PHB Review: Crisis Caverns Island

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Crisis not yet averted? Check out our Crisis Caverns Island Guide.

Hey Poptropicans! It’s been a few weeks since Poptropica Worlds released – and with it, Crisis Caverns Island. We’ve shared our thoughts about Worlds, and now, it’s time for us to delve into its first and only island adventure. Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Anyway, with that out of the way, let’s pop right in…

Storyline & Characters

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Let’s begin with a simplified summary: You arrive at Caldera State Park and soon find out there’s a supervolcano here that’s on the verge of eruption. Being the nosy curious Poptropican you are, you poke around and eventually find yourself going deeper and deeper into the caves until at last you are captured by “mole people” who live underground. You also encounter the chthonians, monsters who have declared war on the mole people and are causing the tremors that may soon lead to a volcanic eruption. However, you help make things right, and by the time you pop back up to the surface, all is right with the world again. Well, sort of…

It’s really cool how Poptropica seemed to be inspired by subterranean fiction as a plot to this island, with vibes kind of like Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. Subterranean fiction could offer a lot of ideas for a Poptropica island, like a lost world of dinosaurs, Middle-Earth, or even Wonderland! So… it’s a bit baffling that of all the possibilities, they would go with… mole people?

For those who’ve played this island, perhaps you’ll resonate with the thought that, although the premise is interesting, the way it all plays out feels somewhat lacking. There were many opportunities for further exploration of ideas, yet on the whole, the story felt rather rushed from one plot point to the next. The plot leading up to the mole people was okay, but it all went downhill after that. At that point, it was like trying to achieve the climax without first putting on a good foundation.

Looking at a few curious characters, here are some of our questions:

Who, really, are the mole people? Are they human – and whether the answer is yes or no, why do they look so strange, with greenish skin? Is the civilization above aware of their existence? If so, what do they think about them, especially now that they are aware after the quest? How did they get here? Even the first time we see the term “mole people,” it’s just a casual mention by one of the mole people. We also only see a few mole people – king, queen, guards. Where is the rest of the civilization? They are noticeably absent throughout the rest of the caverns.

Also, why chthonians? Their introduction is quite abrupt. You’ve barely met the mole king and queen when they start bombarding you about the chthonians, and we have no idea what they are. Plus, “chthonians” is a long word, and not one many of us are familiar with. Perhaps it would’ve been better to refer to them in simpler terms (beast, worm, creature). And we only had to perform one easy task to appease them, which seems less challenging than a typical Poptropica quest.

And at the visitor’s center, we learn of the missing Dr. Vincent Crispin, founder of Crispin Cave, who had spoken of an underground civilization (the mole people) that no one else believed in. He went too far in his investigations and never returned – but we never do find out what happened to him. Why didn’t we meet him in the mole people’s lair? Did he die – and if so, where is his skeleton? So many questions.

Each character had an interesting design; however, most characters in the park didn’t get as much screen time. Perhaps the park ranger could’ve given a tour deeper into the caves, and it would’ve been nice to see more tourists around the state park.

Despite these confusions, however, meeting the other characters along the way was pretty fun, both in their designs and witty lines. Standouts include the frenemy feud between Hazel and Beatrice, the two old ladies stuck in the cave (“Let’s go somewhere even more depressing: your house”) and the tourist boy who decries the big geyser as “Old Unreliable.” If only we could customize clothing from our new friends!

Gameplay

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Something this island didn’t have, for better or for worse, was a good amount of going back and forth. Given the plot, it makes sense to keep going downward deeper into the caves, but it felt like it needed more exploring and going around.

The mechanics of this island also feel quite repetitive. Having the magnetic belt do the job for almost half the island seems too much. Also, the block-the-geyser mechanism gets repeated twice.

As far as game bugs, there definitely were a few. Some players have experienced bugs like not being able to grab the chthonian egg, the scientists at the park not giving the reward after the second island play-through, and more. Although Poptropica continues to work on fixing these glitches, they could have eliminated more of these issues prior to releasing the island to allow for a smoother player experience.

However, there were some high points as well. The room with the traps, like the statue that squishes you, evoked some Indiana Jones-esque feelings. Also, the slider mini-game is commendable. It really added a bit of a challenge to the island, and it’s been quite a while since we’ve seen a slider game from Poptropica!

Overall, it feels as though the bugs and the repetitive aspects overweigh the positive parts of this island experience. Thus, the overall gameplay is so-so.

