PHB Specials

The ABCs of LGBT with the PHB πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ

Our header features artwork from Criaha.

Happy Pride Month, Poptropicans! πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ

June is a month of celebration for the LGBTQ+ community, and the PHB is bringing that celebration to Poptropica. But we recognize that not everyone is familiar with what this is all about, so we wanted to make this post to explain the ABCs of LGBT in a kid-friendly way (with brief mentions of mature forms of attraction).

This post will be using the terms “LGBTQ+,” “LGBT,” and “queer” interchangeably, though it’s worth noting that “queer” has historically been used as an insult and only recently been reclaimed as a positive catch-all term. We’ll be going over some basic concepts and common LGBT identities β€” and tying them to the world of Poptropica!

Please remember that everyone is different, and identities are complicated, but we are all deserving of acceptance, love, and support. If you feel uneasy about the topic of LGBTQ+ identities, I encourage you to be open-minded and patient. Though you may not currently understand the perspective of a queer individual, they are important people nonetheless. And if you are LGBTQ+ and feeling misunderstood by people who don’t quite get it, I encourage you to demonstrate patience even when it is challenging, because the PHB aims to be an accepting place for all viewers. All that being said, let’s unpack this!

Continue reading “The ABCs of LGBT with the PHB πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ”
PHB Specials, Pop Petitions

Pop Petition: Bring the old islands back

It’s a familiar cry. Bring the old islands back to Poptropica! Ever since a huge chunk of islands went off the map due to technical incompatibility, Poptropicans everywhere have been calling for their return, including here on the PHB. But it’s been years, and gone they continue to be.

So let’s talk about that. The Poptropica Creators have no doubt heard the cries and have even promised to find ways to bring back the classics. But as time goes by, with few of the originals to show for it, players are getting restless. From the PHB, here’s our call to the Pop Creators, on behalf of nostalgic fans everywhere: here’s what it takes to keep the spirit of Poptropica alive and well.

🏝 Know and celebrate the old islands

The Poptropica map filled with islands (image: idk)

Poptropica used to have over 40 original islands, each a world filled with stories to explore. With the Flash-to-Haxe transition, we’re now down to about 10, and several are incomplete episodic adventures.

And the islands that Poptropica has put out in the past several years have shifted in style of gameplay β€” there’s a lot more handholding and a lot less exploring. So first things first, Poptropica needs to remember what made the old islands so special to so many of our childhoods.

Old Poptropica islands used the medium of interactive gaming to tell compelling stories to the kids who played them. But the newer islands seem to have one without the other: Reality TV: Wild Safari was all games, no story; while Fairytale Island gave us fun tales but without much participation in them from the player. A really successful island, like Mystery Train, manages to do both: puzzles and narrative together.

The Poptropica of the past several years have shown us that the Creators are straying further away from this vision of what made Poptropica so loved before. Players have compared this worrying trend to Mocktropica Island, the parody turned reality. More recently, a Creator’s clueless comment on Instagram revealed a lack of knowledge about Betty Jetty, a beloved character from an old island, which ultimately speaks to a lack of awareness for iconic parts of their own game.

So please, Poptropica Creators, revisit those old islands and experience their magic. Know the lore of the Poptropica worlds we grew up with, and let that intoxicating blend of gaming and storytelling guide you into making the next great island adventure.

FYI: There are ways to play the old islands, and you can always visit the PHB’s Island Guides to learn more about them! 🏝


βŒ›οΈ Slow down on the secondary features

While Poptropica hasn’t been pushing out their A-game in islands lately, we have been getting a lot of funky new features (and losing quite a few others, but we digress). Part of that is keeping up with today’s gaming tech needs with the Flash-to-Haxe transition, but all this focus on new, not-island stuff has made Poptropicans wonder what it’s all for.

Sure, it’s fun to see Home Island get a seasonal makeover or try on a new costume from the store. But why are the Creators so obsessed with redesigning Home Island? What’s with all the pop-up screens telling you what to do, or the remaking of features like the menu that were fine the way they were? Even assuming that these updates are well received, they should not be the main focusβ€”they’re secondary aspects.

All the efforts spent in making these updates is time taken away from preserving the spirit of Poptropica through the old islands. Every inconsequential makeover or new pet item feels, to the nostalgic player, like valuable time that could have gone towards getting closer to bringing the old islands back. Which brings us to the last point…


⏩ Port the old islands to Haxe

Sounds obvious and probably easier said than done, but that’s really what a lot of players are looking for right now. Poptropica owns all that content, and the fanbase is eager to play them, so what’s the holdup?

When asked in late 2020 about whether 2021 holds new islands or the return of old ones, the Poptropica CEO answered:

We’re working on a mix of both, plus some remasters of the old islands. We’re also looking at ways to allow players to access the old islands once Flash isn’t widely supported anymore.

Abhi Arya, Poptropica CEO

Remasters are all well and good (well, unless they turn out watered-down like the remastered Mythology Island), but this reinventing could be one reason things are taking a while. But while we wait for those, what about giving us the old islands in their original form? That still takes work, but presumably less work than rewriting old islands.

Hut and Stuff: Quit your jibber jabber.

From that same Q&A:

We know how much the Poptropica you grew up with means to you and want to make sure you can always play that version.

Natalie Shahmiri, Poptropica general manager

Poptropica has heard and promised, but we’ve been waiting a while. It’s been 7 months since that promise in our Q&A with them, nearly 2 years since the old islands vanished from the map, and coming up on 5 years if we’re counting from Poptropica’s first attempts at rebuilding itself for an era without Flash via the now-defunct Poptropica Worlds. An update would be nice. More old islands would be even better. πŸ’™


What say you, Poptropicans? Whether you’re a new or old player, share your thoughts in the comments so the Creators can hear more voices on how fans feel about the state of the game today!

