New Poptropica (Worlds)

A new look into an old new Poptropica

Howdy, Poptropicans! It’s Lucky Joker here with an unlisted video to share from the YouTube channel of Poptropica visual designer, Kyle Fox. (Thanks to idk the glitcher for the cool find!)

In the short preview, you can see what Poptropica Worlds was like during its early stages before it was released. A few placeholder art and other assets such as “Short description or clue for how to use the item” were never seen in the game — as well as items including a Big Apple and various clothing parts.

At the very beginning, in the top left corner, you’ll also notice a bar marked with a number six (possibly referencing a level system?) and a not-so-familiar currency called Moonstones. We could only wonder what the purpose of having two forms of currency was.

Pretty interesting, huh? It’s unfortunate the developers’ hard work has gone to waste, seeing that Poptropica Worlds has since been abandoned. Were you a fan of “the new Pop”? Leave your opinions in the comments!

Plus, if you’re interested, check out our Poptropica Portfolio on Fox from a couple years ago. And don’t forget to participate in this month’s Community Creations and/or enter our Halloween costume contest for a chance at a free membership! You don’t want to miss out on the fun!

Talk to you all in the next one. Pop on!

– Lucky Joker 🍀

New Poptropica (Worlds), Uncategorized

Poptropica & Education: Original vs Worlds

This post originally appeared on Clawtropica and is being shared on the PHB courtesy of the author, Purple Claw. If interested, you too can write for the PHB!

pop education

Hey there, Poptropicans! It’s me, Purple Claw, here to talk about a question I’ve been asking myself for a while now: Is Poptropica Worlds a more educational game than Poptropica Original? Let’s take a look.

To answer the question, we have to do a little research involving a pop down memory lane…

WHAT’S EDUCATIONAL ABOUT POPTROPICA ORIGINAL?

Although Poptropica is more on the entertainment side than educational, it does have some learning benefits. Or, at least it started out like that — Poptropica’s first three islands were pretty educational. Here’s why:

Early Poptropica and Shark Tooth Island had two very similar buildings: they both had museums. One being an art museum, and another full of shark facts; you get the idea.

The Pop Art museum is pretty much like any art museum, but what stood out the most was were the questions you could ask each artist — questions about their drawings, their personal life (such stalkers we are), etc. It’s pretty fun. The Shark Museum, on the other hand, simply had facts about sharks, but even that was literally my absolute favorite part of the island.

Time Tangled Island is one of Poptropica’s most educational islands, and unlike the first two islands mentioned, it’s got a different method for integrating education. Before it became a sound-updated island (SUI), you could find some circles around the island leading to articles from Fact Monster, a Poptropica sponsor and educational website where you can get help with homework and stuff. (It’s actually pretty fun.)

time-tangled-educational

This was a new thing for Poptropica, but it didn’t last long with the release of 24 Carrot Island, and I’m glad, since those Fact Monster monstrosities can really get in the way of your gameplay. Glad I never got to experience them.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for some other players) the following islands stopped being educational in an obvious way (examples: 24 Carrot, Super Power, Big Nate). Nabooti did have a small artifact museum, but besides that, maybe they wanted to focus more on entertainment.

This all changed with the release of Counterfeit Island, which fell in the ”museum-kind-of-educational-island” category. The following islands of Poptropica weren’t all educational: but there were still plenty that drew inspiration from real-life environments, such as Red Dragon, Mythology, Arabian Nights, etc.

So, we can all probably see how Poptropica Original can be educational, but what about Poptropica Worlds?

WHAT’S EDUCATIONAL ABOUT POPTROPICA WORLDS?

Well, since Poptropica Worlds has a grand total of two islands, there isn’t too much to say about it yet (I’m excluding Home Island here, since it’s not really a quest like the others). But I’ll give it a shot.

Well, just like Poptropica’s first two islands, Poptropica Worlds has decided to have museums, and I’ve got to say, it does much better job than Early Pop and Shark Tooth.

Crisis Caverns’ museum is the Visitor’s Center, which has displays with facts about the supervolcano and other geological things. The building itself is an important part of the island, since it plays a part in moving the plot forward by [mild spoiler] giving the park ranger the elk antlers.

crisis caverns museum4

On the other hand, Early Poptropica’s Pop Art Museum had nothing in common with the island (well, it had one thing in common if you count the fact that it’s the pop art museum), but besides that, it didn’t add anything to the plot, so things were less interesting there.

Back to Worlds, the remastered 24 Carrot is simply gorgeous — it’s literally what made me like Worlds in the first place! The plot was improved and the visuals were really pretty. But, since Poptropica Words still isn’t much of a social game yet, what was once the common room on the old 24 Carrot had become a Carrot Museum. Which isn’t really all that bad, because just like on Crisis Caverns, this museum also moved the plot forward.

