2018 Rewind: a Poptropica Screen Odyssey

2018 rewind

What’s up, Poptropicans? The year is wrapping up, and that could only mean one thing—it’s time for our 2018 rewind!

Every year, we reflect back on the events regarding Poptropica and the community surrounding it. So, what happened this year?


Part 1: Poptropica (Worlds & Original)

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2018 started out with what would probably be the biggest event of the year—the member release of Poptropica Worlds’ third full island quest, Greek Sea Odyssey, in February. (It released to all in mid-March.) Check out our Island Review!

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Things unfortunately took a turn for the worse as the end of the month approached… Several employees (all with senior positions) were sadly laid off. Because of this, we made some speculations regarding Poptropica’s financial status.

In March, the misfortune continued when @Poptropica unexpectedly unfollowed hundreds of accounts (including me… not salty at all, ahem) on Twitter, with no follow-up explanation. (Though the PHB’s official Twitter, @Poptropica_Help, is one of a few still followed by Poptropica.) It caught many people off guard, to say the least. Even former Poptropica social media manager Skinny Moon had something to say about it.

On the flip side, March Prizes went on throughout the month, where special items were hidden on a different island each week. If you found it, you got to keep it!

April brought us a few new series on the Poptropica Creators’ Blog which included Outfits of the Week, Island Highlight, and Guess the Island—all of which have since discontinued. The writing wasn’t exactly high caliber, either.

Also in April, the Creators began rotating items in and out of the shop on a monthly basis, resulting in fewer items available at any given time but also the return of some rare, limited edition items. This still continues today!

In May, a Zombie Photo Machine appeared on the Poptropica Worlds app. Spooky…?

June brought the start of Member Gifts, where every month members get exclusive items as a bonus. Also, Poptropica was trending on the Apple App Store!

In July, Poptropica released their Poptropica Stickers app for iMessage on iOS devices. Soon after, they held a Poptropica Sticker Design Contest, with the winning designs debuting on the app in early October.

Poptropica Digital Stickers

Not much happened in August, but September was a great month for Poptropica. First and foremost, Poptropica celebrated their 11th birthday by releasing a funny-looking Birthday Candle costume—free for everyone!

Also, the long-awaited return of Realms finally became a reality, and Poptropica announced their Halloween costume contest (where the winning design would be added to the store). Finally, the “Dr. Hare’s Secret Lab” mini-quest returned for a limited time with a recolored rabbot costume as the prize.

In October, Poptropica released a brand new login screen, complete with new customization options for appearance and names. Fancy!

Poptropica also held a small-scale #SpookyPop Photo Booth contest, featuring just a couple pics on their Instagram. In larger news was the Home Island overhaul, which brought unopened buildings like the Blast-Off Arcade, Pet Barn, and more.

November saw the release of LEGO Island, which was not so much an island with a quest as it was just a space for LEGO ad games. The Blast-Off Arcade also opened, and the retired mini-quest D.C. Diner returned for a limited time.

December started out with the 12 Days of Member Gifts, an extension of the monthly Member Gifts benefit with, for the first time since it began, new original items. Snow arrived on Home Island, text chat arrived at the Blast-Off Arcade, and towards the very end came the biggest feature of all: clubhouses!

In the new year, we can look forward to a redesigned friends profile and more coming to Poptropica…


Part 2: PHB & Community

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art: “Alice and Fierce Fox” by POP-whitewolf, 2018 Poppies winner of “Best Fan Art”

The PHB posted three times as much as the Poptropica Creators’ Blog this year—about 180 posts to their almost 60.

In fact, at 59 posts in 2018, it’s the Creators’ Blog’s lowest yearly post count yet—even lower than the 64 from when the blog began in mid-2008. While they did maintain a social media presence, the lack of a personable social media manager left a disconnect between players and Creators worsened by infrequent updates.

To make up for the missing communications on the part of the Pop Creators, we at the PHB have been hard at work bringing you the latest and greatest in all things Poptropica. Here’s what we’ve been up to this year as a community:

In January, we welcomed Fierce Flyer to the PHB team, and invited everyone to share their ideas in a discussion post asking, “What Islands do you want to explore in Poptropica?” which garnered 100 comments.

During the month of February, we featured an extensive guest post titled “Dear Jeff Kinney: Poptropica is wimpier without you,” calling on Poptropica’s original creator, Jeff Kinney, to pay more attention to the current state of Poptropica. We also brought back Pop the Difference, a PHB special game, and hosted our annual Readers’ Survey.

The Readers’ Survey results came in March, which showed, among other things, that the older populations of PHB readers (ages 15+) has increased. We looked at the question of “What’s going to happen to Poptropica Original?”, as well as featured another detailed guest post, this one making a case for a Poptropica movie. Meanwhile, the Creators finally put up a couple of posts on their blog.

Inspired by the Creators’ rehashed blogging and frivolous tweeting, we kicked off April with a prank that brought just that to the PHB. That month, we also debuted a new series: Pop Fan Artist Spotlights!

May wasn’t so eventful, but June came with another new PHB series: Pop Places IRL. Then in July, Sporty Boa joined our staff, and the PHB started an Instagram @PoptropicaHare (follow us!). We also hosted our fourth annual Poppies awards, celebrating 10 years of the Poptropica Help Blog in the occasion. What a milestone!

In August, we held our first ever PHB Header Contest, and the winning design (by Gentle Dolphin) was displayed as our blog banner for the month of September!

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October was the time for our yearly costume competition—this time, our 10th one, and with two themes: casual and creepy. Also, Gentle Dolphin joined our staff, and to round off the spooky season, we released a “Guess the Horror Scene” special.

