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Author: Slanted Fish
Hey there! I'm Slanted Fish, the editor-in-chief and creator of the Poptropica Help Blog (PHB). The nickname comes from a wordplay on my Chinese name, my perpetually slanted posture, and my love of fish.
I'm a writer, artist, appreciator of good puns, Hong Kong native, and Christ follower. My Poptropica username is slantedfish 🐠
Don't forget to be awesome!
Hey Poptropicans! Another week of May has gone by, and surprisingly, there’s been a rotation of items in the store. Here’s what’s in:
Many of last week’s items are still around, but all the costumes have changed. In the costume department, we have: Cool for School, Baseball Uniform*, Orange Julius, Spiff Boy, Unicorn Girl*, Football Fever* (with a whopping 8 color options!), Prom Queen, and Swan Ballerina. (A * indicates members only.)
The Bobblehead power has been made available to all (it was members only last week) and dropped from 350 credits to a mere 75, so now’s a good time to snap up this wobbly-bobbly classic!
In followers, the Dryad has replaced the Chick from last week, and in pranks, the Ice Blaster Pistol has joined the ranks. And finally, in miscellaneous, the Cinnamon Fire PopGum has risen to 300 credits, a drastic change from last week’s 75. (Thanks to Perfect Fish for the alerts!)
That’s all for this week’s news! In case you missed it, catch up on all the exciting stuff that came out in the past couple of weeks:
Hey Poptropicans! Store items for the month of May are here, and unlike last month, there’s no sign that they’ll change weekly this time.
For this month, the store costumes are: Soccer Player (boy and girl), Rainbow Storm, Rebel Beach, Mythology Surfer (boy and girl), Pop Star, and Rock Star. Miscellaneous brings us the Cinnamon Fire PopGum and Balloons, and in pranks we have Sticky Notes, Fart Gun, and the 8-Bit Birthday Pixel Pig Power.
As for the real powers, there’s Binary Rain, Bobblehead, Flower Planting Power, and Atom Power. Finally, in followers, we have the adorable Chick, Classic Pack, Charlie the Chocomonkey, and Atlantis Drone.
You’ll see the first change right when you start the island, which now plays a short video showing a kid pulling carrots and getting whisked underground by a mechanical claw that drags him into the carrot factory, where Dr. Hare awaits. You can see this teaser video in our previous post.
The next change is a nostalgic one: you can mix a drink at the Carrot King Diner to change your hair color! This hidden trick was in the original 24 Carrot that released in 2008, but had disappeared when 24 Carrot was re-released in 2013 as a sound-updated island. Seven years later, it’s back!
Characters on this island also now come with small speech bubbles with just an ellipsis (the three dots) to indicate they have something to say. Perhaps this will extend to other islands in Haxe?
Speaking of, well, speaking, some of the dialogue on this flagship Poptropica island has been altered. Overall, the new lines flow well and give the player a better sense of what’s going on. Even the homeless man gets to explain his circumstances: the closure of the carrot cake factory has put him out of work.
And, at least one store in Poptropica still has toilet paper. 😉
Anyway, that’s all for this post, but these aren’t the only updates from Poptropica this week! Stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll talk more on the new common room stores and the funky little droid powering them…
Surf’s up, Poptropicans! Catch the waves and ride on over to the latest island to surface in the Poptropica seas… American Girl: Joss’s Island.
Yup, as you can probably guess, this isn’t your typical island with a quest—instead, it’s Poptropica’s most extra ad yet, here to promote “American Girl” dolls, and specifically its “Girl of the Year 2020”: Joss Kendrick, surfer.
It’s not the first time Poptropica has built an island solely for advertising—the same tactic was applied with LEGO Island in 2018. Anyway, there’s quite a bit to do on Joss’s Island, which you can find on both mobile and desktop, including HAXE! (Thanks for the tip, Perfect Fish.)
Upon arriving, you’ll hear a jaunty, upbeat tune playing—and there’s more sound to come. But first, a quick overview: you can talk to the doll characters to see what’s going on, like the fact that you can click on interactive objects around the island. There are four buildings you can enter (from left to right): the cinema, Shine Athletics Gym, American Girl Place, and SoCal Board Shop. And if you head left, you’ll see a sign that tells you you’re in Huntington Beach (which is a real city in California!).