24 carrot17

By the way, you can view all the displays for various Poptropica museums without logging into the game by checking out the PHB Island Guide pages with Museum sections.

WHICH GAME IS MORE EDUCATIONAL?

Well, as of now, I’d have to say… drumroll pleasePoptropica Original.

Why? Well, for one major thing, it has more islands, which means more variety. But considering the trend on Worlds of the museums being integrated into the islands, I believe Poptropica Worlds will also be considered a pretty educational game. After all, the island museums are pretty fun to look through, and you’re bound to go into them at some point during the quests.

Poptropica Original has had its doses of learning about the world in various forms – from the obvious museums to the less conspicuous designs that might spark your interest in subjects like spies, mythical creatures, or certain historical figures. And from what we’ve seen so far, the Creators have been doing an even better job on that with Poptropica Worlds. I hope it continues.


Thanks for reading this analysis! If you enjoyed reading it, check out the original post on Clawtropica, and browse the blog for even more cool content!

Plus, if you have experiences of learning about something through Poptropica – whether you realized it or not – we’d love to hear about it, so share your perspective in the comments below!

That was PC, signing out! Luv ya guys!

🐾 Purple Claw 🐾

:mrgreen: 🌊

New Poptropica (Worlds)

My dearest Balloon Boy, it’s a Poptropica Worlds trailer!

So, my dearest Poptropicans,

Today was a weird day. Not like talking cats weird… more like meeting a chipper little boy who takes selfies with immortal gods and hangs out with identical spies kind of weird. These bizarre antics and more are captured in this new Poptropica Worlds trailer:

Well, this video is certainly… interesting. Clearly, one of the aspects that stands out most here, for better or worse, is the running dialogue narrated by an excitable young child named Manfred who’s writing to Balloon Boy about his adventures on Poptropica Worlds. Since Poptropica has never been one to use voice acting, this change has definitely perked some ears.

From the sound of the kid’s voice, the video sets a very clear vibe of being something that hopes to appeal to children. And while Poptropica is a game targeted to kids, there is also an older player base around, many of whom grew up with the game from when they were children, for whom the attempt to appeal is lost in the childlike voice acting.

A commenter on the video, Messy Wolf (WonderfulFilms), writes that “the voice acting was a little bit overdone and catering to a much younger demographic.”

However, another commenter, Kenzie Backlin, had a different opinion, suggesting that “they should do voice acting for all characters.”

Whatever your thoughts on the kid’s narration, we’ve also got the rest of the video to look at. Something that’s more of an unequivocal observation among Poptropicans is that the animation continues to impress, in keeping with the Poptropica style with perhaps more detail than before, especially with the Worlds-style avatars. Good stuff!

dr hare shock
gif by naps (astroknightsisland) on tumblr

Another element that’s important to take note of is the actual content being displayed in the trailer: namely, the islands. We see the boy, Manfred, writing his letter on his desk in his house on Home Island, where he also spins the daily wheel and decks out his place, which he calls his “clubhouse.”

Anyway, could this letter-writing business be a sign that the currently unreleased “Inbox” feature on Worlds is soon to arrive? And that we get to send messages to Balloon Boy, who’s up in the stratosphere? It’s nice to see his presence continued in Worlds, at least.

worlds menu

We also see Manfred run through the other islands currently on Worlds, Crisis Caverns and 24 Carrot. However, he also meets Zeus on Mythology Island, which exists on Poptropica Original but not Worlds – could Mythology be the next island? And perhaps more curiously, how did he get the irritable Zeus to smile for a selfie?!

zeus selfie
gif by naps (astroknightsisland) on tumblr

Beyond that, there are a couple more that are not so familiar: in one scene, a “phantom” colored in pitch black jumps out at him from what appears to be a stage. In another, a horde of spies appears, then disappears in the next moment. The background is that of Zomberry Island with a side of a soundstage from Back Lot, but these characters don’t appear anywhere in the original game, suggesting that these will be brand new islands.

Anyway, what do you think of the new Poptropica Worlds trailer video? What islands are you looking forward to next on Worlds? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

–🐠

Membership, New Poptropica (Worlds)

Is Poptropica becoming pay-to-play?

Hey Poptropicans, it’s Slanted Fish, and I’m here to talk about a question that’s been asked more and more lately: Is Poptropica becoming a pay-to-play game?

Now, Poptropica has always been a free game, and hopefully, it always will be. However, that line is becoming more blurred than it used to be, and that’s concerning.