Visuals

ThePalace

There’s no doubt about it: the visual style of Crisis Caverns is absolutely stunning. From the captivating crystals to the refined rock carvings, there is so much delightful detail to surround yourself in. The scenery is definitely a highlight of the island.

But despite the beauty, there’s one more crisis that can’t go unmentioned: all the gorgeous designs that were scrapped in the making of this island. It probably happens to every island during the creative process, but it seems this one was especially affected!

We’ve been seeing sneak peeks for this island since 2013, and the island was even declared canceled at one point, so it’s a miracle it’s finally made it onto the big screen of Poptropica Worlds. Along the way, however, a lot of cool ideas didn’t make the cut, but they’re definitely worth admiration:

So grand. Such a waste that these scenes never made it to the game!

Verdict

All things considered, our final verdict for Crisis Caverns Island is…

crisis caverns verdict

We’ve been waiting a long time for Crisis Caverns, and with all the dazzling previews we saw as well as amazing experiences from past islands on Poptropica Original, our expectations were pretty high for the first Worlds island.

It’s clear, however, that the hype and anticipation from players led to a rushed production from the Creators – who had at one point decided not to work on this island due to ideas not quite working out. Although we are grateful that popular demand brought it back, the overall experience still felt somewhat lacking.

While it wasn’t a complete flop – indeed, the art direction continues to be beautiful as ever – other aspects of the island (plot, character, mechanics, bugs) leave quite a bit to be desired. So, we’ve decided to award it a 2.5 out of 5 crystals.

Thanks for reading our review of Crisis Caverns Island! What did you think of the island and this review? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

– the PHB team –

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New Pop Drop: Cavern Chases, Pretty Places, and Many a House Prop

Hey Poptropicans! Slanted Fish here with some CAVERNOUS news.

Prepare to be amazed… we’ve got a LOT of Poptropica Worlds sneak peeks today, featuring the rumored (now confirmed) Crisis Caverns Island, the new animated running style, and some furniture/decor for the upcoming player houses!

Before we begin, I’d like to acknowledge that the pictures below come straight from the official Creators, who recently contacted many bloggers in the Poptropica community with a Pre-Beta Worlds Kit and invited them to share its contents with everyone. While we can’t give away the kit itself, we can show you the amazing artistry within it, which you’ll find below. Click the images to view them in full size.

Among the sneak peeks is this look at a chase scene in Crisis Caverns, with elements like a relentless boulder and worm pits – the monster worm from an earlier sneak peek!

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At some point in the caves, you’ll encounter a pit of magma – and more of those spaghetti worm creatures! (Also, what is that nose-shaped light spot on the character’s face? The new avatar doesn’t show any noses, but did he get his ripped off or is he just weirdly sunburnt? 😛 In any case, I’m digging the new running animation.)

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But Crisis Caverns isn’t all danger and running-for-your-life madness. Check out this gorgeous, serene palace area – possibly the lair of the Mole King from a much earlier sneak peek, though it was mentioned that that character idea was scrapped. (This island has been in development for years!)

ThePalace

Looking on the brighter side, we also see this exterior of Crisis Caverns, possibly the Main Street area (first scene). Signposts label this as Caldera State Park, possibly named after the Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico, or simply after a caldera, which is a large volcanic crater usually formed by a major eruption.

In this picture, we see some bison, a cabin, the entrance to an underground mine, the visitor’s center with some park flags, wax pots (whatever that is), and a signpost to a geyser named Old Reliable (most likely named after Old Faithful in Yellowstone).

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Last of the sneak peek pictures, and unrelated to the rest, we have a look at some decorative items for player houses. From a Booga shark statue to at least twelve different styles of chairs (not all pictured), and even wallpaper designs, there’s a ton to select from. Which ones will you put in your home?

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The Poptropica Creator Captain Crawfish also included a letter to recipients of the Pre-Beta Kit, which talks about what we can look forward to in Poptropica Worlds:

Poptropica Worlds is an all-new game, built from the ground up to give you the Poptropica you’ve dreamed of. That means a seamless gameplay experience between your web and mobile devices, with a single account. A re-imagined interface that ensures the smoothest controls possible no matter where you’re playing. Even richer customization options for your Poptropican. All this and still the same humor, adventure, and fun that you expect from Poptropica.

Want examples? How about…

  • Your very own house! Decorate your space to be as unique and creative as you are.
  • Deeper options to customize your Poptropican’s look, and new choices arriving all the time.
  • Crisis Caverns: our grandest island adventure yet, with astonishing underground mysteries and creatures you have to see to believe.
  • Enjoy new gameplay mechanics, and feast your eyes on jaw-dropping art and animation.
  • Keep your account! Your classic Poptropica login will automatically work on Poptropica Worlds.

