This post is part of our Poptropica Yearbook series. If you missed the intro, check it out on the 2007 Rewind and browse the collection here.
Oh, 2013 was quite the scene. We left off the previous year with a sinking Poptropolis Games Island, and sure enough, in late January, the island succumbed to the sea.
But we had other islands to distract us, too: Night Watch, Back Lot, Virus Hunter, and Mocktropica all released in 2013. On top of that, Poptropolis Games eventually returned this year with two new games!
We even caught the names of a couple of upcoming islands due to some Creators’ mistakes: the revealing of Back Lot Island was accidentally mentioned early on the PCB, and Virus Hunter Island was mentioned on a Poptropica artist’s blog, again before Poptropica had officially announced it.
Virus Hunter’s release was especially special, given that it was the first official sound-updated island (SUI). (That is, unless you count 24 Carrot BETA Carrotene, where the common room cursor was used as the main cursor until Creators listened to the negative outcry and changed it.)
With the ambient music, sound effects, and a bigger screen, islands from then on were never quite the small and quiet adventures they once were. And speaking of music, we discovered the composer behind many of our new favorite tunes: Jeff Heim, who shared lots of Poptropica tracks on Soundcloud.
Here on the PHB, we took on a couple of big projects: adding island trivia and album photos to every island guide page. Trivia offers interesting factoids about the islands — for example, did you know that the Chinese theater on Back Lot Island is showing the sequel to a film that was playing in Vampire’s Curse Island’s theater?
And it’s a good thing we documented those album pics, too, because with the friends profile update in 2019, those photos are no longer viewable in-game, witty captions and all. (Did you know that each photo had a couple of variants on the caption?)
Poptropica was busy campaigning for a big project, too: the LEGO CUUSOO Dr. Hare’s Lair set. Ten thousand votes were needed for LEGO to consider making the set a reality, and with every major milestone, players received some fun Dr. Hare goodies in-game or as digital downloads. The LEGO set didn’t end up happening, but it sure would’ve been cool!
(Tip: You can get a Dr. Hare LEGO knockoff mini-figure for under a dollar online at Ali Express. However, it’s not official merch.)
Poptropica released several new books this year as well: Cryptids and Lunar Colony as novels based on the islands, a Poptropica Friends handbook, and the Island Creator Kit, which spawned Poptropica’s most popular contest ever: the Create Your Dream Island contest, in which the winner would get their island idea turned into in-game reality (spoiler: it was Arabian Nights).
That wasn’t all: the Poptropica Shop (not to be confused with the game’s store) was also released, offering the ability to put your Poptropican on a shirt or hoodie. Adult sizes were available for the kids at heart, too.
Meanwhile, the PHB celebrated a milestone of 10 million views with a Mystery Snapshots Competition, which gave way to our later Stolen Snapshots puzzle series created by former author Slippery Raptor.
All in all, with 4 new islands (more if you count BETA Carrotene and Poptropolis Games 2013) and several huge projects both online and offline, Poptropica sure had plenty going on this year. What a time to be alive.
You’ve reached the end of the 2013 page of the Poptropica Yearbook! That’s it for our backtracking recaps, as the rest of the pages have been filled in already. To view the entire collection, check out the Poptropica Yearbook in our Pop Plus collection. Stay tuned for this year’s recap on New Year’s Eve!
While you’re here, sign the yearbook by commenting? ✏️
3 thoughts on “2013 Rewind: Sounds Like Island Improvement”
Remember when the 24 Carrot BETA didn’t allow you to put on the bunny ears helmet making it impossible to progress until the dev team fixed it? Fun times! 😅
I got the second comment! Hooray!
This was the year I started playing poptropica. I think I was there after night watch, and backlot islands we added.
I remember helping to raise the poptropolis island. I also remember I came before Virus hunter was added and it was so buggy, I couldn’t finish it until a month later. (Perhaps it was because I was using a windows xp)
Mocktropica was fun though. I liked all the achievements. (My favourite is the achievement that you got for breaking the achievement thing.)
Wow, 6 years!