Preserving Poptropica post-Flash 💥

Hey, Poptropicans—welcome to 2020. As you may have heard, this year will bring about the end of Adobe Flash, the engine that much of Poptropica runs on. The implications are huge for this game, and we’ve already seen it affecting 30 of the oldest islands and many more features.

Here on the PHB, we’ve mentioned the Flash issue here and there, but now we’re taking the opportunity to make a whole post hashing out what’s happening, what it means, and where it’s all going. So let’s get started!

1. Where are the old islands?

In July 2019, Poptropica removed 30 islands from the map. They were all considered “old school islands”: Poptropica’s earliest islands, created and released from 2007–2013, which were built using ActionScript 2 (AS2), a programming language primarily used for the Adobe Flash Player platform.

The good news is, you can still play the old school islands using the Old Island Directory created by the glitcher idk. Although they’re currently inaccessible from the game itself, it’s possible that the old islands will return. Poptropica’s reason for taking them down, for the time being, was because they were “causing a lot of problems for players.”

2. Poptropica’s Promises

On the first day of the new year, Poptropica posted the following on Instagram: “2020 is going to great [sic] — a non-Flash version of the game, new islands, the return of some old islands, and so much more!!!” (Our emphasis added.) So, there’s hope yet that the old islands will return—but as the Instagram post indicates, it may not be all of them.

A fan-made Poptropica map with most of the islands, created by idk.

We’re not sure which ones are coming back and which ones might not make it, nor do we know why, but perhaps there’s only so much they can work with. Still, in addition to directly playing them via the Old Island Directory, you can also relive their memories with the PHB’s collection of Island Guides.

3. What does it mean that Flash is going away?

Adobe Flash Player was an instrumental engine for a lot of the early internet, particularly for games, video, and animations. Poptropica is among the many websites that used Flash, just like other popular game sites of the 2000s and 2010s, like Club Penguin and Neopets. For those of us who’ve grown up playing these games, losing Flash is not just saying goodbye to outdated technology, but watching whole worlds from our childhoods crumble away. RIP. 😢

And yet, Flash is going away simply because tech has evolved for the better—modern web browsers have adapted to HTML5, and the end of Flash also means better security and battery life. So, if Poptropica is to continue, they’ll need to keep up with the tech and move off of Flash… which is what they’ve been working on for the past few years, even though this has meant fewer islands and more cosmetic changes—and yes, even the seemingly odd creation of Poptropica Worlds, built with Unity and launched in 2017.

Newer islands, which have a larger screen and ambient music, were built with ActionScript 3 (AS3), which is more compatible with current desktop standards as well as the rise of mobile applications. We started calling these islands SUIs, which stands for Sound-Updated Islands.

In 2013, Poptropica launched a beta version of 24 Carrot as an SUI called BETA Carrotene, and after fixing up some bugs, they were ready to roll out Virus Hunter, the first official SUI. From then on, all islands were released as SUIs, and sometimes the Creators even went back and re-made a former island, like Time Tangled or Mythology, into an SUI. Unlike older islands, these newer SUIs are able to survive without Flash, which is why islands now come as SUIs.

4. Poptropica’s Progress

Poptropica Worlds was intended to be Poptropica’s solution to the post-Flash dilemma, but for some reason, things didn’t quite pan out. By 2019, it wasn’t being updated anymore and was even actively hidden from the homepage. Instead, many of Worlds’ standout features have since been integrated into the original Poptropica, like device syncing and player clubhouses.

Poptropica even wrote in their recap of 2019 that many of that year’s updates were “a really important part of the conversion process for getting the game off of Flash” suggesting that their post-Flash solution will focus not on Worlds, but on the original Poptropica. Some more of these updates over the past year include a new layout for friends and the store, SUI-ified common rooms, and plus, who could forget the adorable pets?

However, the shiny new things are eclipsed by the loss of many beloved classic features that may or may not be compatible with the future of technology—such as the old school islands.

We’ve also lost a lot of old costumes and items, mostly from the store, though some are gradually coming back through each new monthly rotation of store items. We’ve lost friend features like the ability to add by username, viewing medallions, and even the Multiverse (and tribe!) party rooms. Island photos were replaced by Photo Booth pics, but even the Photo Booth is currently down, with no word on when it may return.