Earlier this week, a big update was released on Poptropica Worlds, offering tons of cool new features, both expected and unexpected. We got costumes, house expansions, the Colorizer, and new furniture. There was just one major issue… most of it was for members only.

popworlds summer update 1

You might not have seen that coming from the Creators’ Blog’s breakdown of the news, which didn’t once reference membership. But let’s take a look at the facts:

  • 2 Color Changing Outfits: When you go to select the individual parts you want to buy, you’ll find that half of each outfit is for members only.
  • 8 Summer Outfits: Of these eight outfits, four of them (that’s half!) are for members only in their entirety, while the other four are completely available to all. You only find out that they’re members only when you click the costume to see the individual parts.
  • House Expansions: For members only. We did see this one coming from the descriptions for membership, though.
  • Colorizer: Those alluring “endless color options”? Members only. Non-members are stuck with a six-color palette for skin tones and another for hair.
  • Beach Decor: 19 new items, literally all of them for members only. Interestingly, the key and wallpapers are free for members, but the other items still cost coins.

Not since the Members Only Islands (which, by the way, has won “Worst Poptropica Update” in the Poppies community awards two times) has there been a massive update that’s been so… member-centric. And for many Poptropicans, that’s a huge turn-off.

Since the update, many have voiced out their criticisms, including LillySparkle$ on the Pop Blog, Purple Claw on Clawtropica, and those in the PHB comments. Some players have compared it to Club Penguin, which was notorious for a gameplay experience that amounted to waddling around and making new enemies if you weren’t a member.

The Poptropica Creators have responded on social media, but gave a more detailed reply about the situation on Purple Claw’s post:

pophq comment

It’s good to know the Creators are still taking our thoughts into account and re-assuring us that Poptropica will continue to be “a free game that can be enjoyed by all.” I definitely agree that the Poptropica Creators deserve to be compensated for their hard work, as do creators of all kinds who make quality, enjoyable content.

If you’re looking at Poptropica gameplay as being able to play islands, then Poptropica isn’t becoming pay-to-play. In fact, they’ve even gotten rid of having to wait through a members-only Early Access period for a new island on Worlds, which is a plus.

Why are we worried about membership then?

Remember, though, that the Poptropica experience is more than islands: it’s also customizing your character and your house. In that sense, the focus on membership that is so evident in this update, as well as other aspects of Pop Worlds, remains disconcerting for many Poptropicans – and for good reason.

A big reason is that, on Worlds, more of the experience has been put behind a paywall – compared to Poptropica Original, where many more aspects were accessible to all, including aspects that are now for members only on Worlds. This includes the endless Colorizer and certain costumes like the Dark Knight and Midnight Ninja, as PHB commenter GreedyShadow points out. Shouldn’t they be free on Worlds too?

Another concern is simply that it’s hard for some players to get memberships. Many Poptropica players are kids without money, who were attracted to Poptropica because it provided quality entertainment for free. Many parents may be reluctant to spend their money on a membership for their kids, and it can be hard to ascertain the value of, say, having an extra beach-themed room in your virtual house. Or as another commenter, Icy Cloud put it, “I don’t exactly want to use my money to buy pixels on a screen!”

PHB staffer and Poptropica member Silver Wolf has a different complaint: the allure for membership is worse than before, not better. “Despite paying for membership with real money, I still have to collect enough credits to buy all the items I want, rather than them being free as before. To me, it seems as if they’re just making it worse for everyone,” she says. Members do get a 20% discount, but perhaps that amount could increase.

So, what’s a Poptropica Creator to do for cash?

Honestly, it’s hard to say, especially without knowing the numbers of how much they’re getting and wanting. Given the market of kids, however, I’d advise against them putting all their proverbial eggs into one basket, that being the basket of membership. They’ve experimented with other things before, and they should continue to find ways to get financial support outside of paid subscriptions, which not all players are able to get.

They should keep doing creative ad partnerships with other companies wanting to advertise on Poptropica. Players have always enjoyed getting fun ad prizes and playing games in new buildings.

They should work on more awesome merch, from toys to books, particularly with a range of aesthetics beyond just childish: they can be cute like Disney Tsum Tsum toys or inspired by trending designs, like what you’d find in a Hot Topic store.

They could even open a Patreon or other funding page and offer exclusive perks – like specially-made costumes, house decor, or signed copies of the graphic novels. This gives those who are donating a more visible sense that they are contributing to the success of a game they love, while offering them good incentives that don’t interfere with everyone else’s game experience.

Now back to the players…

If you are a Poptropica player who loves the game and who has the means, please consider supporting the game! The Poptropica Creators do work hard to create a great and generally free product, but they still need money to keep things running.

