Hey there everybody! Purple here with a couple tidbits of news on Fairytale Island; and the long-awaited winners of its own fan art challenge. Let’s pop to it!
As you’ll see on their official YouTube channel, the Poptropica Creators recently posted a brand-new video spotlighting none other than good old Fairytale Island itself! In this video, Silent Frog from Poptropica HQ brings us on a full walkthrough of the newly released island. (For a written walkthrough, check out the PHB’s Fairytale Island Guide!)
It’s the first time we’re hearing the name Silent Frog, but it’s possible she’s posted for the Creators before without using a screen name, since her character looks familiar. 🐸
If you watched all the way to the end of this YouTube walkthrough, you’ll find something especially exciting waiting in store. As it turns out, the Creators didn’t entirely forget about the Fairytale Fan Art Challenge, and decided to showcase three promised winners at the end of the video! Congratulations to criahacesium, v.a.m.p.y.r.a, and elisabethian1912 for winning the art contest. (And check out more fairytale fan art features here, here, and here!)
Silent Frog tells us that there was so much talent in the art submissions that the Poptropica team ended up having to randomly pick three winners from a hat, which brings up some suspicions about the delay in announcing the winners (which were originally meant to be revealed on April 23). How did picking names from a hat take such a long time?
We get an answer from an email that the Creators sent to one of the official blog’s guest writers, Invisible Ring, who asked them directly. Ring shared the message with us on our Discord server, the PHC:
As it turns out, they waited to release the winners in their walkthrough video instead of posting it on the date they’d promised. This isn’t the first time they’ve deserted us and only bothered to explain why after a fan directly asked them about it, but at least they apologized for their mistake and are aiming to do better!
Finally, to wrap up this post, the Creators mentioned briefly on their blog that a new fan challenge will be making its appearance sometime soon. I wonder what this one could be? 👀
Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you all next time!
Now that we’ve had a chance to play it (and if you haven’t yet, play it before reading this!), we’re here to share our impressions. Turn the page with us, and let’s get into it! Be warned: This review contains spoilers.
Storyline & Characters
The tale goes like this: you arrive on the island to find out the fairytales have had their happy endings stolen, and it’s up to you to recover them. Fairytale Island takes three classic stories—Cinderella, Snow White, and Little Red Riding Hood—and brings some delightful twists to each one through both plot and characters.
One of the most iconic characters from the island has to be Cinderella. While taking inspiration from the original story, Poptropica also makes this character their own in her surprising switch from dainty damsel in distress to flaming punk rock Cinder, the star of the ball (and what a fitting nickname!). And, in a win for more minority representation, Poptropica has also taken a character traditionally depicted as white and created her Black and beautiful.
Another character who enchantingly subverts expectations in this island is Snow White. We’re tasked with finding her a true love’s kiss to wake her up—so far, classic fairytale concept—but it turns out her heart’s with animals, not Prince Charming! After a goat’s kiss rouses her, she goes off to pursue her dream career of becoming a veterinarian. We can even see her in vet scrubs at the island’s happily ever after.
Fairytale Island plays host to various other interesting characters that we also have to mention here. We love Red Riding Hood for its fun twist on a girl in a red cap who doesn’t look traditionally feminine and works a thankless job in modern-style food delivery, the adorable little dwarves in a trench coat who just want to be taken seriously, and the snarky talking pig who mocks your Poptropican’s call to save the day.
But other characters are a little more strange. Perhaps the most cursed of them is the huntsman, who tried to lure the wolf into eating the grandma, all in a bid to, apparently, meet girls. (??!!!) But even he found a willing date in the end with Cinder. Sweet, or a total red flag?
Amelia from Home Island is also fairly involved in the story, which is interesting. But what in the world is she thinking, patting us on the back when there’s a creepy magic dude on the loose?? The dialogue seems to set the stage for future episodes in Fairytale Island, but nothing we’ve seen officially confirms this. If this is The End, it’s not very satisfying!
Which brings us to a major issue in this storyline: it ends on an odd cliffhanger. We’re not quite sure what Rumplestiltskin is up to, and then there’s the crying prince, who’s left without a happy ending.
