Is Poptropica turning into Mocktropica Island?

Now there’s a question. Is Poptropica now fulfilling the prophecy about itself it set out in its own self-parody in the 36th island—and not in a good way?

I’m Slanted Fish, here to examine just how much Poptropica is falling into the traps it once warned about. Let’s take a look at the evidence.

For those who need a refresher, Mocktropica Island is a bit of a self-parody of Poptropica, imagining what things would be like when development of the game world goes haywire. It’s a fictional tale, but like many good stories, it does contain some truth.

And lately, it seems like Poptropica’s development is in crisis: we don’t hear as much from the Creators as we used to, and when we do, they’re tinkling with visual updates here and there, rather than the meat of the game: the story quests. In fact, it’s been a whole year since the latest island, Greek Sea Odyssey, was released on Poptropica Worlds, and Poptropica Original hasn’t had a new island since 2016’s Monkey Wrench. So, robot boss battles aside, has Mocktropica predicted the fate of the game?

Pets: the focus on aesthetics

photo credit: Maroon

One feature Mocktropica played with was the idea of pets for Poptropicans. Back when the island first came out in 2013, there weren’t exactly pets in Poptropica, though we did have “Followers” available from ads or in the store (such as the dragon in the picture above). But the Creators knew when they were making this island that pets were a popular requested feature for the game, so in the story, we have kids cheering for the introduction of pets.

And don’t get me wrong, Poptropica pets are great! This year the Pet Barn on Home Island finally opened, offering cute critters for players to adopt.

Pet chameleons introduced to the Pet Barn in 2019.

But that’s just the thing, too: while the Creators focused on aesthetic updates like pets (not to mention the redesign of Home Island and various features like the Arcade, Clubhouses, Friends profiles, the upheaval of the store into a rotational system, and more), they neglected the heart of Poptropica itself… the island quests.

Coins: the allure of membership

Pop Coin currency is suggested on Mocktropica Island.

While Poptropica hasn’t gotten quite as extreme as Mocktropica when it comes to currency, the Pop Coin system does hint at something sinister: charging players to pay real-life money for basic features of the game. In Poptropica, we know it as membership.

Membership wasn’t always like it is now. These days, every update seems to come with a significant portion exclusive to members only: store updates, pets, the new friends profiles, and so on. But back when we saw new islands every once in a while, each update wasn’t so member-focused, in part because membership already had a big draw: early access to new islands. With no new islands, the Creators have to find more ways to make membership attractive for the sake of profits, but it’s only causing players—many without the means of purchasing power—to resent them for it.

Read more in this 2017 PHB article: Is Poptropica becoming pay-to-play?

Pop-ups: Achievements and Ad Units

Achievements? Well, Poptropica has had ways of marking a player’s achievements with features like island medallions and album photos, and fortunately, they’re not annoying pop-ups like on Mocktropica—in fact, they’re pretty creative.

But not so fast. Remember the ad sales lady on Mocktropica and the obnoxious pop-up ads she made float around on your screen? While Poptropica hasn’t quite reached that level of distaste, it has since introduced a pretty off-putting pop-up ad at the bottom of the screen that re-appears whenever you change scenes. Sadly, it’s been there for a while and looks like it intends to stay. As if the banner wrapper ads weren’t enough!

Advertising your own game on your own game? Not exactly effective, either.

Developers: Where have they gone?

On Mocktropica Island, Poptropica developers were fired by new management.

A year ago, Poptropica inexplicably let go of some valuable senior-level employees who had contributed to the game for about a whole decade. A former Creator, Jessica (aka Skinny Moon), even confirmed in March 2018 that “most of the company is gone,” referring to employees she’d worked with prior to that point. Since then, we haven’t had names—not even aliases!—to connect us with the Poptropica team.

On this front, Mocktropica definitely predicted a bleak turn for Poptropica. These days, Poptropica rarely updates their official blog, on time if it all—even for bigger releases—and as outlined above, game updates are not only fewer and farther between, but when they do occur, they’re not what anybody really asked for. Sure, releasing some new items and redecorating some interfaces is mildly interesting, but they’re not going to keep anybody’s attention for long. But you know what will, Poptropica Creators?

Stories—specifically, islands!

Former president of Poptropica, Jess Brallier, says it best in this video from 2013, recently discovered by Osmium and re-posted from “Future Think” by idk:

Right out of this publisher’s mouth: “We’re not doing a virtual world to create a social networking opportunity, not to house games, not to host a virtual economy, but to tell stories… the point of Poptropica is to tell kids stories in the literacy of their choosing.

