Hi there, Poptropicans!
As you may have gained from the title of this post, I’m here to discuss a Poptropica island that, although it had lots of great potential, is often overlooked by fans, and was even erased from the map altogether two years ago. Yes, I’m talking about Monkey Wrench.
It’s easy to see why this island is so frequently forgotten, as it was only a tutorial island; incomparable to greater classics such as Astro-Knights or Skullduggery. But, even though it was only invented to teach new Poptropicans how to play, I still felt that Monkey Wrench was quite a bit more than that. To better understand what I’m on to, take a look at the following reasons for why I think Monkey Wrench should be brought back.
One of the biggest things that made me get so attached to this short but sweet island is the lore it provided. You’re probably wondering what I mean; Monkey Wrench didn’t give us a full, thoughtful story to think over, unlike other islands that centered on their storytelling. But it did give us something I never expected to have a real answer for, least of all from a tutorial island; where the iconic Poptropica blimp came from.
I’m sure many of us wondered how one of Poptropica’s most well-known features, the golden blimp, came to sit on Home Island the moment we created our Poptropican avatars. And it was a big surprise when the answer to this longstanding question came in the form of a tutorial island! Besides, learning where your blimp comes from is a perfect introduction to Poptropica. In my opinion, Monkey Wrench succeeded all expectations of what a tutorial should be.
You may still be slightly doubtful about how important Monkey Wrench really was. I know one thing that bothered a lot of players about this island was how many game controls were taught during it, interrupting the experience; but, after all, Monkey Wrench is a tutorial. If it didn’t teach you how to control your avatar, speed up the dialogue, and use items from your backpack, that would have ruined the whole point. (Although I do think it would be interesting to see Monkey Wrench expanded into a full island.)
Another reason why I think Monkey Wrench should return is the amount of design that went into it. The visual scenery, character design, and audio soundtracks were all amazing, and I don’t think such beautiful work should go to waste so quickly. A couple of my favorite scenes from Monkey Wrench include Amelia’s airplane soaring over the majestic Poptropican sea during the Flying Ace Race, as well as all of the lush tropical scenery on Crusoe’s island.
And the visual design isn’t the only ‘wow’ factor in this island; I truly mean it when I say Monkey Wrench’s soundtracks were some of the best in Poptropica. (You can listen to them on SoundCloud.) Each music piece sets the mood perfectly, with the right amount of action, calm, and fun. Not to mention that there were at least four separate soundtracks created all for this one smaller island!
And we haven’t even reached the character design yet. The Red Baroness, Monkey Wrench’s main villain, had a spectacular outfit going, and I was always very intrigued by her. If only Monkey Wrench could be returned to the map and possibly expanded on, it would give us a chance to delve deeper into her back story; and find out just where she got to when her plane crashed in the ocean! Does the great Red Baroness live on?
After all that, Poptropica’s current tutorial island, Snagglemast, pales in comparison to Monkey Wrench. While Monkey Wrench provides story, suspense, scenery, music, and even an explanation for Poptropica’s iconic blimp, Snagglemast gives us a much shorter quest of collecting coins from across the small island. Let’s not forget that the tutorial is also very important because it’s most new players’ first impressions of Poptropica. If the tutorial island is made carelessly, than new players probably won’t want to stay around for long.
Although I had already played Poptropica for a time before Monkey Wrench was released, I would have been glad if Monkey Wrench were my first impression of the game, because it truly shows what Poptropica is all about; storytelling. Even though Monkey Wrench’s story is short and doesn’t reach as deep as other, bigger islands, it still has a small amount of lore, and that’s what counts. Whereas if a new player plays Snagglemast as their first island, they would most likely think Poptropica was nothing more than several short fetch quests.
To conclude: if the Creators are reading this post, I hope you’ll take into consideration what I’ve said. Monkey Wrench will always hold a special place with me, and it would be all for the better if it returns someday.