The gameplay, unfortunately, is where this island shines least. Fairytale Island is basically comprised of a disjointed series of three mini-quests that didn’t really weave into each other. (They were literally labeled side-quests, despite each being required to fulfill the main storyline.)
There wasn’t much of a challenge offered throughout the island—it was fairly easy to click around for the right kiss for Snow White, and even the obstacle mountain we climbed with Cinderella on our backs didn’t have the same struggle of previous plays of Poptropica parkour, though at least it was fun. The most challenging aspect was the dark forest maze, and this at least provided a decent degree of difficulty—many players reported taking a while to find the real cabin! That sort of complexity could have been applied to the rest of the island, too.
The lack of challenge wasn’t the only thing that made Fairytale feel different from the classic Poptropica experience. As with other recent islands like Reality TV: Wild Safari, at no point in the quest did we collect items to add to our inventory to use later in the story. Not even the teased lipstick from Rumplestiltskin was used anywhere!
Fairytale could have brought on more exploratory elements like with the old islands, such as having the player participate more through dialogue options and allowing the player to click around more of the scenes instead of being teleported out of them as soon as each part was done. Maybe, for example, we would’ve liked to mingle with the guests at Cinderella’s ball instead of being whisked away almost immediately! And what about a boss battle when we finally face Rumple?
Audio & Visuals
When it comes to the sounds and sights, Fairytale makes the mark. The audio we hear as we play through this island is nothing new, but it all helps set the mood, from the walking stomps to the mighty slapping of the mountain saplings to the spooky background music of the woods.
As we make our way through the island, we get to enjoy some fun animations and clickable interactive parts, which does feel like classic Poptropica. Highlights include the unicorn that barfs purple, the strumming of the lyre, and the pig throwing bricks.
And as with many Poptropica islands, the scenery is stunning. Check out these postcard-perfect shots from all over the Fairytale kingdom:
Considering all of the above, from storyline and characters, to gameplay, to audio and visuals, out of five we’d give Fairytale…
…3 out of 5 goat kisses. While the island’s lack of challenge felt almost like hand-holding the player more than allowing us to explore, Fairytale redeems itself with interesting new takes on classic tales that give the story some depth — it’s just unfortunately unclear how this fable ends.
The island’s also got some gorgeous graphics, including some amusing animations and fascinating character designs that are sure to be the subject of future fan art. In fact, it’s already inspired some on the PHC!
Guess it’s a semi-happy ending for Fairytale Island. Will there be more to come? Time will tell. In the meantime, we look forward to the other Dream Island winners, Goofball and Secret of the Jade Scarab!
Thanks for reading our review of Fairytale Island! Do you agree with our verdict? Share your opinions in the comments below!
After just four months of sneak peeks and waiting, the island is finally here for all players (not just members) and the tale is ready to be told!
If you’re eager to play and need help on the way, our Fairytale Island Guide will be updated very shortly, ready to assist you on your magical journey — so look out for that. UPDATE: The guide is complete!
So what do you think of this new release? Share your opinions in the comments, and look out for a review from the PHB too! Thanks for reading and we’ll meet again at the happily ever after.
Howdy Poptropicans! It’s LJ here with a couple news and updates.
So Poptropica is on TikTok now (@poptropicacreator)… interesting. I’m wondering what they’re going to share other than what we already see on Instagram or the Creators’ Blog. Perhaps some nostalgic content? They announced their arrival to TikTok on their Instagram story with a slideshow of scenes from old islands:
Update: This video later became their first TikTok post, including a slightly chipper voice reading out the text shown on-screen. (Thanks to paris for the news!) The text reads: “If you know, you know. 2000’s kids definitely remember. Poptropica is still putting out new islands!!”
Next, another week has passed which means there a few new items on sale at Adventure Outfitters including a couple of classic costumes like the Rock Star and Little Demon. You can see the newly available items indicated below:
In more exciting news, Fairytale Island is practically here! The highly anticipated Dream Island contest winner launches for all players tomorrow (April 22)! I hope the creators will bring back the World of Champions map. I really liked that feature because it was cool to see where you ranked in terms of how fast you were able to beat the quest.