November and December were quieter months here on the PHB, but they were surprisingly active ones for Poptropica (see above). To conclude 2018…


Tributes

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There is one final section to go in this Rewind post, and that’s the tributes for the 4 PHB staff authors who left this year. (Poptropica isn’t the only place with departures, but at least these were willingly so.) Thank you, again, to these delightful Poptropicans:

Happy Lobster (2016–2018) 🦀

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Before joining the PHB team, Happy Lobster blogged on several Poptropica fan sites, including his own, the now-defunct A Quota of Poptropica. Having worked with the PHB for about a year and a half, HL has contributed some fun posts including a Pop-over of Inside Out characters, a Pop 5 for beautiful scenes, and more. Wherever he goes, we hope he stays happy!

Purple Claw (2017–2018) 🐾

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Purple Claw brought with him a critical eye and a penchant for joy. Prior (as well as during) his time with the PHB, PC ran a Poptropica fan site called Clawtropica and the Poptropica Bloggers Network, a directory of small Pop fan sites. Among his PHB posts are a review of the New New 24 Carrot Island, a Pop 5 of the most detestable updates, and an educational perspective on Pop. Peace, Pea Sea!

Silver Wolf (2017–2018) 🐺

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Long before blogging with the PHB, Silver Wolf was running her own Pop fan site, Poptropica Tips for Poptropicans (PTFP). Since joining the team, Wolfy has written on topics like a Pop 5 for immersive islands, YouTubers playing Pop, and mysteries like closed doors in player homes. She’s a talented writer and animal lover, and we wish her all the best!

Brave Tomato (2012–2018) 🍅

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Ah, Brave Tomato, a PHB legend. The longest-staying PHB staffer thus far (other than Slanted Fish, the creator of the PHB, who’s still around), BT has been with the blog since 2012. In her six years here, and more within the greater Poptropica community, BT has done a lot: she’s revisited most of the islands on her YouTube channel, created tons of Poptropica fan art and fan fiction, and more. Named the 2018 recipient of “Best PHB Author” at the Poppies, BT is known for her love of mythology, accuracy in Pop theories, and hunger for lore, among many other great qualities. We give her 10/10 fresh, brave tomatoes.


That’s 2018! We the Poptropica Help Blog have been around for 10+ years now, and we look forward to even more poppin’ times with all of you. Thanks for being a part of our journey, and we’ll see you in the new year. Keep on popping, Poptropicans!

2018

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✨🎆 Happy new year! 🎇✨

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2017 Rewind: A Whole New World 🚀

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Hey, Poptropicans! It’s finally the end of 2017—what an eventful year for all of us.

To continue an annual PHB tradition, I, Slippery Raptor, present to you… the PHB’s 2017 Rewind! This tradition commemorates and reflects back on to the biggest Poptropica highlights of the year, from the game to the community. It also serves as a yearbook of sorts for the PHB community.

Time flies by us so quickly that we may barely notice when we’re already at its end. Good thing we have this Rewind series to turn back the hands of the clock!

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Prepare yourselves as we walk down the memory lane and flip through four chapters of 2017. Now, take a deep breath as we enter a whole new world. Here we go…

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Poptropica Worlds was this year’s most-awaited update from Poptropica, but before we talk about its grand release, let’s go back all the way to January

It all began with a video teaser that announced the forthcoming of the New Poptropica, now with a new name, “Poptropica Worlds,” with hints from the Creators of the features to come with the new update. This was, then, followed by a series of leaked images and scenes from Crisis Caverns (which was then rumored to be part of Poptropica Worlds, and it was)!

Another month went by, and Poptropicans became even more restless and impatient for the new game to come. On the PHB, Slanted Fish wrote an opinion piece on the long wait for the overhaul project that was, by that time, already under significant delay.

Finally, Poptropica released an FAQ page for a bunch of queries pertaining to Poptropica Worlds! To further quench the fans’ thirst for more updates, they even showed previews on Google Play on what to expect in the impending update:

Soon after, Poptropica teased out some more Poptropica Worlds art: a glimpse into a player home and the new avatar style. Excitement continued to grow with the release of an exclusive pre-beta kit sent only to a select few in the Poptropica community, including the PHB team, who were invited to share its #NewPopDrop contents with everyone. The kit contained a massive behind-the-scenes look at what was to come in Worlds.

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The final sneak peeks came as silhouettes of various items were posted on the Creator’s Blog and Poptropica social media person Skinny Moon promising that there were “more to come.”

It finally brought joy to the world and the whole Poptropica community when Poptropica Worlds was released in late May, first on Android, and then on desktop shortly after. What an amazing milestone it is for everyone that Poptropica Worlds had finally come! (We wrote a review on the new game in comparison to the old: check it out!)

In June, Poptropica Worlds featured its first advertisement in-game: Cars 3, with a similar approach to how one type of ad worked in the original Poptropica—watch a video for a free item. Sadly, we’ve yet to see any ad games in Worlds.

Also in June, we put out our review for the newly-released Crisis Caverns Island.

July came with a handful of updates for Poptropica Worlds. First, the remastered 24 Carrot Island was welcomed in with brand new characters and a more enriched plot! (Check out our review here.)

We also had a big summer update that featured the first home expansion, color-changing outfits, and brought back the Colorizer—one awesome way to celebrate summer!

What happened next? Well, in August, Poptropica finally released a video trailer for Pop Worlds! It included lots of sneak peeks and references to the original Poptropica and future updates to come. Exciting! The PHB also got a stellar new logo this month.

 

 

When I woke up when September ended, the Ye Olde Shop had made its way to Home Island. Also new on the shore were weekly gameplay livestreams from a new Poptropica Creator, Stephanie!

Onto the last three months of 2017! October brought a new mini-game to Poptropica Worlds: Dr. Hare’s Revenge—quite odd for his disappearance in the initial release, but good thing he was later added in a recent update!

November passed with more Poptropica videos, and then December came with the final update of the year: a hare-raising Dr. Hare update! We got another room expansion for our houses and finally saw the winning designs of the past year’s costume contest added to the shop on Worlds.