Still, if Poptropica’s previous statements are worth their salt, perhaps there’s still hope yet for a brighter Poptropica post-Flash…

5. Poptropica’s Future

As Poptropica has stated here and there, they are working on porting the game over to newer technology, so that it can live on even after the plug is pulled on Flash. Poptropica Original is here to stay, continuing its legacy both in the web browser and now on mobile devices.

We’re likely to see at least some of the old islands return, based on Poptropica’s Instagram post mentioned above. And they’ve mentioned working on “new islands” as well, including, most recently, the announcement that Zomberry Island will be back—with a new level!

Also, though Poptropica hasn’t confirmed anything specific, perhaps we can still hold out some hope for the return of some of the beloved features we’ve lost, or at least see them morph into viable alternatives.

After all, even Realms disappeared for over a year before it finally returned in late 2018. Meanwhile, Multiverse may be gone, but now we have player clubhouses (introduced in late 2018) to meet up with friends. While they’ve still got some work to do to really make clubhouses as big of a hit as Multiverse was (namely, being able to easily find specific friends whose houses you want to pop into), it’s a promising start to a new era for Poptropica.

Whatever happens, we’ll be here to watch it all go down.

With cautious optimism,

—the PHB 💙

2019 Rewind: Flashing New, Slashing Old

As we wind down on 2019, we’re going back into an old routine: looking back on the year that was, and recapping the highlights (and lowlights) of Poptropica and the PHB community. This year: flashing new, slashing old.

Poptropica recently shared their own recap of 2019, where they explained many of this year’s game updates, which were largely aesthetic changes, as “a really important part of the conversion process for getting the game off of Flash.” As a refresher: Poptropica was originally built on Flash, an older technology that will lose browser support by the end of next year. So, for some time now, Poptropica has been working on rebuilding away from Flash.

This process has brought about some fun design changes to the game over the past year—but there have been losses, too. Let’s hit rewind and get to it!


Poptropica kicked off a year of visual updates with two big changes in January: a new friends profile, and highly anticipated personal pets (and later, with accessories, too!). While the pets were generally well received, the friends profile redesign came with mixed reviews, as many of the original features were dropped, like adding friends by username or viewing island medallions. Showcasing a photo booth album was a nice new addition until the photo booth randomly disappeared later in the year.

In February, Poptropica gave members another perk: double the credits from the daily Wheel of Loot. It seemed silly at first, but then in March, the in-game Store got a makeover—and while the visuals were a big part, there were some other changes as well, and they had to do with membership: even members had to pay for store items with credits, and many of the items became for members only, even ones that used to be available to all.

Also in March, Home Island received the first of 2019’s various redecorating schemes with a pastel spring look!

Plus, a new face on the Creators’ Blog finally introduced herself as Blue Tooth, Poptropica’s official blogger. She isn’t quite as active as Poptropica’s former social media manager, Skinny Moon, but her engagement with the community has involved a more active Instagram page (and a less active Twitter feed). With it, she delivers Pop news in a fun, excited tone, as well as featured fan art and look book outfits, including a short-lived “Look of the Week” series and the never-delivered “Clubhouse of the Week” promise.

April brought about drastic changes to the map, with new categories that made much more sense than the previous update in 2017, and Flash-made islands relegated to the end. These “Old School Islands” met an even worse fate a few months down the line, when they were removed from the map entirely. RIP—but perhaps not forever. Fortunately, there’s still a way to access them unofficially, via idk’s Old Island Directory.

Indeed, this was a year of makeovers, as even the Poptropica homepage got a facelift with a bright green play button and new art (that’s gone through multiple changes since then, too). Most noteworthily, Poptropica Worlds is no longer linked to on the homepage, though it can still be accessed here. It seems safe to assume they’ve quietly stopped working on Worlds, considering its lack of updates and the activity happening on the original Pop instead—including a steady stream of ad games and prizes.

Further confirming the theory that Pop Worlds is a thing of the past: in May, Poptropica launched syncing between devices for Original Poptropica on both the computer and mobile app, which was originally the big selling point of Worlds. At least it shows the Creators are serious about keeping Poptropica accessible in this modern age of gaming on the go!

Still, where are the new islands? Well, the first one of 2019 was nothing much—in June, Snagglemast Island replaced the previous tutorial, Monkey Wrench.