Does that sound like the Poptropica of the present to you? Well, I’ve been following Poptropica through the years, and let me tell you: the success is in the stories it tells. The most anticipated updates have always been the islands—those quirky quests were what made Poptropica “Poptropica.” Pets, member perks, fun items—those are best left as secondary.

I think it’s pretty clear that Poptropica has, in not all, but some ways, followed right into the footsteps of Mocktropica Island. An island created as a cautionary tale is unfolding right before us, and the Poptropica Creators of the present would do well to pay attention and revisit what the Creators of the past have tried to warn us all about when they created Mocktropica.

What does Poptropica need right now? Well…

I think I speak for many Poptropicans when I say that I truly hope to see Poptropica return to what made it successful: the stories, or in other words, the islands. Oh Poptropica, where will your yellow blimp take us next?

—Slanted Fish 🐠

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PHB Sp00py Special: Guess the Horror Scene!👻

Horror movies have been around pretty much since the beginning of film’s history (with the first ever being “The Haunted Castle”, released in 1896!), and have become a staple in many households during the Halloween season.

BOO! How’s it going, spooktropicans? It’s Lucky Joker here and today I bring you a horrifying Halloween treat! I’ve recreated iconic scenes (Poptropica style 😎) from various films in the horror genre, and it’s your job to guess which one each of them are from! Enjoy, and good luck! 🍀

(Note: Answers are hidden at the bottom of this post — highlight the text to reveal them. 👀)


1) “Come play with us”

PHBHalloweenSpecial1

Little Danny explores the halls of the Overlook Hotel when he comes across a strange pair of twin girls standing at the end of a hallway, who seemingly know his name. As they invite him to play, they continuously get closer and closer to him with each line, much to Danny’s horror.

2) “More effective than wolfsbane”

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Vampire hunter, Professor Abraham Van Helsing, scares the count away by holding up a crucifix.

3) “Squawk!”

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A homicidal swarm of seagulls crashes a child’s party causing quite a stir as Melanie, Annie, and Mitch try to rush the children into the house.

4) “They’re all gonna laugh at you”

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When a girl who was only made to feel like an outcast all her life wins the title of prom queen at the highly awaited end-of-the-year dance, all seems miraculous and like a dream come true. When a bucket of pig’s blood is poured over her on stage as part of a malicious prank, everyone laughs at her, and all goes downhill.

5) “The power of Christ compels you!”

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Father Karras stands alongside Father Merrin as they attempt to expel the demon inside the suffering, possessed Regan.

6) “Get out of the water!”

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It’s Independence Day, and everyone is having fun at the beach on Amity Island. Panic erupts when Alex is fatally attacked by an angry shark, marking this tragedy as the second shark attack on the island.

7) “We all go a little mad sometimes”

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Marion is stabbed to death in the shower at the unsettlingly vacant Bates Motel by a disguised Norman Bates, the hotelier.


So, how many did you recognize? Feel free to leave your guesses in the comments below. By the way, check out my Pop Halloween costume this year, hehe:

MermanJoker

Stay safe everybody and have a happy Halloween!

– Merman Joker 🧜‍♂️

Answers:

  1. The Shining
  2. Dracula
  3. The Birds
  4. Carrie
  5. The Exorcist
  6. Jaws
  7. Psycho

PHB Pop-over Special: Night in the Woods

nightinthewoods popover

Hey Poptropicans! We’re back with another PHB Pop-over Special!

In case you’re not familiar with the term, a “Pop-over” is basically a Poptropica crossover, in which we take characters from another universe and make them into Poptropica characters. This Pop-over features the gang from Night in the Woods!

You can add these Poptropican-ized characters with the usernames below and Costumize parts of their outfits. For the rest, use the ASG, MAP, or iPop.

  • Angus: Add him on Poptropica at NITWAngus. Get the glasses from the Rockstar costume (use ASG: Snowball9_ASG4), and bear ears from realms#6ASG.
  • Mae: Add her at NITWMae. Get the Werewolf costume parts from the ASG Holidays:Halloween:Werewolf, and Jack/Jill O’Lantern shirt from idk_JillOLantern_ASG. The bass guitar is from the Photo Booth.
  • Gregg: Add him at NITWGregg. Get the animal head parts from realms#2ASG.
  • Bea: Add her at NITWBea. Get the animal head from realms#2ASG, facial feature from realms#6ASG, and mouth from Rosemoji6.