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It may not be quite as eventful as Poptropica Worlds this year, but we still received a handful of updates on the original Poptropica. So let’s cover some of the other, non-Worlds happenings around Poptropica HQ—and the fandom community!

Fast-forwarding in February, the first major update we got from Poptropica was the announcement of the #MyPoptropicaCostume contest winners, wherein the Mermaid and Hip-Hop costumes were both declared grand prize winners!

We also celebrated Valentine’s Day with a #PoptropicaLove contest using the Valentine-themed Photo Booth, all set to spread the love to the community.

In March, with the snow still falling in Boston, Poptropica added a brand new game to Home Island: Snowpocalypse! The game is a crazy snowball fight with characters from various islands we know and love. Here’s Zeus getting pelted:

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Moreover with the madness, Poptropica also decided to bring back classic costumes and power cards to the store! Not only that, we also saw the arrival of the Home Island Movie Theater—although, it wasn’t at all what we were hoping for.

In April, the PHB conducted a big interview with longtime Poptropica Creator and author of several Poptropica books, Mitch Krpata, which you can read here. Along with that, for Wimpy Kid Month, Poptropica also hosted some Wimpy Kid/Poptropica giveaways. And the third Poptropica graphic novel, The Secret Society, also dropped—along with our review, which you can read here.

Jumping to July, Mitch Krpata once again came into the limelight with an interview on a podcast called The Oddball Show, where he talked about Poptropica (among other things), and which we recapped here. We also bid our farewells to beloved Poptropica Creator Skinny Moon, who left her position to continue her previous career as a freelance copywriter and social media strategist.

In August, Poptropica challenged players to be a part of the #FreeThe15 challenge that rewarded us with 21 new items for our homes on Poptropica Worlds.

Then in September, we celebrated the highly anticipated 10th birthday celebration of Poptropica, which came with grinning monkey hats—both on Poptropica Original and on Worlds! The festivities also included a membership contest with quite a peculiar task. Nonetheless, the party raged on as Poptropica finally unveiled the concluding chapter to the graphic novel tetralogy, The End of Time. (Check out our book review here!)

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Not much happened in October, though the Poptropica Comics did return with Jorge and Oliver still onto their mischievous misadventures. November came with a Thanksgiving giveaway that made us search for missing followers around Poptropica.

In December, we concluded the year with the re-introduction of the mini-game Legendary Swords to Poptropica Original. At first, the re-release was members-only, but the Creators later opened it for everyone.

Wowie, what a 2017 for Poptropica! Let’s head into the next chapter…


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Our community has been witness to many events this year, both fun and serious, and it’s these things that make us a formidable community. Let this chapter help us recall the memories we’ve shared in 2017.

In January, we welcomed a brand new post series to the blog: Community Creations! This monthly series features the creative works of Poptropicans that revolve around a given theme each month, with PHB staffer Spotted Dragon spearheading each round. Over the months, we’ve seen some amazing fan art. Here is just a handful:

In February, we conducted our third ever PHB Readers’ Survey and got some pretty neat results. Thanks to all of you who participated!

March came along and, prompted by a PHB post by Perfect Sky calling for giving more love to smaller Poptropica fan blogs, a movement began, known as #SaveTheCommunity and later #PopBlogsMatter. To that end, the Poptropica Bloggers Network (PBN) headed up by Purple Claw and Hyper Gamer—which is dedicated to helping smaller Poptropica blogs—saw a revival, and fan blogs outside of the PHB continued to flourish.

April brought along yet another April Fools’ prank from the PHB: PopFeedz! This was a joke site we made that took the PHB as we know it and spun it into a more Buzzfeed-esque version of our site. Lots of you really liked it! You can check out the original over on popfeedz.wordpress.com.

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In May, something pretty exciting happened for the PHB and other fan sites: VIP status! There hasn’t been a ton happening in this department, but it’s nice to get that recognition after so many years.

June was a fulfilling month: we launched our Write for the PHB campaign, to empower all of you with the how-to of contributing to our site. We also had a PHB special that featured Popsonas of the PHB staff. The month concluded with us coordinating Poptropica’s first-ever Pride Party, in which we celebrated love in its many forms.

Then in July, the PHB’s birthday month, we hosted our annual Poppies Awards! From nominations to the awards ceremony, we had lots of fun and hope you did too. To celebrate some more, we also put together a collection of Greatest PHB Posts and walked through a gallery of PHB headers over the years. Happy 9th birthday to the PHB!

In August, we explored the intersection of Poptropica and Age with a mini-series of posts from PHB founder Slanted Fish (see part 1, part 2, and part 3 here). We also wrestled with the almost-pay-to-play direction that the New Poptropica seemed to be going. Also, we took on a new PHB logo design, plus a new, slicker URL: poptropi.ca!

September, of course, was the big month: Poptropica’s 10th birthday! We shared some reflections about the game’s impact on us and threw a big party on Poptropica. Also, we enjoyed a massive compendium of amazing Poptropica wallpapers from our friend napstachill—seriously, check it out!

October was filled with fright as we hosted our 9th annual Halloween costume contest, which took entries from both Poptropica Original and Worlds, with both games putting out their Halloween costumes at the front of their stores. Also, we were finally introduced to Dave, who had been making videos for Poptropica’s YouTube channel for quite some time.

November passed with some more videos from Dave and livestreamer Stephanie, and we also hit a biggie: 30 million views on the PHB! Thank you all so much!

In December we held our annual Holiday Party, with a special guest: Unwilling Santa Zeus! PHB staffer Lucky Joker also debuted one of our biggest blog specials ever: 100 Years of Fashion, Poptropica-style.