But July came with this year’s hottest new content: Reality TV: Wild Safari Island, a successor to the original Reality TV Island (which was one of the ~30 victims of the purge of old school islands). It didn’t quite live up to the hype of Poptropica’s previous islands, but you can read more on that in our review.

August was a quiet month for Pop, but things picked up again in September with several updates: common rooms finally upgraded to bigger screens and got arcade game stations, Poptropica celebrated its 12th birthday with a strange cake car costume, and Home Island got two more makeovers: fall and Halloween. Suitable store items accompanied the changing of seasons.

Poptropica’s next island adventure was confirmed in October—a remake of Zomberry Island is coming, though later than anticipated, seeing as it was promised for “later this year” and the year is wrapping up. Still, we’ll be waiting for it in 2020!

In November, Home Island saw yet another remodel, casting quite a charm with its magical, wizardly theme! Also that month, Poptropica revamped its island tour pages in a similar vein to the PHB’s Island Guides.

Poptropica wrapped up 2019 by wrapping up some extra presents through its 12 Days of Member Gifts in December, which returned for a second year. Plus, the homepage saw a couple more art pieces to represent Poptropica. And yup, another Home Island overhaul for winter—that’s five remodels this year!

And now, let’s turn to the next half of this rewind…


Last year, we commented on how little the Creators posted on their blog in comparison to the past, and even in comparison to the PHB. Fortunately, things have gotten better since Blue Tooth joined the scene. While the Creators’ Blog has hidden its post counter, here at the PHB we’ve delivered 135 posts to you in 2019, and they’ve been some good ones.

For starters, in early 2019 we took a look at the direction Poptropica has been taking over the previous few years in an op-ed that asked the question, is Poptropica turning into Mocktropica Island? Echoing popular sentiment from the Pop community, we lamented how the lack of new islands to play—core to Poptropica’s identity—has taken a backseat in production priorities to make way for the hyper-focus on visual updates.

On a lighter note, the PHB played around with the idea of a Poptropica fighting game, Smash Bros-style: “Smash! Crackle! POP!” It was just an April Fools’ prank, but we had fun with it—and we hope you did too!

We also brought back our annual Readers’ Survey, and the results were announced in May. Among the stats, we found that PHB readers are getting older (15–18 was the highest age range), many discovered the game in its earlier years (2007 was the top answer), and many of you found the PHB in the past couple of years (2016 led the chart on this one).

The PHB also welcomed a variety of excellent guest posts this year, including: “A tribute to Myron van Buren” by Trusty Leopard, “Unsatisfying Island Endings” by Comical Carrot (which won Best Guest Post of 2019 in our Poppies Awards), “Pop Petition: Make Mighty Action Force Multiplayer” by Beefy Penguin, “What makes a Poptropica island?” by Bony Bones, the four-part ‘My Place in Poptropica’ series “The Chronicles of Shiny Bird” by ShinyB1rd (naturally), among others. Give them a read or a revisit!

Marking the PHB’s 11th birthday in July, we held our annual Poptropica awards event, the Poppies, with a livestream to announce the winners you all voted for and a party to celebrate. Hosting a party on Poptropica was a bit trickier than in the past with Multiverse officially gone from the game after the friends profile update, but MM and idk (our Popular Poptropican of 2019 winner) helped us all find a backdoor way (which unfortunately no longer works) to access the much-missed feature. Anyway, catch the recap of the party and winners here!

We also celebrated our traditional Halloween costume competition, now in its 11th year, with a “Heavenly & Hellish” theme. The winners of PHB’s Halloween Eleven did indeed seem to come from the highest heights and lowest depths, with Jean of Pop’s “Heavenly Healer” and Quick Fang’s “Red-eyed Zombie Carnie” being crowned respectively. Even the PHB staff joined in the fun with costumes of their own! You can find all that and more in the PHB’s recently updated Look Book (i.e. Costumes page), which is now easier to navigate.

Speaking of this community’s creativity, this is also our third year of hosting Community Creations, our monthly series where we feature works of fan art based around a theme. Let’s commemorate that with a gallery of some of this year’s top pieces, with one drawn from each month. (December’s features will be announced on the first of the month, of course.)