Explore, collect, compete!

β€” the Poptropica Help Blog β€”

Contests, PHB Specials

Guess That Poptropican, Round 2 β€” Answers

Howdy Poptropicans! It’s LJ with the answers for the second round of Guess That Poptropican! Continue reading for the winner later in the post. πŸ˜‰

Poptropican 1

  • I can be seen on two islands
  • My name is alliterative
  • I have a villain sibling
  • I have my own store
  • I like my comic books

I am Ned Noodlehead from Super Power Island and (sometimes) Reality TV Island!


Poptropican 2

  • I own a beauty company
  • I’m constantly searching for rare plants and creatures
  • I occasionally wear fashionable sunglasses
  • I have a beauty mark
  • I have attempted murder

I am Gretchen Grimlock from Cryptids Island!


Poptropican” 3

  • I take on many different looks
  • I can help you with all of your shopping needs
  • I hover
  • I am not a Poptropican

I am Quippy!


Poptropican 4

  • I go by two different names
  • I have my own Draw My Life video
  • I’ve worked on the Creators’ Blog
  • I like video games

I am Abe/Gamer Guy from Zomberry Island and (rarely) Poptropicon Island!


Poptropican 5

  • My name is a pun
  • I blast lightning bolts
  • The quest from which I come from has never appeared on the map

I am Dr. Cumulo Nimbus from Blimp Adventure!


Poptropican 6

  • I am a former child actor
  • I long to have a serious role
  • I’d like to show my dark side

I am Willy Bingleman from Backlot Island!


How many did you get right? Congratulations to Barefoot Knuckle for being the first person to get them all! Shoutout to Jumpy Fang, I am an affront to God, Paris, Magic Fire, pegs, Silver Horse, and Smart Icicle for also guessing correctly β€” and of course, good job to everyone else who tried. I really appreciate the participation. Alas, here’s the Pop Portrayal prize! I hope you like it.

Barefoot Knuckle

How do we feel about a round 3? Sound off below and I’ll see you in the next post. Pop on!

– LJ πŸ€

Contests, PHB Specials

PHB Special: Guess That Poptropican, Round 2

Howdy Poptropicans, it’s LJ here with another game of Guess That Poptropican! Can you guess a random Poptropican character based off a small number of clues? There are three levels β€” easy, medium, and hard β€” on the basis of the specific character and the amount of clues provided. Test your skill!

Easy

Poptropican 1

  • I can be seen on two islands
  • My name is alliterative
  • I have a villain sibling
  • I have my own store
  • I like comic books

Poptropican 2

  • I own a beauty company
  • I’m constantly searching for rare plants and creatures
  • I occasionally wear fashionable sunglasses
  • I have a beauty mark
  • I have attempted murder

Medium

“Poptropican” 3

  • I take on many different looks
  • I can help you with all your shopping needs
  • I hover
  • I am not a Poptropican

Poptropican 4

  • I go by two different names
  • I have my own Draw My Life video
  • I’ve worked on the Creators’ Blog
  • I like video games

Hard

Poptropican 5

  • My name is a pun
  • I blast lightning bolts
  • The quest from which I come from has never appeared on the map

Poptropican 6

  • I am a former child actor
  • I long to have a serious role
  • I’d like to show my dark side

The same rules apply as last time. In order for your answers to be considered correct you’ll need to list the exact name of the character in its entirety. The first person to get all 6 correct will win a drawing of their Poptropican by me. (You can check out my DeviantArt gallery for a reference of my art.)

So send in your guesses to luckyjokerphb@gmail.com for your chance to win. The results will be posted as soon as the victor emerges! Good luck and pop on!

– LJ πŸ€

Contests, PHB Specials

Guess That Poptropican β€” Answers

Howdy Poptropicans! How are you this fine day? It’s LJ here popping in with the answers to my Guess That Poptropican game from earlier this week. I’ll also be revealing the winner at the end, so keep reading. πŸ˜‰

How many characters could you guess? Were there any that stumped you? Allow the characters to reveal themselves!

Poptropican 1

  • I am involved in a love triangle
  • I have a violin song dedicated to me
  • I wear a necklace
  • I am a ghost
  • I’m the only character in the game with an audible voice

I am Fiona from Ghost Story Island!


Poptropican 2

  • I come from an episodic island
  • I have a scar on my cheek
  • I am a lot like General Zaroff from the short story “The Most Dangerous Game”
  • I am a hunter
  • My catchphrase is “Tally-ho!”

I am Myron Van Buren from Survival Island!


Poptropican 3

  • I am an accidental time traveler
  • I appear in three different works in the Poptropica franchise
  • I am clumsy
  • I like chocolate

I am Jorge from Mystery of the Map Island, the Poptropica Comic, and the Mystery of the Map graphic novel series!


Poptropican 4

  • I have an interest in advanced technology
  • I was a member of a secret organization
  • I am royalty
  • I wear a tall hat

I am Princess Elyana from Astro-Knights Island!


Poptropican 5

  • I wear glasses
  • I know all about the celebrity gossip
  • My first and last names rhyme

I am Blabby Gabby from Reality TV Island!


Poptropican 6

  • I am an explorer extraordinaire
  • I discovered an island
  • I have my own commemorative plaque

I am Professor Hammerhead from Shark Tooth Island!


Congratulations to White Fox for being the first (and only) person to correctly identify every character! Many people were stumped on numbers 4 and 5, but my game was no match for you. As promised, here is your Pop Portrayal.

by me, Lucky Joker

Thank you all for playing! I hope you had fun testing your knowledge with Poptropica characters. A second round may be coming very soon, so stay tuned for that and be sure to study up! I’ll talk to you guys in the next one. As always, pop on!

– LJ πŸ€