This year on the PHB, we also had a ton of posts for many of our series: Poptropica Portfolio, Pop 5, Pop Petition, and My Place in Poptropica. Be sure to check out those post categories while you’re here—and maybe even make a new year’s resolution to Write for the PHB in 2018!

tributes

To continue a tradition from last year’s Rewind, I now invite you to the Tributes, a section dedicated to keeping the memories of the PHB staff who left us this year:

Ultimate iPad Expert 📱 — 2015–2017

uipeBefore he joined the PHB team, Ultimate iPad Expert served as an admin on the Poptropica Wiki. A meme entry for HPuterpop’s fan art contest led to inspiration for more memes, and soon enough, Poptropican Meme Face Mondays was born. PMFM lasted a whopping 70 rounds, and UiPE himself earned his legendary moniker, “Meme King”—plus the 2016 title for Best PHB Author! Wherever he is now, I trust that he’s living his ultimate best. Long live the Meme King!

Perfect Sky ⛅ — 2016–2017

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Long before she became a member of the PHB staff, Perfect Sky was renowned for her Poptropica movies on YouTube. Besides her creativity, she is known for having a passionate heart for the Poptropica community who is never afraid to stand for what she believes in. She’s someone with a heart of gold and we thank her for everything she has done for the community. Thanks for making the skies perfect, PS!

Slippery Raptor 💦 — 2014–2017

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I’m sure you’re least expecting this thing to happen here, right? But, this is really happening. Prepare your tissues.

This is the end for me, everyone, and I would just like to extend my deepest gratitude to the whole PHB staff (both current and former) for giving me this opportunity. Being part of this community and blogging here has simply been a surreal experience. Before I joined, I remember dreaming of joining the staff by spamming the comments section with “Can I be an author here?” It’s so funny that, years later, I found my place here, and would actually stay for a few years more than I had expected.

I’m also thankful for the whole Poptropica community: you all are so amazing, crazy talented, and even so silly sometimes. I’m so happy to have witnessed so many changes in Poptropica and in our community that I felt very much involved with, and that’s something I won’t forget. Thanks to all my friends out there! I hope I can still drop by on Discord here and there.

Just to briefly explain my departure: I have a lot on my plate right now, with college around the corner, academics and organizations to balance, and other things. I also cannot deny the inevitability of growing up and my feelings of “outgrowing” the game. Another factor would be the arrival of Poptropica Worlds, which is not a bad thing, but it isn’t quite the same as the Poptropica I grew up with—plus, updates have been more scarce. I do hope you understand that and trust me, it’s something everyone will go through eventually.

To the next author who will succeed me, I hope you enjoy being a PHB staff member! And to everyone else, stay awesome as you always have been doing, and continue the awesomeness we’ve started. I don’t want this to be too much of a long, melodramatic piece, but I hope you’ll all keep moving forward for me. Carpe diem—seize the day. I wish you all the best of luck!

May God bless you all so much. Thank you, and that will be all.


2017, everyone! What a crazy rollercoaster ride—filled with ups, downs, and even loops! In the midst of all the good and bad that have crossed our paths in the past year, let’s put them behind us and look forward to the new year. As we all transition to a whole new world in Poptropica Worlds, I do hope that you’ll enjoy every update yet to come.

Thank you all for riding with us in 2017. As we ring in the new year, a new chapter in the PHB’s life begins as we look forward to our 10th birthday in July. We wouldn’t want to miss it for the world!

We here at the PHB hope to continue what we started back in 2008: our unwavering passion towards Poptropica and its community. We hope you enjoyed 2017 as much as we did! See you in 2018, Poptropicans!

2018

🎆 HAPPY NEW YEAR! 🎆

– ❤ from the PHB 

Blast from the Past: Some Poptropica Paraphernalia

Hello, everyone!

Lucky Joker here with some pretty fascinating things to share you all today. Credit goes to idk for sharing these findings with us!

At a Pearson event called IT Works in 2011, long before the Poptropica app was introduced, Poptropica was playable on a standing touch screen. It’s pretty neat, and I assume they did this to experiment with the different controls. See for yourself! (Click any of the images to make them larger! 😉 )

On the trend of looking in the past – Poptropica had designed a mini booklet in 2010, known as the Poptropica Fun Book. Its purpose was to help children have fun learning English by completing puzzles and games that were inside of it. There was even a Teacher’s Guide made too!

You can download the online version of both the fun book and the teacher’s guide if you’d like to check out the insides. (Just know that the teacher’s guide is in Spanish.)

Well, that’s all I have for today. Thanks for reading!

-Lucky Joker

2016 Rewind: What Happened This Year?

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Hi, everyone! Slip here, and it’s time for the PHB’s 2016 Rewind!

The year is coming to an end, and it’s our tradition to reflect and recap the year’s big Poptropica events! Time flies really fast, and a lot has happened. As we walk down memory lane, let’s see how much of these things you still remember!

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We’ll be going month by month, and at the end, there are tributes for all the PHB authors who have left us this year. Let’s flip the yearbook, shall we?

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2016 marked new things and new projects for the PHB. It began with HPuterpop announcing a new project called Orb Legend, a fan-game inspired by Poptropica. While its production is currently halted, you can browse the OL blog for any updates to come.

A new PHB series called Popspiracy took root, in which we would explore Poptropica conspiracy theories. We also added the Custom Name Genie (currently on our Glitching page), a new way to make awesome customized names on Poptropica!

Slanted Fish wrote an open letter to Poptropica, and much to our surprise, a Creator responded! We also conductedReaders’ Survey which received tons of responses from you guys, and which UiPE analyzed quite thoroughly (see results part 1 and part 2).

We decided to change the schedule of our magazine, The POPCORN, to be published four times a year. And at the end of the month, we received a sneak peek for a new island, which soon came…

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February came with a brand new page on this blog: An Overview of Poptropica Glitching, which discusses how the glitching community came about and how not all glitches are bad.