Night in the Woods (or NITW) is a T-rated (for ages 13+) adventure game with a gameplay style much like Poptropica, in which you explore an interactive world full of vibrant characters and stories. (Learn more and get the game—or its two free supplemental games, Longest Night and Lost Constellation—on the NITW website!)

Poptropica fans who enjoyed the mystery of Ghost Story Island or the atmosphere of Monster Carnival Island might like this game—at least I did. 😁

For more game recommendations, check out our Off-Topica page. And for more fashion ideas, look no further than our Costumes and Avatar Studio Gift databases.

Hope you enjoyed this Night in the Woods x Poptropica crossover! Have you played NITW? How does it compare with Pop? Sound off in the comments below!

🐻 😼 🦊 🐊

<・)))><<

PHB Special: Pop the Difference, Round 2 – Answers and Winners!

Hello, Poptropicans!

Last week I posted 4 pairs of Poptropica images, each with 10 differences. Quite a few people participated, but not everyone found all of the differences. Now it’s time to reveal the answers and winners here!

1) Harbor Prison Hunt

2) Nightly Nose-Around

3) Folklore Forage

4) Sundae Search

Some of these were pretty difficult! How many did you end up finding?

And now to announce the winners…

Congratulations to the winner of the 3-month membership grand-prize, AlexaHattomi, for being the first person to spot all forty differences, as well as runner-ups, Tough Sky and Jacob_Da_Boss, who will each receive a 1-month membership! If that’s you, look out for an email from us and let us know your username in order to receive your prize.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this mini contest! Perhaps there’ll be more in the future…

– Lucky Joker 🍀

PHB Special: Pop the Difference, Round 2

Hello, Poptropicans!

Lucky Joker here with a Pop the Difference special for you guys. It was over a year ago that I posted the original Pop the Difference special, so I thought I would do another one.

Down below are four pairs of Poptropica images, and each pair contains ten differences. Some differences may be obvious and easy to spot, while others may be more obscure — so look carefully! Let’s see how many you can find… Good luck!

1) Harbor Prison Hunt

Pop_the_difference_february2018_1aPop_the_difference_february2018_1b

2) Nightly Nose-Around

Pop_the_difference_february2018_3aPop_the_difference_february2018_3b

3) Folklore Forage

Pop_the_difference_february2018_2aPop_the_difference_february2018_2b

4) Sundae Search

Pop_the_difference_february2018_4aPop_the_difference_february2018_4b

So how many could you find?

Send in your answers to luckyjokerphb@gmail.com or in a private message to me, Lucky Joker, on Discord, because the first person to correctly spot all forty differences (ten in each) will receive a 3-month membership — it costs you nothing (except the time you’ll spend looking for the differences 😉 )! Two runner-ups will also each receive a 1-month membership, courtesy of the Poptropica Creators.

By the way, don’t be afraid to utilize the comments section to help each other out. But note that you’ll need to contact me personally in order to be eligible for prizes.

Answers and winners will be revealed next week.

Well, that’s it for now. Thanks for reading, as always! Talk to you in the next one.

– Lucky Joker 🍀

PHB Pop-over Special: Men of Marvel

marvel pop

You can do more than marvel at these cool costumes—you can wear them, too!

Thanks to PHB reader Striped Cactus, the Poptropica Help Blog is bringing you this awesome “Pop-over”—that’s a Poptropica crossover—featuring several characters from the Marvel universe! Most of their costumes are already customizable, so go ahead and add them to your friends panel. Their usernames are listed above and below.

Parts that are not customizable are also mentioned so you’ll know where to get them:

Protip: Glitching tools like iPop and the ASG make it easy to customize your character – plus our ASG page is full of rare costumes! Plus, more ideas can be found on our Costumes page.

The Marvel universe began with Marvel Comics and has since expanded to tons of movies, where you may recognize some of the characters in this Pop-over! For a Marvel-esque experience on Poptropica, you may enjoy PoptropiCon Island.

Hope you enjoyed this Marvel/Poptropica crossover! Let us know what you think of the Marvel heroes, and as always, keep on popping, Poptropicans! 😁

PHB Special: 100 Years of Fashion

Over the course of the past century, beauty standards for both women and men have evolved drastically. From decade to decade, trends have come and gone, altering the perception of what the ideal human (or in this case, Poptropican) looks like.

In this post, we’ll be taking a glide through time, observing how such beauty standards have changed over time, and presenting them with Poptropica avatars. (Please note: This list is more specific to U.S. or Western society.) Let’s begin!