And finally, we figured 2019 was a good a time as any to look back on the past decade in Poptropica, so we dug through the archives and gathered up what became The Poptropica Yearbook, accessible via the Pop Plus page.

This PHB project compiled Rewind posts of previous years as well as created new ones for years we hadn’t summarized before, and placed them all in one convenient location for Poptropicans to reminisce. And now, as we close another chapter, this 2019 Rewind will be remembered in its pages, too.


So that’s 2019! We gained some, we lost some, but we press on. To recap:

  • What’s new: Pets, friends profile layout (now with sticker wall, photo booth album, message board, mood, background, likes, clubhouse link), store layout, homepage, device syncing on Poptropica Original, official island tour pages, five Home Island makeovers, Snagglemast Island (tutorial), and Reality TV: Wild Safari Island—our only real island of the year, and a rather mediocre one at that.
  • What we’ve lost: 29 “Old School Islands,” Multiverse, various friends features (adding by username, island album photos, viewing all friends instead of only about 10, island medallions, pop quizzes), photo booth (so much for the new photo booth album on the friends profiles…), and, while still accessible, Poptropica Worlds has been quietly hidden away and left inactive.

With 2020 bringing about the end of Flash, the Poptropica Creators have been promising that they’re working on rebuilding Poptropica with newer technology that’ll keep the game around for years to come. That’s meant a different pace of updates in the last few years—without many new islands to tell new stories, it feels for some like Poptropica is missing its storytelling magic. But a new year—in fact, a new decade—is on the horizon, and perhaps that means new life for Poptropica. Stick around, and we’ll all see!

✨🎆 Cheers to the next decade! 🥳✨

💙 the PHB team

Slanted Fish, Spotted Dragon, Lucky Joker, Fierce Flyer,
Sporty Boa & Gentle Dolphin

Into the known: what December has in store

Hey Poptropicans, it’s Slanted Fish here to announce a dazzling new homepage graphic, a store update, and the next member gift! Let’s get started.

First, if you head on over to Poptropica, you’ll find a new image on the homepage featuring a host of hyped-up Poptropicans and animals, including an ostrich racer and broom-flying wizard, all on an otherworldly planet with the alien trees from the arcade!

Spectacular, huh? Who knows, maybe the Creators will make another wallpaper out of it…


Log in and you’ll see December’s monthly update laid in store, featuring familiar items like the Realms Builder, Back Lot Island Clapboard, and Hypnotic, as well as old holiday costumes like the Angel, Snow Fall, and Winter Blast PopGum (the latter two are for members only).

A few costumes are repeats from last month’s store update. Oddly, the “Pranks” and Followers” sections of the store have been wiped completely clean this time around.

But the best part is that prices have dropped significantly, even on the repeated costumes! While many items used to be in the 250–350 credits range, you can now snag many from the current stock for about 75–150 credits. Happy shopping!


And last but not least, the next item in the 12 Days of Member Gifts is here, and it’s Penguin Sled Riders to match the cute baby penguins that have popped up in the latest Home Island makeover! Awww.

That’s all for this post. See you next time, Poptropicans! ☃️

~/🐠

PHB Pop-over Special: The Good Place

Welcome! Everything is fine.

You are, after all, in the Good Place. Okay, so, not exactly. You’re in a PHB “Pop-over,” which is a Poptropica crossover with another universe—in this case, the NBC sitcom known as The Good Place.

Dressing up like any of the main cast of characters — (from left to right, top to bottom) Michael, Jason, Janet, Tahani, Eleanor, and Chidi — is pretty simple, as most of these outfits can be obtained when you create a new character on Poptropica, with a few extra steps for some. Michael’s glasses and suit, plus Tahani’s earrings and Janet’s top, can be found by cranking the switch inside New You on Home Island. Janet’s skirt is from the lady outside the New You building, and Jason has a bit of hair from the backpacker on Home Island.

And you can take a look at any of these styles in the Avatar Studio by typing in the character’s name followed by TGP: MichaelTGP, JasonTGP, JanetTGP, TahaniTGP, EleanorTGP, and ChidiTGP.

The Good Place is a show that finds an assorted group sent to a supposedly utopian afterlife that quickly spirals into more than what anyone bargained for. Along the way, it explores questions of moral philosophy, ethics, and what it means to be a “good” person, all while being entertaining. Rated 13+ on Netflix.