We also celebrated Valentine’s Day with a PHB special that included community members! You can read it here: Part 1 and Part 2. Our Poptropica crossover series, now known as Pop-overs, also made a comeback this year with the Gravity Falls-inspired Poptropica costumes.

Then came Poptropica’s only island for this year, the new tutorial for new players: Monkey Wrench Island! Towards the end of the month, the PHB’s chat server, the PHC, moved away from Xat over to Discord, where we currently chat. (It’s always open, so pop on by!)

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March began with the release of the first Poptropica graphic novel, Mystery of the Map! In celebration of the book, as well as the new tutorial island, Poptropica hosted the Monkey Madness event (in which we got some monkey followers) along with sweepstakes (membership giveaways)!

Poptropica also hosted a Periscope livestream for the first time with Poptropica’s original creator, Jeff Kinney, as well as the graphic novel’s illustrator, Kory Merritt. Check out the book launch recap here.

In addition to Monkey Madness, we also had March Madness — not the NCAA, but a month-long poll in response to 7 islands becoming members only in 2015: the winning members-only island would be made available to all players again!

Rumors started to fly regarding Skydock Island coming to Poptropica, based on some sneak peeks. And two authors bade their farewells on the PHB – Blake and Sam. 😦

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April kicked off with our April Fools prank: the PHV, or Poptropica Help Vlogs! It all started with Fishy “leaving” the blog and turning the blog over to the rest of the team, who decided to turn the blog into a vlog! We even fooled Skinny Moon for a moment! 😛

There was also the re-opening of Red Dragon Island to everyone, as the winner of the March Madness event. Some of us thought it was this year’s prank by the Creators, but they didn’t pull any pranks this year. Also not a prank: Giant Hawk decided to step down from being a PHB author.

Poptropica glitchers also made their way inside the development testing rooms and showcased never-before-seen items, features, and unused files! We also found some rumored Zomberry minigames, though we don’t know whether they’re ever being released.

This was also “Wimpy Kid Month”, which unfortunately was poorly done. We even had a rant about it on the blog, and to our surprise, Skinny Moon apologized for the mishap and hinted towards a bigger news later that month.

Also in this month, the Feats of Speed event began, though it continued onto the following month. We were given the first-ever wearable sneakers (of various colors) on Poptropica!

Though there were no upcoming islands being announced by this time, we got the biggest announcements of 2016: New Poptropica and StoryArc Media! A brand new game experience teased by a short gif, plus Poptropica became part of a new parent company.

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In May, following the news of New Poptropica, StoryArc Media announced a mobile game called Adventure Pig: not related to Poptropica except for the similar graphics.

On the PHB, we had a raffle for some rare costumes, hosted by Cobalt, who soon left the blog. We also welcomed two new PHB authors: Ylimegirl and Mighty Gamer! What a coincidence: they’re both Emily.

The biggest update of the month was the in-game Map, which was updated to look like its mobile counterpart and is now SUI format. It’s got handy features showing island plot, progress, and others.

Later, it was discovered that Poptropica is going to be built on an engine called Unity, and HPuterpop speculated the future of Poptropica on said game engine. We’ll have to see what happens!

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June wasn’t all that eventful, which was a bit disappointing for all the kids just out of school. Well, Poptropica made their membership page more mobile-friendly, so that’s something, eh?

Also, we threw our very first party on Discord to celebrate the coming of summer (well, winter for the southern hemisphere) as well as the PHB reaching 25M hits!

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July was quite a busy month for both the PHB and Poptropica. Poptropica announced their first ever official Poptropica art contest, which went until September, wherein many familiar community members and PHB authors were finalists!

We celebrated the 4th of July with a special ASG from WimpyKidFan. Along with that, this month we also witnessed on the arrival of the Wheel of Fortune that we can spin daily!

Poptropica also created a new trailer video for the game, showcasing many different islands in one video! (I guess they’re not making an animated show, for now?)

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We also had our annual Poppies awards event, and you can view all the winners here – plus we had a party to announce all the awards! In the midst of the celebration, Mighty Gamer left the blog, and Koi (formerly Cobalt) returned for an encore.

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August was filled with awesome activities, thanks to the Tribal Tournament, a month-long event that puts all the tribes of Poptropica to test! From the Medal Marathon to Artistic Athletes to Tribal Thinkers, you all have proven that you are more than amazing! The Seraphim took the lead, followed by the Wildfire and Yellowjackets! Check out the full recap here!

The second Poptropica graphic novel, The Lost Expedition, released this month, along with an interview with author/Creator Mitch Krpata. Right before its release, we found details on Book 3, which will be called (SPOILER ALERT!) The Secret Society, and it’s set for spring 2017.

This month also gave us our first sneak peek on the New Poptropica: houses! Soon, we’ll have our own houses on Poptropica, but for the time being, we had five choices on which house would make it into the real game in the future. The Tudor house (the one in the lower left) won the poll!

As the month concluded, Koi (Spencer) left community once more, and the spot for the next PHB author was given to Lucky Joker, who was the MVP of the Tribal Tournament.

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September came in with the breeze blowing, leaves falling, and seasons changing. We began with Search Party September, which was part of the Stolen Snapshots series, wherein for 14 days, a snapshot was posted on the PHC for guesses. I’m quite happy to say it was a success!

This month also gave rise to the Islands of the Month (IotM), which promotes certain islands by offering extra credits for their completions. We also had a particularly big PHB Special: World Geography with Poptropica Islands!

This month would never be complete without celebrating the 9th birthday of Poptropica! Although there were no balloon hunts this year, we still got birthday balloons, and more importantly, CAT HATS 😽!

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October began with Kory Merritt signing his Poptropica graphic novels at the NYCC (New York Comic-Con). Plus, Skinny Moon had her birthday, and some of us even made her memes when she dropped by the PHC.

