Island Flash-backs

Island Flash-back: Super Villain πŸŒ©

We have arrived at Poptropica’s birthday month, and what better way to celebrate than to honor an island that not only inspired many fans (like myself) but also celebrates many past islands and characters?

That’s right, everyone! We have finally come to the island I absolutely had to feature in a Flash-back…

Super Villain!!

Perchance to Dream: Settle in for a nice, long nap.

This is quite possibly the island with the most fanart, fanfiction, and theories sparking from it. While the ending left many questions (still) unanswered, it continued the arcs of several past characters and brought them all together in a surprising way!

Combo Breaker: It’s robot madness!

Though not much has been publicly written on the development for the ideas and storyline of this island, there is quite a bit of interesting concept art to look through. The first pic above shows a an early idea for the Dream Machine room, where there were originally five (not four) guinea pigs for Jupiter’s experiment.

Next, the above robot-fusion of several characters further proves that El Mustachio Grande was originally meant to be one of them. I wonder what caused that to change? πŸ€”

This island also has some incredible background art, from the impressive design of the prison interior with the (foreshadowing) lightning motif, to Black Widow’s dream exploring different famous paintings and, of course, Binary Bard’s much-loved dreamscape. I remember restarting this island many times just so I could experience that scene again!

The scenery isn’t the only thing that made this island famous, though β€” it was also the new lore behind the characters. I redid this island and certain parts so many times, scouring for crumbs of new information. A particularly chilling moment was noticing the torn face of Mordred’s painting in his dream lair… sheesh.

This is probably the most graphic detail we’d ever get of that scene in a game aimed at kids.

Unfortunately, Super Villain will probably be of the later ones to return if we ever see the classic islands again, considering only two out of five of the islands leading up to it have been released on Haxe. That’s why I chose to cover Counterfeit, Astro-Knights, and Skullduggery leading up to this! Yes, I have revealed my evil ploy! This whole series was just for me to have another excuse to talk about Super Villain Island!

“The True Mastermind” by BlazingAngel123 on DeviantArt

So let’s continue the legacy of our villainous friends (unless you count The Villain Saga…ahem, self promotion)! Super Villain and other classic islands were rendered unplayable in the Flash-Haxe transition, but it should not go to waste. Let the Poptropica Creators know what you appreciate about the island to encourage them to preserve it!

Castori honorem ~ Maryann/Smart Bubbles

Island Flash-backs

Island Flash-back: Poptropolis Games πŸ…

The COVID-19 pandemic may have cancelled many events, but better late than never on the recent 2020 Tokyo Olympics! Its return makes this next Island Flash-back quite appropriate for the sportful season…

Poptropolis Games!!

An official poster made for the island’s re-release

From a fandom standpoint, this island doesn’t seem to be as well-known or well-loved on the surface. There’s little fanart of characters or scenes compared to others such as Counterfeit or Monster Carnival. But look a little deeper and you will see how much this island has incorporated itself into fandom culture and events!

Even after disappearing from the official game, fans continue to identify themselves by the Poptropolis Tribes. A year ago, the PHB hosted the 2020 Tribal Tournament, in which community members could win points for their respective tribes!

Another noteworthy thing is the music: the Poptropolis theme is easily one of my favorites from the game. Hear it below, and more on the PHB’s Behind the Scenes page! (You can also hear it on composer Jeff Heim’s “Poptropica Demo Reel 1” starting at about 43 seconds.)

A bit of trivia for those who were not playing during or before 2012: This island was originally released as a “classic” island with no sound, and came out in June of that year, timed near the London Olympics. To many a player’s surprise, the island “sank” and was removed in early 2013, but eventually was “risen” after an event that encouraged players to help “dig up the games.”

“PHB Poptropolis Games Banner” by Gentle Dolphin on DeviantArt

So let’s dig up the games again! Poptropolis Games and other classic islands were rendered unplayable in the Flash-Haxe transition, but it should not go to waste! Let the Creators know what you appreciate about the island to encourage them to preserve it!

Until September (and Poptropica’s birthday)!

Castori honorem ~ Maryann/Smart Bubbles

Island Flash-backs, Uncategorized

Island Flash-back: Counterfeit πŸ–Ό

We are halfway through the year, and this series! I probably should get this post finished ASAP because I finished a workout earlier and will probably be sore in the morning.

One thing that helps many people get through the long, hot summer months is doing art! And it just so happens that there’s a Poptropica Island centered around that–along with a mystery that only you can solve. July’s Island is…

Counterfeit!!!

Counterfeit Island is one that a lot of people from the pre-Haxe days loved and remembered. The story revolved around a museum in an idyllic French city, and the thief who planned to ruin it all. (Plus, check out our Pop Places IRL take on the setting!) Of course, I think we can all agree that the Black Widow is the most remembered aspect of this island, like many other villains. πŸ•·

Sadly, there was little concept art to be found this time. I scoured the Daily Pop archives, but as Counterfeit was released before its creation and they never uploaded past art for it later, I only managed to find this sketch from an old Creators’ Blog post.