Hope you enjoyed this crossover of The Good Place x Poptropica! Have you watched all four seasons of The Good Place? Looking forward to the finale in January? Share your thoughts in the comments!

~/🐠

Want to see more? Check out our other Pop-overs and browse our Costume database for more Poptropica costumes to inspire your own outfits!

Good Mythical Wallpapers

Good day, Poptropicans! 🌞 Here’s to Mythology Island, the adventure that inspired the latest artwork to adorn the Poptropica website—and now, that art has been made available for your personal screens, too!

The Poptropica Creators have turned the five-headed Hydra featured on the launch page into several digital wallpapers that you can download and save as either your mobile device’s lockscreen or computer’s desktop background. Find links to all the downloads below or in their blog post.

Screen sizes available:

For an even bigger selection of Poptropica pics, look no further than our Poptropica wallpaper collection here on the PHB. Enjoy the high-res images!

~slantedfish 🐠

Poptropica’s official island tour pages revamped

Hey Poptropicans, it’s Slanted Fish here with a discovery! Poptropica’s been quietly working on revamping their island tour pages, and it looks like they may even be modeling them after the PHB’s Island Guides.

There’s Blue Tooth’s character, so presumably she’s the one writing these.

These revamped pages aren’t yet visibly linked anywhere on Poptropica’s website, but you can hop on over to poptropica.com/island-tour/ and click around the sidebar links to get to each one. Here’s a sampling of one of the pages: Monster Carnival Island.

Poptropica’s new “Island Guide” pages share a fair bit of similarity with the PHB’s Island Guides in regards to layout and content, but there are some differences too, such as the photo gallery at the bottom and the fact that the written parts aren’t a complete walkthrough, but more like an extended description without any big spoilers.

(Side note: Poptropica has made official written walkthroughs before, distributed via an old mobile app called Poptropica: Tips & Tricks, which used to charge 99 cents (US) per individual walkthrough. As you might guess, with guides like the PHB’s available for free online, the app wasn’t too popular.)

Some of Poptropica’s new island tour pages also contain little segments labeled “POPTROPICA TIP” and “Did You Know” (trivia). They also link to fun downloads (like wallpapers) near the bottom of their pages, while the PHB puts these near the top and calls them “Island Extras.” Features that Poptropica’s guides share in common with the PHB’s are the inclusion of video walkthroughs, screenshots of gameplay, and the official synopsis.

Most of the islands that are currently left in the game (that is, the SUI/sound-updated islands, since many others had disappeared this summer) have gotten their island tour page revamped. Reality TV’s (Wild Safari) is marked as coming soon in the sidebar, and the sponsored islands (Galactic Hot Dogs and Timmy Failure) still have yet to get their pages revamped. Curiously, Snagglemast Island is simply referred to here as “Tutorial Island.”

Anyway, I’ll leave you to explore the new island tour pages. What do you think of the revamps? Share your thoughts in the comments!

See you around, Poptropicans~ ✌️

YouTubers & Pop: thanks for the carrot yanks 🥕

Hey Poptropicans! Slanted Fish here, bringing you the latest batch of fascinating takes on Poptropica from various YouTubers. Let’s watch! 📹

First up, in a heartwarming, nostalgic thank-you video letter addressed to the Pop Creators, bchili pays tribute to the legacy of Poptropica and all the fun times it brought to her childhood and those of our generation. She talks about how the game stands out for the stories it tells and reminisces about various moments in the game. Thanks for the throwbacks, bchili!

Next, we have a Poptropica review from a first-time adult player, Billiam. (The Poptropica part starts about 40 seconds into the video, and you may also want to jump to the 2:58 mark to skip the ad.) His verdict for the game: surprisingly fun (though the platforming struggles are real!). Discovering clues to advance in island missions drives the player’s interest, he explains, and it’s this storytelling aspect that makes Pop stand out from other Flash games.

And finally, here’s a comically strange short clip from Jaynautic, a 16-year-old who got dolled up like Dr. Hare. While wandering around a suburban neighborhood looking for carrots to steal, he finds one in particular that looks decidedly not like a carrot… see for yourself!


If you enjoyed these videos, check out some of our other posts where we highlight YouTubers playing Poptropica:

Thanks for watching, hit that subscribe button, and we’ll see you next time!