As Joss herself will tell you, there are four free prizes to be had on this island. You can pick up a Shine Bright Shirt by the entrance of American Girl Place, a Cheer Competition Jacket above the RV by the SoCal Board Shop, your very own Joss’s Tassel Bag to the left of your parked blimp, and a Catch a Wave Hoodie above the cinema. As usual, members get to keep ad prizes forever!
Inside the SoCal Board Shop, you can play a surfing game with mechanics similar to the cheetah run on Reality TV: Wild Safari. By clicking multiple times, you can jump higher as you ride the waves. However, in both my and Perfect Fish’s experience, it seems there are some invisible obstacles in the game causing it to be hard to win. Still, if you manage to beat it, you’ll win Joss’s Surfboard(thanks, Scrooge200!).
Moving on, there’s the American Girl Place, which is basically one fancy building to promote various parts of the American Girl franchise. If you head to the right, you’ll find a little restaurant with a video you can watch.
Next up is the Shine Athletics Gym, where you can play a Rock Band-like beats game where the goal is to lead a cheer squad by pressing buttons as they come along each of the three colored stripes. If your volume is up, you’ll hear the song “Go Joss” as you jam along. If you do well enough, you’ll win an adorable little Seal Pup that can go on your head!
Finally, there’s the cinema, which is of course playing all things Joss. You can watch eight videos in there: two are music videos, “Go Joss” (the soundtrack to the aforementioned beats game) and “Surf’s Up”; there’s also a doll stop-motion animated series of Joss’s story in six episodes.
That’s all for American Girl: Joss’s Island! What did you think of this most ambitious ad in the history of Poptropica? Did you momentarily get your hopes up about a new island on the map? Will you wear the new prizes? Don’t you think Poptropica should make the Seal Pup the next pet? Comment below!
As we wrap up the month of April, we come into our final week of the weekly store updates. While the costumes have switched around this week, they’re ones we’ve seen throughout this month, so nothing new.
Will we see the weekly updates to the store continue in May? Time will soon tell, as the next month fast approaches…
Last but not least, the Poptropica.com homepage got a little update! We’ve mentioned the new “Pick a Character” screen, but now, when you scroll down below that, you’ll find three square images highlighting Poptropica’s features: Connect with friends! Play epic adventures! Adopt your own pets!
So, although friends in Poptropica has been a little lacking after the post-Flash update, and has yet to appear in HAXE, perhaps this is a reassurance that friends will continue to be a priority for Poptropica’s future.
On another note, if you look at the links below those pictures, you’ll find one that wasn’t there before: Do Not Sell My Info (for CA Residents). That’s CA for California, not Canada, by the way. Apparently, residents of California can request to opt out of having their details shared with the third-party partners of Sandbox Network Inc, Poptropica’s parent company.
Of course, they will “need to verify your identity to process your request.”
As for the rest of us, um, Poptropica’s been selling our data…??? In their words: “Sandbox Networks Inc. (“SNI”) does share customer information with carefully selected third parties in order to create a superior customer experience and for permitted business purposes.”
It’s not clear what “customer information” entails here, but Poptropica doesn’t collect much personal info to begin with, so it’s probably nothing to worry about. (And to be fair, many other websites are already involved in legal data selling.) What we do know is that when creating a Poptropica account, you’re asked for your age (although this may be disappearing with the new HAXE setup), a username and password to log in with, and you can also connect an email account to your Poptropica account later on. Plus, the aforementioned “carefully selected third parties” are likely advertisers like American Girl, who want to know who they’re advertising to — which is fair enough.
Now that you’ve made it this far into the post, I hope that long title at the beginning finally makes sense. 🙂
Wild Fire, who shares a name with a Poptropolis Games tribe, is rocking a big puff of orange hair. Beside him is Pink Crush, with the pink ponytail. Then there’s Got Game, who’s got a big afro and a big smile, and Old School, who’s dancing with a tuft of swishy purple hair over their eyes.
Cool Slice is out here flexing a snazzy plaid overshirt, and Girl Power is just staring defiantly, daring you to challenge her. Finally, there’s Fast Ride with the shades, and happy-go-lucky Love Star with the slight blush.