And of course, it has been a PHB tradition to host an annual Halloween costume contest, and this year was no exception. Well, except for the part where we added a Fall Fashion segment, plus Poptropica offered to sponsor the contest with memberships for the winners! Plus, Poptropica poured down tons of new items in the spirit of fall/Halloween, from creepy doll costumes to new Halloween accessories and even new pet followers!

Aside from all that, we had a noteworthy PHB Special that caught the Creators’ attention: Pop the Difference! But the biggest thing that happened this month was what everyone was waiting for: a sneak peek of the New Poptropica! Along with some commentary from Poptropica artist Jon Pitcher, an ominous monster worm inched its way to the Creators’ Blog.

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November was slow in the beginning, but things picked up. They say good things come in small packages – especially when you win third place in the Poptropica art contest, as Slanted Fish did! Along with sharing the contents of her prize package, she also gave away a toy code from her new Dr. Hare plush to a lucky winner.

In the middle of the winter season, the movie Moana came along, bringing with it an unexpected transformation of the advertisement extending to the Home Island itself! That wasn’t all: also out of the blue, the store received some new beach party outfits! At least it’s a fit for the people living in the southern hemisphere.

Aside from those weird summer shenanigans, Poptropica Meme Face Mondays (PMFM) celebrated its 1-year anniversary. May the dank memes live on!

We also had a Thanksgiving party in celebration of the occasion! Anyone want a turkey leg?

Last but not the least, Poptropica popped their next big competition for all players: the #MyPoptropicaCostume Contest! Similar to the Create Your Dream Island contest, winning this will make your own creation come to reality! The contest ends on December 31, so hurry! January 2!

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December brought some cold times to the PHB with the departure of two authors: Ylimegirl and HPuterpop (the latter has decided not to write a farewell). However, we were soon warmed up by two new additions: Perfect Sky and Happy Lobster!

Over on Poptropica, it started snowing on Home Island. Plus, we threw a Holiday Party, and it was tons of fun! Thank you all for coming and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

🌟 Noteworthy Highlights of 2016 🌟

  • Two Poptropica official contests: #PoptropicaArt and #MyPoptropicaCostume!
  • Both Mystery of the Map and The Lost Expedition graphic novels released!
  • The announcement of New Poptropica, which kept us all waiting for the better part of the year (at times impatiently!). Since Monkey Wrench was the only new island we got this year – and a short tutorial one at that – we have all been hoping for something more.
  • “My Place in Poptropica” series: Just about every weekend, we had a new MPIP post from someone in the community writing about their Poptropica story, which many enjoyed! The series began with the PHB staff at the end of last year, and in 2016 we began to publish stories sent in by you guys – and it’s lasted the whole year! As of now, we have no new MPIPs scheduled, but if you send in your story, we’ll continue the series!
  • “Poptropican Meme Face Mondays” series: Another regular series we had this year was PMFM, which came out just about every Monday and never failed to amuse with the many meme faces put on you guys’ Poptropicans. It’s gone on this long thanks to your support, and the dankness will continue in 2017!
  • Parties: In total this year, we hosted 6 parties – the Summer Kickoff, Poppies Awards, Tribal Tournament Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Thanksgiving, and the Holiday Party – all on our new Discord server! In particular, the Tribal Tournament contained three competitions in one!

What were the best moments for you? Let us know in the comments!

Tributes

On this blog, it is typical to see authors come and go. However, this year we saw a lot of authors saying goodbye from blogging (seven, to be exact). For this year, we’ll be having a tribute to them!

pmfm48-samwow5 Samwow5 (Tough Icicle) — 2013-2016

Sam is known as one of the PHB’s walkthrough writers, as well as the zealous party thrower! He is also the founder and the creator of Tough Icicle’s Blog, has been a top-ten finisher on a number of islands, and is overall an awesome person! He sadly left the blogging community in order to focus more on his personal responsibilities and to move on to future endeavors. However, he can sometimes be found on Discord, so feel free to talk to him! XDDDD

Blake (Lone Ring) — 2013-2016

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You may say that Blake is one of the most random PHB authors there ever were, but to be honest, he’s the most hilarious I’ve ever met. Blake was once was a huge fan of the PHB Author Nights, where he met MT (his favorite author at the time), and joined every PHB party since then. Like Sam, he has left the blogging community but not the gaming community. You may still catch him logging in on Discord – and probably not talking about Mixels anymore. 😛

GiantHawkBirthdayMemeFaceGiant Hawk (Joshua) — 2015-2016

Although his stay on this blog was quite short, Giant Hawk has left his mark on the Poptropica community. He is best known for launching the discontinued project of Giant Hawk Adventures along with its prequel story, An Afternoon at Queequeg’s, and he’s also the older twin of current PHB author Ultimate iPad Expert. He sometimes stops by the PHC as well.

Mighty Gamer (Emily) — 2016PMFM21-mightygamer126

Mighty Gamer’s stay as a PHB author was also short-lived: we were shocked by her sudden departure after only two months. What makes it really sad is that Mighty Gamer decided to leave the gaming community as well. As a testament to her blogging skills, she nabbed the Best Former Author Award in this year’s Poppies. We hope to see her and her future undertakings as a success someday.

Cobalt Spinner/Koi (Spencer) — 2016PMFM19-CaptainSpencer

A community member for a long time and later a blogger, Cobalt/Koi/Spencer became a PHB author this year – twice! He is known for having started many series on the PHB, including Pop 5, Popspiracies, Cobalt’s Corner, and Pop-trope-ica. Although he has since moved on from Poptropica blogging, we wish him all the best in his future artistic endeavors. May his talent be placed in something useful.