1910’s

In the midst of the Gilded Age, the end of the First World War had a huge impact on industrial production—and this decade witnessed significant beauty revolutions as well.

100 Years of Fashion 1910s

For many years prior to this time, women were pressured to adopt unnatural shapes by wearing panniers to widen the hips and corsets to slim the waist. For once, women were encouraged to embrace a more natural posture, and widespread corsetry ceased. Cosmetics also became more prevalent in the market. It was no longer frowned upon for women to use makeup. Though the popularity of makeup boomed, it was still used in a natural manner only. Full-lengthened dresses and large hats, often embellished with flowers, feathers or beads (or all), were worn like in previous decades before.

During the 1910s, men primarily wore suits that were fitted. Evening wear often consisted of a tailcoat, as it was said to have a slimming effect on the waist – thus making a man more handsome. Hats remained a fashion staple for both men and women, and top hats were common among the upper-class men. As for facial hair, mustaches were at the peak of their popularity, and styles like the chevron mustache and the handlebar mustache were popular choices at this time.


1920’s

100 Years of Fashion 1920s

In The Roaring Twenties, beauty standards changed completely for women. With a growing film industry, big actresses in Hollywood swayed women’s fashion choices. A noteworthy look from this time is the “flapper girl.” Flapper girls wore heavy makeup and short hair, which was contrary to the ideal woman in the 1910s. Now a slim, androgynous figure was the desired body type, and draped dresses with shorter hemlines became popular.

For men, the change was a bit more understated. Top hats and tailcoats became less common. Tuxedos with patterns like plaid or stripes were in fashion in this decade, as well as bowler hats. Charlie Chaplin, an iconic actor at this time, often sported a bowler hat. Beards and mustaches became less popular due to the commercializing of razors becoming more frequent.


1930’s

Despite the Great Depression, fashion was still flourishing in the United States.

100 Years of Fashion 1930s

In the 30s, femininity and modesty was en vogue. Fichus or kerchiefs were worn over the bosom for modesty. Skirts were lengthened and now favored over the shorter skirts worn in the previous decade. Makeup was toned down, though a dark, red lip was still very in-fashion. Short hair still remained common, but was often worn curled, rather than straight like in the 20s look.

Though hats were becoming less popular for women, they remained a man’s identity. The boater hat was an ideal choice at this time. Layering clothing pieces became very prominent in this decade. To achieve a larger build, men wore overcoats over their suits. Facial hair regained popularity with the pencil mustache being the most desired style.


1940’s

The 1940s didn’t bring any significant change for fashion trends from the 1930s. In fact, they were almost the same. There were a few minor changes, however.

100 years of Fashion 1940s

Women kept with the natural look women in the previous decade went for, but toned down their makeup even more. For makeup, a light application of blush and matte lips in a light shade of red was the way to go. Mostly women wore dresses as they did in the 30s, but tailored suits with skirts also became a casual look.

Because of WWII, fabric rations made men’s suits not as stylish as before, but fairly similar. Also due to rations, men’s attire became a bit more casual, but it still maintained a formal feel. The fedora was by far the most widely worn styled hat in the decade. As for facial hair, it became more uncommon. Most adult men were serving in the military, and having facial hair was prohibited. This custom carried on when men returned home and lasted throughout the 50s as well.


1950’s

100 years of Fashion 1950s

In the 50s, many young women began to dress differently than the older women who had a more glamorous look. A popular look for girls was the preppy style pictured here. Dresses with billowy skirts, and bandannas for the hair were very stylish at this time. A natural face, with the exception of a little blush and rouge for the lips, was all a young girl needed to look pretty.

Greasers were a youth subculture that popularized in the 1940s and 1950s. Rock and roll music and doo-wop music were huge parts of the culture as you can tell by the wardrobe. Greasers typically wore black leather jackets over white t-shirts with trousers or jeans. To get their hair in the iconic jellyroll pompadour style, men often used products like petroleum jelly to style it.


1960’s

The latter of the decade saw huge political and cultural changes, and fashion for both women and men were completely different from the start of decade.

100 years of Fashion 1960s

Although the day it was introduced is undetermined, the miniskirt gained huge popularity in the 60s, with hemlines as short as a few inches above the knee. Paisley printed or white poncho blouses were prominent among those affiliated in the hippie movement. Accessories like a pillbox hat and mod sunglasses made for a complete fashionable look.

