). The selection is decent, but it’s not wrong to wish for more, is it? We know members will have access to the upcoming house expansions (the locked doors in the house), and we’re also hoping for the ability to visit other players’ homes as well as throw parties in our own!
Well, this one’s easy – there’s no player housing in Poptropica Original, and in fact, Houses is one of the big new things about Poptropica Worlds! It’s been often requested over the years and it’s finally here, so that’s pretty neat, eh?
On Poptropica Worlds, the benefits to a membership subscription are multi-faceted: you get access to purchasing exclusive items in both the clothing and furniture stores as well as 25% off all shop purchases. If you have a membership on your account, it applies to both Worlds and Poptropica Original in one go, so you can play members-only islands and more. Soon, members will also get to expand their house with more rooms.
This is probably one of the touchiest subjects when it comes to Poptropica gameplay. On the one hand, even Poptropica knows that not every player can afford a membership, but on the other, it’s a way of supporting the people who make the game. Still, Poptropica continues to find a good balance between offering extra perks to those who pay while still allowing those who don’t plenty of access to most of the game’s features.
The incentives Worlds offers are enticing without going overboard. Members get 25% off, but everyone can easily rack up coins to buy things by spinning the daily wheel and replaying islands. Members get exclusive items only they can buy, but everyone else still has lots to choose from (though perhaps a little more to non-members wouldn’t hurt). And soon, members can get house expansions – more room to put things in their house – but with three whole floors for each person to decorate, there’s plenty of room even for the non-members!
The price is still the same as before, and it connects to both new and old Poptropica, so now you get more bang for your buck! There’s no sight of members-only islands just yet on the new Worlds, as there are on Poptropica Original, and we’re really hoping it stays that way.
On Worlds, you interact with NPCs (non-player characters) by tapping on them. Sometimes, they’ll simply have a speech bubble with a one-liner, as we’re used to from Poptropica Original. For longer conversations, a speech bubble icon will appear over the NPC, and you must click on that in order to talk. Then, a translucent window with both parties’ avatars and names will appear, and the conversation will flow with your speech in white and theirs in blue.
Both ways of conversing on Worlds are readable, but you won’t know which way it’ll happen until you click on the NPC. It can be a bit disorienting if you’re expecting it to go one way but getting another.
Also, how do Poptropica names even work? On Home Island, we meet three new NPCs: Paula Pureheart, Cliff Housebuff, and Captain Scuttlebutt. Some characters from Crisis Caverns also just go by ordinary first names, such as Stanley or Beatrice. Yet player names continue to follow the adjective-noun format, like Friendly Fish. Why are we different?
In Poptropica Original, we would have speech bubbles with the text appear when we talked to NPCs, and if they had more to say, another speech bubble would replace the one prior after a while. The Worlds method allows us to read each bubble at our own pace and only click when we’re ready to move on, but the differences between long and short conversations may take some getting used to.
Something that’s absent from the Worlds method is the lack of speech options when it’s our character’s turn to speak. On Pop Original, we were sometimes given multiple choices for what we want to say, which would in turn influence the response we would get from the NPC. It’s a small thing, but it would be nice to have that again!
There is simply no player-to-player interaction, at least not currently. It’s awfully lonely not having any friends on Poptropica Worlds…
Not much to review in this category, but we trust that the Creators are working on some cool features that encourage player interaction! Here are some things we’d like to see:
- The return of Friends profiles – pop quizzes and all!
- Visiting friends in their houses – and having friends visit yours!
- Playing islands with a friend, or even many friends!
What else would you add to this list?
On Poptropica Original, we had friends. On Poptropica Worlds, we do not.
Liek dis if u cri evrytiem.
Like the Sound-Updated Islands (SUIs) first introduced in 2013 on Poptropica Original, Poptropica Worlds is equipped with sound: both ambient sound effects and music in the background.
The sounds are generally quite ear-pleasing, though if you do not like them, it’s a simple process to go over to the settings in the menu and click the buttons to turn them off. Home Island has its own distinctive soundtrack, and Crisis Caverns has several different ones you will encounter as you play through it, each helping to enhance the mood of the current setting and story point.
Sound in Poptropica Worlds behaves in the same manner as in Poptropica Original – at least on those islands with sound. On the whole, an excellent aural complement to your Poptropica adventuring.
That concludes our review of Poptropica Worlds! What else would you add? Anything you disagree with? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Stay tuned for our review of Crisis Caverns Island, coming soon!
– the PHB team –