Ylimegirl (Emily) — 2016YlimegirlPokerFace

There are only two words to describe Ylime as an author overall: simple & cool. Her nickname may be tricky to pronounce (ee-lime; ye-lime?), but that doesn’t matter. Ylimegirl has made a decent legacy for herself, and besides blogging, she is known for standing up for what she believes in and even making it humorous at times. She is always on the PHC ready to chat, and is now blogging on her own site.

hputerpop-memefaceHPuterpop (Andrew) — 2013-2016

HPuterpop joined the blog three years ago along with authors Sam and Blake, and dreamt of being the next “Codien” of his time. I believe he has succeeded in this, considering the countless contributions he has made for the community, such as the Poptropica Wiki, Orb Legend, and rekindling the PHN — just to name a few! I hope that wherever and whatever he’s doing next will bring him happiness.

…And that’s a wrap for 2016! Maybe it wasn’t as bad as we thought it was. Things may have been rough at times, but I’m sure it’s all paving the way for a better 2017 for us all. Another chapter in the PHB’s life has closed, and we thank you all for that! This year wouldn’t be the same without you all.

As 2017 comes, we have a few aspirations we want to see next year:

  • A stronger and united gaming community, bracing for the New Poptropica!
  • Better connection with the Poptropica Creators to bring you more news about the New Poptropica!
  • More PHB readers, commenters, and more viewers! You guys are what powers us to continue.
  • More community events and contests for you all next year!

We, the staff at the PHB, are always doing our best to bring you the best as we can, whether it’s Poptropica news or fun posts. Hope you enjoyed our recap this year! You are all so awesome!

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 🎆 happy new year! 🎇

-from the PHB ❤

5 Years with UiPE – and a teaser!

Heyyo Poptropicans, it’s Ultimate iPad Expert here! I usually make silly posts, like PMFM, but today I really want to reminisce.

5 Years ago today, I edited the Poptropica Wiki for the first time. I added the page “Anti-Power Handcuffs” to the wiki, adding simply the text “Anti-Power Handcuffs ar” onto the page. Oh little noobish me. 😛

Who knew that an 11 year-old kid using an anonymous wiki account could end up an author on the biggest Poptropica blog on the internet. Young me definitely wouldn’t have, I can tell you that. I don’t want to explain my whole journey to the PHB on here, since I already have, but I just can’t help but think about the good times.

Not only is this March my 5 year Poptropica community anniversary, but it’s my 1 year PHB anniversary. The first signs of contact between the Wiki and PHB staff began mid-March last year, eventually growing into me becoming an author. March 31, I’ll never forget. The email finally coming to me, the invitation to come here.

My life was forever changed from the moment I found the Poptropica Wiki. I’ve met so many amazing people from the Wiki, the PHC, and the PHB alike. I’ve created my own series now, here on the PHB, which a lot of people are seeming to enjoy. I really love making people laugh and making people just feel good in general.

I’ve spent the past 5 years now, trying to inform and entertain Poptropicans, and I really hope I will continue in that. Speaking of, you may have seen me dropping hints about an announcement this month, so without further ado… I’m going to tease you instead:

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What could it mean? Hint: there is a hidden detail on that image, have fun finding it.

Well, this was kinda a short post, but I really wanted to kinda celebrate with you guys. This concludes my Quinquennial Poptropica Community Anniversary post. 😛

This is Ultimate iPad Expert signing off. See you guys next time.

• Ultimate iPad Expert •

2015 Rewind: Islands, Events, and More!

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Hey guys, Slip here.

Wow, another year has already passed. 2015 is coming to an end, and what better way to bring it to a close than to reflect and look back to all that’s happened this year?

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2015, for Poptropica, is one of its awesome years. They reached a lot of milestones and new developments that made our game experience better than ever. This post is divided into three parts: the islands, the Poptropica milestones, and the PHB events.

Islands & Episodes

In 2015, we had a total of 4 new islands and 2 new episodes! From the forty thieves to space pirates to robot rulers, there was a lot for Poptropica adventurers to experience this year. Let’s take a look!

Arabian Nights Episode 2: Lair of Thieves

Poptropica started the year with releasing the second episode of Arabian Nightsone of the best episodic adventures we’ve had. It was definitely challenging, heart-stopping, and mysterious all at the same time. In this episode, everything was well done, making for an enjoyable experience. (You can check out our review here!)

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Galactic Hot Dogs Island

Poptropica also launched a brand new sponsored island early on in the year: Galactic Hot Dogs. To be honest, Galactic Hot Dogs Island is one of Poptropica’s easiest islands, and its lack of challenge plus its being a sponsored island with a very contrasting art style made it rather unlikeable for many Poptropicans (in fact, it was voted Worst Poptropica Island in the PHB’s Poppies event!). Still, Poptropica brought a new island with a distinct story and a light challenge to all.

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PoptropiCon Episode 3: Reign of Omegon

After releasing Galactic Hot Dogs to everyone, PoptropiCon’s concluding episode followed next. Now this was one amazing episode. Everything worked out well and Omegon played effectively as the story’s antagonist. I believe Poptropica made sure that this island would be remarkable; it definitely was one of the better ones and even inspired our April Fool’s prank this year!

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Mystery of the Map Island

In May, a new island dawned on Poptropica. Based on the Poptropica graphic novel, you could say this island is a hybrid of both original and sponsored island. I enjoyed how our player is added to the plot. The downside was that the graphic novel had already been released, which meant everyone was already aware of what was going to happen. Still, the island was cool to play, and the design was well made. (Read our review of this island here!)

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Arabian Nights Episode 3: Careful What You Wish For

Wishes do come true, as the ending of Arabian Nights showed us. I would consider this episode one of Poptropica’s finest works. Poptropica made everything top-notch in this episode — the story, the characters, the gameplay and even the design were all so amazing! Plus, Samhal the comedic genie gave us a lot of laughs along the way! (Read the PHB’s review here!)