All in all, I think this #NewPopDrop is looking and sounding spectacular, and I’m excited to get to play Poptropica Worlds this spring! Are you??

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Looks like these guys are!

What other features would you love to see on the new and upcoming Poptropica Worlds? Leave your feedback in the comments, on blog posts, or on social media (and be sure to tag Poptropica) – the Creators are really interested in hearing your thoughts! 😁

Stay popping, Poptropicans!

–🐠

We have a Crisis: the End of Time?

Hello, everyone!

Lucky Joker here sharing some pretty lovely Poptropica material with you guys today.

Former Poptropica creator, Abraham Tena (aka Gamer Guy), has recently uploaded a video featuring a few animations he did for Poptropica over on his Portfolio website – some of which were never used in the game.

All of the animations are amazing, of course, but perhaps the most noteworthy is the power drill from Crisis Caverns. Pretty interesting, I must say.

It’s unfortunate Crisis Caverns never became an Island in Poptropica, but could it be playable in Poptropica Worlds?

Also, it looks like the subtitle for Book 4 of Poptropica’s graphic novel series has been revealed! On the Barnes and Noble website, you’ll see that it’s been named The End of Time and is projected to release on September 12, 2017.

What might this title suggest? There are a couple of possibilities: Either book 4 will be the end of the series (hopefully not), or it’s simply just a title relating to the plot of the story. We’ll have to wait and find out…

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There’s no picture nor description for the book yet and usually the title and release date are subject to change, so stay tuned to stay updated!

Just a reminder, Poptropica’s Valentine’s-themed photo booth contest ends tonight at 12 am ET, so make sure you enter using the hashtag, #PoptropicaLove, on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram. There have been many lovely entries so far!

Well, that’s it for now, Poptropicans. What do you think about the PHB’s makeover for Valentine’s Day? To die for, isn’t it?

Thanks for reading, I’ll talk to you soon. Pop on and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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-Lucky Joker :luckyjoker~1:

Musical Trolls and More Leaks!

Hey guys, my name is Brave Tomato and welcome back to another post of Poptropican goodness! Here’s what’s been going on in the game and community as of late!

First off, there’s a new ad grooving around the main streets of the islands, and it’s for the DVD release of the Dreamworks animated jukebox musical, Trolls!

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This advertisement just so happens to fall under the “common room” category of advertising, so as a result, there are people to talk to, as well as other cool, 24/7 party stuff within. The first thing you see as you enter is a mannequin for the costume of either Poppy or Branch, depending on if your Poptropican is a boy or a girl.

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If you move over to the right of Poppy, you’ll see a light blue tuft of hair over to the right side of the platform, if you pick it up, you obtain the Hair Whip Power, which whips your hair back and forth if you press the space bar! Unfortunately, the color only comes in that baby blue, since any other color is not good enough to be hair-power-worthy it seems. Over to the bottom right corner is a video ad for the Trolls movie, but there’s no prize at the end of it. It’s up to you whether you’d like to watch or not.

However, if you move to the bottom left, you’ll see one of the Trolls popping in and out of a hole. Clicking on the glittery troll will make the room sparkle for a moment in a cool special effect!

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And that’s about it for the Trolls-themed common room!

In other news, remember the Crisis Caverns leaks that were shared not too long ago here? Well, thank you once again to Shaky Skunk and the same anonymous glitcher for a mixed bag of interesting finds! (Disclaimer: We can’t guarantee if these are real.)

Now, the first find here is described as being from Astro-Knights. From the looks of it, these may have been unused background planets as your player would explore the vast reaches of outer space, which is quite interesting. Although I’ll have to agree with Shaky Skunk here – that looks more like a gross meatball than an actual planet you could find in outer space. It’s probable that’s the reason it was left unused.

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The next find involves this really worn down, shady yet intriguing urban street. This is actually the backdrop for a 2013 Power Rangers advertisement for the ad’s minigame! (Thanks, MissEligon, for letting me know on Discord!) It’s a really cool area for a temporary minigame, and it’s interesting to see a different perspective!

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Not much is known about this picture, besides the fact that there’s a giant Transformer-like bot next to a building that appears to be staring into my soul. Either way, huh. Pretty darn cool.

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Not much is known about this picture either. It was speculated to be a concept art for some sort of red landscape.

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These last two concept arts are what is most likely for Crisis Caverns. It seems like that we get a pretty cool lamp, and also it appears that the toaster is the leader the cave needs at the moment. There’s not much else to say but, fanciful.