Concept art for the design of the secret puzzle to the museum

That doesn’t take away from the impressive design work though! While simplistic, it’s also chic with a lovely bright color palette and great designs of the locations such as the museum and the Black Widow’s lair.

This island should be brought back for those cool spider designs on the bunker walls alone.

Unlike its more fantastical and less educational predecessor Astro-Knights, Counterfeit includes many famous paintings with information on art history, as well as the art forgery that collectors and museums have to deal with.

(Small reminder that using the name “Inspector Veuvre Noire” in a FRENCH TOWN should prove that we would be a lot safer from these villains if only the all the other NPCs didn’t have a single shared brain cell.)

Before I say my closing words, I would also like to showcase this Skullduggery fanart for our previous Island Flash-back made by Dangerous Dragon! Thank you so much for your participation in this, DD! 😁

Now comes your turn, Poptropicans! Let’s remind the Creators why this island became so memorable, and why the efforts that went to create it should not go to waste! Encourage them to preserve their past stories and the potential they held!

Until August! (Hint: Olympics)

Castori honorem ~ Maryann/Smart Bubbles

Island Flash-backs

Island Flash-backs: 🌳 Twisted Thicket and Skullduggery πŸ΄β€β˜ οΈ

I ought to explain myself, shouldn’t I?

As some of you have noticed, there was no Island Flash-back in May. Mostly because of IRL things getting in the way and my poor planning. I’m sorry, as I did say this would be a monthly thing, and I’ll try to be more consistent in the future! To make up for this, TWO islands will be announced, one for May and one for June…

Twisted Thicket and Skullduggery!

While not the most popular, both of these islands have their fans! Skullduggery (2010) is known for its iconic villain, Captain Crawfish, as well as its focus on trading and travelling over action and boss fights. On the other hand, Twisted Thicket (2012) is most remembered for its references to Norse mythology and its beautiful scenery and designs!


🌳 Twisted Thicket was very much a story about environmentalism, though the fantasy elements helped the point feel more natural rather than forced (as is common in children’s media with moral messaging).

The island is on a medium difficulty level, balancing the twisted and dangerous forest with fun puzzles and, once again, amazing scenery. The Poptropica Creators have consistently gone above and beyond with their art design, even with such a simple art style!


πŸ΄β€β˜ οΈ Skullduggery revolved heavily around an archipelago map, where you could travel to other mini-islands within the island’s storyline using a boat. (The same feature was later to get around Hemlock Harbor in Ghost Story Island.)

While Skullduggery’s main plot is about the evil pirate Captain Crawfish threatening the peaceful islands, the focus of the gameplay is on trading goods and basic economics of saving for bigger and better ships, until you can finally buy the beautiful Phoenix Warbird. The Creators’ Blog has an interesting series of articles on the design process for this ship! Though some players found the cycle of trading and buying and selling tedious, others found it to be an educational experience, unique from that of previous islands.


To wrap up, I’m going to showcase some awesome past fan art for these two islands that are no longer in the official game. And let’s encourage the Creators to preserve these stories with more!

Until July (hopefully πŸ˜…)!

Castori honorem ~ Maryann/Smart Bubbles

Island Flash-backs

Island Flash-back: Astro Knights πŸš€

We are now well into springtime (at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere), and I hope the weather has been more pleasant for you than the pre-summer heat that’s happening in my local desert!

I apologize for the delay in this post, and I hope there is still enough time to pay homage to an island that many of you know is very important to me

Astro-Knights!!

There is no shortage of things I or a giant portion of this fandom could say about this island. It’s easily one of Poptropica’s most remembered, and many consider it to be the pinnacle of the game’s storytelling abilities. Compared to islands that came before it like Shark Tooth or 24 Carrot, the world of Poptropica suddenly felt expanded and full of undiscovered potential.

Concept sketches for the knights

While less remembered, a short book was also made based off this island, among a series of four others. It can still be bought, but hasn’t been mentioned by the team for a while, nor have any other islands ever been added to the series.

The villain, Mordred/Binary Bard, is also quite iconic, to the point of being featured in the spin-off island Super Villain. He also has a fair share of fans, art, and a cameo in a dating sim.

An old version of the Binary Bard, where he was intended to be a simple background character.

There is no shortage of love for this island. That being said, it is hardly mentioned by the current Pop team anymore. While the development of Fairy Tale Island is probably the most pressing thing now, it would be nice to have it remembered by the future island pantheon.

Very nice, as a matter of fact. I don’t think many fans (including myself) would have any more interest in Pop if they completely discarded the stories that got us into it in the first place.

Concepts for the Princess of Arturus

Before I conclude this post, I would also like to highlight some fanart made for the previous Island Flash-back, Wild West. Here is some fanart of El Mustachio Grande made by Dangerous Dragon!

Now here comes your part, Poptropicans! Astro Knights and other classic islands were rendered unplayable for most people in the Flash-Haxe transition, but the months of work that the artists and writers put into it should not go to waste! MakeΒ fanart, fanfiction, videos, and guest posts. Let the Creators know what you appreciate about their past work toΒ encourage them to preserve it!

Until May!

Castori honoremΒ ~ Maryann/Smart Bubbles