If you can, support their work by buying the graphic novels or other Pop books, bringing home a new Pop toy, or even (gasp) getting a membership. You don’t even need a credit card anymore thanks to the apps – if you have credit from an iTunes or Play Store gift card, you can make an in-app purchase for membership. For a list of other Poptropica merch you can buy, take a look at our Merchandise guide.

Regardless of the existence of some paid content, however, Poptropica will remain free to play for all. Hopefully, the Creators will take this feedback and continue to consider the full gaming experience – not just with islands, but also with customization of house and character – in relation to non-members and the higher amount of free access we could enjoy on Poptropica Original. From the Creators’ comments, we can be assured that the game will continue to put out fun content for both free and paying players.

Thanks for reading! What are your thoughts on the colorful new Worlds updates? What might convince you to get a membership, if possible – or what’s stopping you from getting one? What suggestions do you have for the Creators to make membership an attractive option that does not detract from the non-members’ experiences?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and the Creators may check them out and consider them for future updates!

Keep popping,

~slantedfish 🐠

Guest Posts, New Poptropica (Worlds), Reviews

In the Eyes of a Newbie: Poptropica Original vs Worlds

This post originally appeared on The Pop Blog and is being shared on the PHB courtesy of the author, LillySparkle$. See the bottom of this post for how you, too, can write for the PHB!

newbie eyes

Hey guys, today I am here with a rather unusual yet interesting post: we’re going to see Poptropica from the eyes of a newbie who’s never played before.

Since most of us reading this have probably been with Poptropica for a while, our opinions about the new Worlds are heavily influenced by the Poptropica we’ve gotten to know. But have you ever wondered what Poptropica looks like in the eyes of a little kid playing for the first time? Which would he like better: the new or the classic?

We’re going to dive in by introducing my friend Super Bug (that’s his Poptropican name) – a seven-year-old boy who’s never played Pop – to the game of our childhoods.

To keep things even, this commentary is only about his play-throughs of one island on each: Monkey Wrench on the original, and Crisis Caverns on Worlds.

Poptropica Original

I got Super Bug started on this one first because I think it’s always better to start with the originals. I helped him pick a name and get the basic customization. Then, he went to the tutorial of Monkey Wrench Island and figured things out on his own.

He said he enjoyed the action, specifically when the Red Baroness throws the wrench at the airplane. He liked the controls of the game, like climbing and jumping: “I felt like a ninja playing it!” He thought that “the floating head is sorta creepy and sorta funny!” His favorite parts of playing were the action, solving problems, and the puzzles, such as the one with the rock and the crab.

His only complaint was that the Red Baroness was “mean and didn’t want them to win the race.” When I asked for any final word on the game, he gave the descriptive answer of “it was good.” So there you have it!

Poptropica Worlds

Design-wise, Super Bug said he liked Poptropica Worlds because they had “necks which made them less scary.” Like the original, he said he liked the mini games and challenges. He had so much fun!

He loved the geysers (water-shooting rock formations) you could jump on in Crisis Caverns. He enjoys the jumping because it was “much further than a human jump” and made you feel “like a superhero!” He loves the idea of houses as well and had lots of fun playing around with his!

He doesn’t like the difficulty of controls that was different from the first one. Overall, he said it was “good.”

The Verdict

Before I tell you which Poptropica he picked as the winner, I want to add in how Poptropica could actually be quite educational for kids. I never really noticed it before since I am older, but Super Bug had tons of fun reading the characters and giving them specific voices. He loved solving the problems and thinking of solutions. It was a really cool thing to see, and it took me by surprise!

So, when asked which one he liked better, he chose… both!?

And I am not making this up or anything. He played through both and said he couldn’t pick! He liked both for different reasons, and he thought the game was so fun! He loved every minute of playing both games! I am really excited to see him completing more and more islands.

Well that about sums up the first taste of both Poptropicas, as experienced by a seven-year-old. And because he is only seven, his answers and reviews on Poptropica aren’t the most complex or detailed, but that’s fine. What matters is that he had fun and enjoyed the game!

Hope this was an eye-opener for you guys! Let me know in the comments if you remember any first thoughts you had about Poptropica as a kid, or just your thoughts on the whole ordeal!

 Signing out,

Lills (Maroon Jumper)


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by LillySparkle$! Be sure to check out her site, The Pop Blog.

The Poptropica Help Blog welcomes interesting Poptropica insights from anyone in the Poptropica community with thoughts to share. You can find some tips and guidelines on our Write for the PHB page. We also encourage sharing blog posts on the PHC.

If you have an idea for a blog post, send it in to staff@poptropicahelp.net:)