PHB reader Perfect Fish also reported seeing the URL change depending on the character picked, like so: poptropica.com/haxe/master-minified-200421-1657/?npc_name=FastRide (and “FastRide” is replaceable with any of the other aforementioned names, no spaces). You can also enter these URLs in your web browser to go directly to playing with certain characters.
And by the way, you might find that the “pick a character” screen now dominates the Poptropica.com homepage. (For me, it showed up on one web browser but not another.) Goodbye, “play for free” button!
All these bizarre yet seemingly permanent names, and now the added poses on these stock characters and URL integration, raises the question: are these pre-named, pre-designed characters here to stay?
On that idea, we’re ambivalent. Despite all the swagger these characters carry, this new feature takes away a key aspect of making a Poptropican one’s own: the naming. At the same time, though, it is convenient (especially for new players) to just be able to pick and play, and once you’re in the game, you’ll have options to customize your character the way you like it.
Since Poptropica on HAXE doesn’t have the friends feature yet, and Flash is making the Avatar Studio obsolete, we may be entering a time where Poptropicans’ names are inconsequential. But for us nostalgic older players, picking the perfect name for our Poptropicans among a list of strange but familiar nouns and adjectives was part of the fun. And if the names are going to show up anywhere (like the friends feature, if it comes to HAXE), having only a handful of possible names is going to be a little awkward.
Right now, if you want to create a character with more freedom in the naming process, there are a couple of options. You can try the Custom Name Genie from our Glitching page, which lets you make a character with just about any name you like. Or you can create one on Poptropica Worlds, which still lets you pick from a randomized list like old times. (Update: There’s a third option—you can still pick a name on the mobile app.)
That’s the latest in Poptropica’s post-Flash development. Share your thoughts in the comments—about your favorite HAXE character, the story behind your Poptropican’s name, or your conspiracy theory on why Poptropica seems to be foregoing player names. Or just petition to bring them back.
So far, there hasn’t been much to see—but recent developments are showing signs of progress, or at least, experimentation. Let’s take a look!
For some time now, the Haxe build has been accessible at a link that’s not too hard to guess: poptropica.com/haxe. Now, clicking on the “Play For Free” link on Poptropica’s homepage goes directly to this link, and players have been reporting some interesting features they’ve seen.
For starters, here’s a screenshot from Perfect Fish, showing daily login rewards of credits that increase as you keep up your login streak.
There’s also a new character selection screen, with about seven pre-designed characters you can pick from to hop into the game right away — no customization of name or appearance. (Thanks to Quick Fang for the tip.)
This “Pick a Character” screen used to be more similar to the one we’ve had since late 2018, but with different (one might say less appealing) colors of bright orange and purple. (Thanks goes to Scrooge200 for these screenshots.)
As seen above in the Home Island screenshots, your player clubhouse is among the features not yet ready in Poptropica’s Haxe. Still, a new clubhouse icon has popped up in the menu, replacing the friends icon. It might be a while before the friends feature is ready in this new Poptropica… 😢
If you visit the Haxe build at the link above, you’ll find that the map is looking even more sparse than usual: there are literally only 6 islands so far. (But don’t panic just yet—you can still find a more populated map by logging into the regular Poptropica, at poptropica.com/game.)
Along with Home Island, Snagglemast and 24 Carrot are counted as beginner islands, while “Adventures of Mystery” offers Survival 1, PoptropiCon 1, and just recently added for members only, Timmy Failure. (This is probably why they used the phrase “early access” when you click into it.)
But there is still one more page: the “Adventures of Deception,” which shows (unlabeled) Escape From Pelican Rock as coming soon. Silhouettes of two more islands can be seen on this page: Mythology up top and Shrink Ray on the right, by the looks of it. All these missing islands seem to suggest the Creators still have a long way to go with rendering AS3 (newer) islands into Haxe.
Survival 1 had me stuck in a never-ending loading loop over my character as soon as I’d crash-landed onto the island, and with this being the early stages, these few Haxe islands may still be working out bugs. Proceed with caution!
Poptropica in Haxe also brings in a couple of subtle changes to the iconography of in-game movement. When hovering over an entrance, the text that tells you what room you’re entering is now wrapped in a white bar, as opposed to the white outline on the text as before. Also, the movement arrow loses part of its white outline on the side facing your character.
That about wraps up what’s up in Poptropica’s Haxe so far. Not much, but not nothing, and with new features on the way, it seems!