The popular music group, The Beatles, had a huge influence on men’s fashion. Men’s clothing in the 1960s became more effeminate and colorful. Pants became tighter and sweaters became a popular clothing choice. It was more common for hair to be grown and layered, rather than short and sleek.


1970’s

This decade also witnessed a huge difference in fashion from the beginning to the end.

Disco culture started out as an underground movement, but with the release of Saturday Night Fever (a romantic drama with a disco-centric theme), disco culture became a mainstream fad.

100 years of Fashion 1970s

Wilder, feathered hair with blown out waves represented a mixture between hippie and disco culture, and became the ideal look all women wanted to achieve. Typical dresses worn in the 70s were shorter, looser dresses with yellow, red, and orange tones. A predominantly natural face with a glossy lip was the most common makeup look at this time.

In the previous decades, other than the 60s, men’s fashion changed very subtly. However in the 70s, fashion for men changed immensely. Like women, clothing was patterned and colorful. Shirts were worn tucked in and unbuttoned, collars were worn wide, and pants were worn high-waisted and tight. Aviators were very popular in the 70s, and made for a great accessory. They were usually thin framed with colored lenses.


1980’s

The 1980s were a time of experimenting with bolder fashion looks and self-expression. As they said “The bigger, the better!”

100 years of Fashion 1980s

Perms and mullets were popular hairstyles for men and women. Girls often accessorized with scrunchies and hair bows too. Bright neon colors for clothing and makeup were all the rage. Many people layered clothing items with a jacket or windbreaker worn over a t-shirt. Accessories like sunglasses, belts, and bracelets were also all vital in the wardrobe.


1990’s

80s fashion began to be viewed negatively, so trends were almost opposite during this time. In the 90s, bright colors faded away, and a grungy, subdued look was more in fashion.

100 years of Fashion 1990s

Many women wore their hair down, but many also wore their hair up with chopsticks due to the Chinoiserie trend of this time. Denim overalls were an iconic 90s trend, and have recently made a comeback. Another iconic garment was the choker necklace, which has also regained popularity. For makeup – a bare face with a dark burgundy lip was very common.

Tropical themed sports shirts were in trend for young men at this time, but mainly I took the boy band approach for the look of the guy featured here. With the gravity defying hair and hip-hop style 3D shades, he looks like he could almost be a member of NSYNC.


2000’s

100 years of Fashion 2000s

Celebrities on the red carpet had a huge influence on what many girls wanted to look like. For women, this decade was defined by fake tans and frosted lips. Hair was usually worn flat and straight, sometimes with bangs or poofs. Short denim skirts and ruffled skirts were very popular among young women at this time. Accessories like puppies, a small tie, or a flat cap made any outfit complete.

Many boys and girls also rocked the emo look. Emo is a genre of rock music, characterized by the emphasis of emotion. It emerged in the mid-1980s, but entered mainstream culture in the 2000s. As emo became a mainstream subculture, people who dressed in emo fashion and associated themselves with its music became known as emos or scene kids. Emos typically wore tight shirts and jeans in the color black (sometimes with skulls or emo band names on them), along with eyeliner and black nail polish. Hair was also worn flat and straight, but usually in black, with long bangs to cover the face.


2010’s

Celebrities, social media stars, and blogging platforms all play a huge role on the fashion choices people make. It is even theorized that celebrities are now driving the beauty trends rather than the fashion industry itself. Fashion trends of today are very much evocative of hipster culture. Normcore style has become a prominent aspect of hipster culture in the past few years.

100 years of Fashion 2010s

Popular clothing items for women these days include oversized sweaters, shawl scarves, leggings and high-waisted jeans. Hair with natural waves is also considered to be the most common hairstyle for women of today. In recent years, fuller lips have become the desired look for women. Lots of women will over line their lips with lipstick or consider injections as a way to achieve a fuller lip.

For men, it is a very similar look. Popular clothing choices include scarves, ocher jackets, casual blazers, fitted jeans, and beanies. As for facial hair — a faded beard is becoming a more popular style. In fact, facial hair has had an explosive growth in the last couple of years, and many men are now using their beards as a fashion accessory to showcase their personality.


A lot has changed in the past 100 years, hasn’t it? What’s next? We’ll have to wait and see…

That about finishes it. I hope you enjoyed this PHB special! Props to anyone who made it to the end. Let us know down in the comments which style was your favorite!

Thanks for reading as always, talk to you in the next one.

-Lucky Joker 🍀