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Timmy Failure Island

This island isn’t a complete failure; it’s actually greater than expected! Sponsored islands have a down-factor since they aren’t an original Poptropica story, but this island defied the paradigms of the sponsored islands! From its wacky characters to its hilarious whodunit storyline, this island didn’t fail to meet our expectations. As far as sponsored islands go, this is one of the best. As a plus, it even came with a weekly giveaway(Check out our review here!)

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Escape From Pelican Rock Island

We’ve been through a lot of prisons in Poptropica. Most of the time, prison security was a joke. Not so with Pelican Rock Prison! The year ended wonderfully with this island, which brought on a unique storyline with fantastic designs, particularly of the individual characters. Poptropica clearly worked hard on this island, and I believe this is the best island of 2015. 😛 (Catch the PHB’s review over here!)

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That brings us to the next part: Poptropica’s milestones of 2015!

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PHB Events

Look back through the parties, events, milestones, and even fan art contests! Here’s a slideshow of various PHB events we’ve had through the year:

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This year was a big year for other reasons – namely a stronger reunion of the PHN.

UiPE bringing back a weekly series really helped out with inspiring the community again like Poptropican Portraits did once. Last year, HP reflected that he wanted the community to be more community centered, and in the past year we have gotten a lot of awesome community help. Trusty Biker helped out with the PHN website, Ylimegirl did a load of work on the Poptropica Wiki, and remember the fan art contests UiPE and HPuterpop held?

The Poppies was an awesome awards show – we really enjoyed seeing what you guys, the community, collectively preferred. We’re excited for next year!

We also joined forces with We-Love-Poptropica on deviantArt, the biggest Poptropica fan art community, fulfilling our goal to focus on the arts. Plus, starting in July, we picked up our Magazine series again, this time publishing The POPCORN in PDFs.

Here’s a timeline of some of our major events, too!

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Wow, a lot of things have come down in one year and things have gone so fast. Time really flies when you’re having fun, eh? It’s really a great time to reflect and ponder all of the things we’ve done this year.

Looking forward to the new year, here are a couple of our next aspirations:

  • A better glitch community. Free for all! (And more on the way!)
  • More active viewers – PHB lurkers, start commenting more on our posts! That’s the only way we can improve. 😀

Here at the PHB, it’s our privilege to bring you the best Poptropica news as we can. Hope y’all enjoyed this year-end recap! 2016 is going to be an awesome year!

🎇 Happy New Year, Poptropicans! 🎇

~from the Poptropica Help Blog ❤

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PHB Review: Scariest Poptropica Moments

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Happy Halloween Poptropicans! Slip here.

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What a spooky time to do a creepy post, eh? Today, we’ll be reviewing some of the scariest moments in Poptropica! I might as well tell everyone to beware of nightmares and trauma. Read on, if you dare…

Chupacabra

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Let’s start with the cryptids—specifically, the Chupacabra. A creature that is said to look like a coyote-wolf hybrid that has green glowing eyes, sharp quills on its back and leaves a drain on the victim with a fang-like mark. Who wouldn’t be scared of this guy? Did it made you jump? Let’s check the fear meter!

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Jersey Devil

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Ah, of course. Who wouldn’t forget the time when the Jersey Devil, also a cryptid, was peeking at the window looking at your player? You wouldn’t forget that time, right?

That’s the winged creature that looks like a half-horse and half-goat. That face is a face that we all remember when playing Cryptids Island. Let’s check the fear meter!

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Zomberries

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It’s the zomberries of Eastman—these guys give me the creeps. Well, they became zombies from a substance mixed with blueberries, don’t eat brains, and are scared of lights. These guys are really crazy; lurking in dim places and chasing you every time you meet them. Let’s check out the fear meter!

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Count Bram’s obsession

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Oh, Count Bram. He still hasn’t mastered the art of letting go— perhaps what he needs is a consultation from the doctor? It’s sad to lose a loved one, but he reached a ridiculous level of insanity when he turned our player into a vampire and bit Christopher along the way. He did show a soft side at the end, though, and was reunited with his love, Annabelle. ❤

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Giant Eel/Leviathan

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This Leviathan is one of the scariest prehistoric creatures I have ever seen on Poptropica. Before you meet this creature, the lights go out—setting a great mood for a jumpscare—then it peeps through holes on the wall, shows itself – and tries to eat you! The giant eel left fear on me and I never came back… after two tries. Oh fear meter on the wall, is the eel the scariest of them all?

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Fiona’s voice

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One of the creepiest things in the history of Poptropica is this scene from Ghost Story island. Before SUIs (sound-updated islands), sound was pretty rare – making Fiona’s voice all the more spooky when it was heard.

What actually made it scary is that I thought that someone was behind me! I was shocked to know that the voice was from Poptropica. RIP headphone users.

Another bonus point is that the person responsible for Fiona’s voice was Creator Dr. Lange — amazing! What does the fear meter tell us?

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Myron van Buren

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You might not have seen this coming, or maybe you did; I don’t know. Well, this list is not complete if it doesn’t include Poptropica’s most despicable villain — Survival Island’s Myron Van Buren! His face his creepy, his butler is also creepy and his motives are frightening.

“Mister van Buren sat on his tuffet, eating his steak away,
Along came a player, who asked for some supper,
and he invited him right away.

What does the fear meter have to say?

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The Puppet Man

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For the last scariest moment on Poptropica, it would go to Monster Carnival Island’s Puppet Man. At one point, we have to enter the Haunted Lab at night when everyone’s been turned into monsters. If you go in without a flashlight, you can come across this eerie fellow lurking in the shadows of the Haunted Lab — carnie by day; scarer by night. What does the fear meter have to say about this one?

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…and that wraps our special Halloween post! Which of these moments scared you the most? Let us know in the comments if you agree with these ratings, or if you have another moment to add to the list!

Happy Halloween, Poptropicans!

-from the PHB. 😈

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