Well that has got to do it for now! What do you think of these leaks? Fascinating? Boring? Fascinatingly boring? Either way, it’s still something cool to see.

BT out!

Poptropica Worlds: Crisis Caverns Leaks!

Hey everyone, it’s Perfect Sky!

So today, we’ll be taking a look at an interesting set of images. Thanks to Shaky Skunk and an anonymous glitcher, we’ve received three new leaks from the upcoming Poptropica Worlds:

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These images seem to be from Crisis Caverns, a new island that was never officially announced, and unfortunately never released. Although it could even be renamed, it looks like the island will be remade in the new game. Anyway, let’s check out the first picture:

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In this picture, what I find most interesting is the key. Specifically, what appears to be a red rock or gem. Perhaps this key unlocks a matching red door. In that case, there must be other keys with different colors scattered across the island. Maybe not, but that’s just a thought. Now, on to the next image:

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Those blocks are stacked in a way that resembles a staircase, so this could mean we’ll have to climb up. With the lava behind us, and probably no way to fall in, this seems a bit too easy (I’m assuming the lava here is just used to enhance the design). But over to the right, notice a sharp, pointy object. Possibly, some kind of cannon will shoot sharp objects at the player, as we try to dodge them. Finally, the last picture:

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Hey look, those red rocks are back! Interesting.. Compared to what we saw in the previous images, this big structure looks very important. Since the door is currently closed in the picture, we’ll probably have to find a way to get it open, whether that would be a regular key, or something totally different. Maybe we will have already passed this place earlier in the island quest, but return towards the end with a way to open the door. Perhaps this is the final destination, where the island comes to a conclusion.

Well, that’s all for the leaks. Be sure to share your opinions or theories about these images in the comments below!

– Perfect Sky ✨

Crisis on Infinite Caverns: Conclusion

Hoi, I’m Koi.

Here we are again! Thank you idk for the screenshots, once more. If you haven’t seen part one, check here.

Jurassic Arc

Get it? Because his spine is like a bridge? And it kinda looks like a dinosaur? Get it?

Not much I can comment on here besides that this island would’ve had very cool scenery, and clearly very cool gameplay. Walking right on top of the vertebrae going from the skull to the end of the back of a dinosaur? That’s pretty gnarly if you ask this man guy right here.

Nuclear Power Plant

Get it? Because they’re plants? And they’re glowing? Get it?

Idk says these things are not only producing light, but they’re moving as well.

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This place looks like it was built in Realms to me for some reason. There’s more to this area than just the plants, so let’s move on.

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More orange Orbs, and a dead k-koi fish?!

Or you know, just literally any fish at all.

Jokes aside, he also said the metallic cube we see to the right of him can be walked through, which seems to imply in reality it’ll had to have been moved out of the way by the player.

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It’s almost confirmed considering you can move the metallic cube over here. They probably didn’t just finish the coding before they decided to abandon the island so the other one could move, or at least that’s my two cents. 😛

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Ever wanted to take a nice cold dip under a prehistoric beast’s skeleton which is just evidence of it’s rotting, rotting corpse? Me too!

Anyway, that wraps this crisis up. Hope y’alls finally had your crisis caverns hunger fed! 🙂 Thank you idk once more for making this possible.

-Koi (fish emoticon)

Crisis on Infinite Caverns: Exploring and Analyzing

Hoi, I’m Koi.

idk sent in a lot of Crisis Caverns screenshots, so much so that I already have a draft of Part 2 coming out tomorrow. Today, I’ll be analyzing them to find out what Crisis Caverns could’ve been. Or… what could be?

Palace Interior

Interior, crocodile, alligator – I drive a Chevrolet movie theater.

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So, we all know this was the Mole King’s throne, or at least what was intended to be so. I really, really like the color palette and aesthetics the caverns had, especially the palace interior. I wish this island was a reality.

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Palace Exterior

If you can tell, at the very left of the scene – there’s a hole. This area doesn’t seem to be quite finished developmental wise, but my bet is that it leads to the inner palace.

Orange Orbs

First off, we can see a few orange Orb (Legends). It seems if this was finished, the rocks would have a professional glow, and not just an orange circle with low opacity. That, or it’s indication for the coder’s to make it function or something.

Power Drill

It seems to align perfectly with the drill itself, so it’s definitely a generator of some kind.

Cavern Crazy

Really not much I can add here, but the only crisis in these caverns is that we never got to play it.

 To Be Concluded…

– Koi (◑‿◐)