Pop 5: Why Poptropica is the best game for kids — a parent’s perspective

Hey Poptropicans—this is a guest post by Leona Henryson, a mother and educator who, along with her son, enjoys Poptropica and its fan community. From the perspective of one parent, here’s why Poptropica is great for kids!

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Games have exploded across the years and are now found everywhere – on our phones, computers and the internet. The good news is that they’ve been coopted into doing more than just entertaining. They now educate in equal measures. This means they are useful for children and adults to learn everything from languages to math.

An example which nicely straddles the border between entertainment and education is the game Poptropica. This game, specifically designed for children and offers them an environment that is safe, even while allowing them to interact with millions of other children. They hone their puzzle-solving skills and collect points with which they can upgrade the appearance of their character. All while being kept safe and secure.

So what are the big advantages of the game?

#1: It’s hugely entertaining

There really is no getting around it. This game is hugely entertaining. There are so many different games that go in so many different directions that children will be sure to find something they’ll enjoy doing.

In fact, so many people have such good memories of the game growing up that they’ll return to it when they’re older just to go on a trip down memory lane.

Heck, even parents sometimes get sucked into the platform themselves, due to its entertaining puzzles, its whimsical characters and its funny ideas. That means that this offers a great opportunity to play games together.

And naturally, it’s hugely important that the game actually entertains children. After all, whatever other educational or social advantages the game has, if children don’t actually want to go on there to play, then it won’t be much use, will it?

#2: It performs as a gateway

In today’s environment it is important we all learn computer literacy, as a lot of the jobs that are going to be created in the next decades are going to depend on how well we can interact with computers. At the same time, we don’t want to just thrust our children into the world wild web, with its trolls, stalkers and adult topics.

That’s where platforms like Poptropica come in. They teach the former, while making sure the latter problems can’t intrude. In this way, it forms a great way for your children to start learning how to use the internet. They’ll come to learn a great deal of the basic ideas that govern how we interact with virtual environments and begin to understand the underlying ideas.

#3: Safe interaction

Another nice advantage is that the game has been constructed in such a way that children can interact and play games together, without inviting the problems normally associated with that kind of thing. On the different islands in the game, children can play games against other players and even communicate with them – albeit through a limited repertoire of dialogue options.

This means that children get to enjoy one of the most exciting aspects of the online word – namely being together with millions of other children who are sharing the same experiences – while not running any risk.

#4: It’s great to do together

The game can be at its most rewarding if actually done together with your child – particularly if they’re still young. That’s because some of the puzzles can be a bit challenging. Another thing to note is that though their English does not have to be at the level of an essay writing service, they do need pretty decent reading skills to understand the nature of some of the puzzles.

This could be seen as a drawback, but you can also turn this into a learning opportunity. For example, by helping your kid find the islands they enjoy the most and the topics that most excite them, you’re going to be able to get an idea of what they actually enjoy. This you can then explore further offline, for example. Or you can use it as a way to find interesting topics that you wish to broach.

In this way, the game can become a fantastic educational tool as well, as it opens up roadways and paths for you to find topics your kids find exciting.

#5: It’s worth your time

If you’re looking for a safe and fun way for your children to spend time online, then you have to check out Poptropica. It’s a highly enjoyable environment that you and your kids will love to explore and learn about.

This can be done for free. Alternatively, you can pay for a month of access for $3 US – which really isn’t going to break the bank – in order to get full member access. This opens up some more islands, gives them early access to the new islands being designed, and gives kids full access to the store where they can design the look of their character.

Whatever way you choose, you’re not going to be disappointed by Poptropica.


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Leona Henryson! For another perspective that offers 5 more reasons Poptropica is great for kids, check out this post with thoughts from a former Poptropica Creator, James Lema (Director D).

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 PHB post, we’d love to hear it!

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Pop 5: Books that would make great Poptropica Islands

Hey Poptropicans—this is a guest post by Striped Cactus, who shares about some books that, in her opinion, would make awesome Poptropica Islands. You, too, can write for the PHB—take a look down below to find out how!

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Admit it: we’ve all had a moment when we’ve been watching a movie or reading a book, and then suddenly it hits you that “this would be a great Poptropica Island!” And then you get distracted by thinking about how the storyline would go, the Poptropicans you would meet, the items you would pick up… No? Just me?

Well, here’s a Pop 5 list of literary places I wish were in Poptropica. Keep in mind, since Poptropica is technically a “kids’ game,” I’m keeping my list age-appropriate.

#5: A Wrinkle In Time

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Yeah, maybe part of my inspiration for this is the hype for the reboot of the movie coming out soon, but this has always been one of my favorite books, and how awesome would it be to have your Poptropican be a stand-in for Meg, going on adventures with Calvin and Charles-Wallace? I would kill for a Poptropican island for Wrinkle.

I’m thinking a boss battle with IT comparable to the Red Dragon boss battle at the end of that island (Cloud Dragon vs Fire Dragon), or something like the Steamworks boss battle.

#4: The Lightning Thief

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This is just too good of an opportunity to pass up. I’ve always dreamed of having a Camp Half-Blood t-shirt for my Poptropican, and I’m talking outside of that one ad they did for the Sea of Monsters ad millennia ago. I’m thinking spacebar activates Riptide, ya know, with some mini battles every time you have to fight a monster… It would be a very unique island to the Poptropica universe, but it would be so awesome.

#3: The Harry Potter Series

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Now, if you know me well enough, you’ll know that I’ve always been on the borderline with Harry Potter. It’s never been my favorite book series and I never could quite understand the hype that the fans associated with it, but on all levels, I admit the Harry Potter books would make one heck of a Poptropica island. Think getting to choose your own house, a Quidditch mini game, Voldemort boss battle, a scene in the Hogwarts Express—the opportunities for that are endless.

Related: Check out the PHB’s Harry Pop-ter and the PHB Pop-over post for some Harry Potter costumes on Poptropica!

#2: The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles

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I know few people have heard of this book, but hear me out. It’s written by Julie Andrews herself (The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins) and it’s a book that changed my life when I was younger, inspiring me to take writing seriously. The plot resembles something I could definitely envision as a Poptropica island.

Three children must learn to submit themselves to their imaginations to travel into something of an alternate dimension where a mystical creature called a Whangdoodle lives, the last of his kind. Guiding them is a man known mostly as “the professor” and he holds the key to cloning a Whangdoodle, in hopes that there would be more in the future. Sort of like if you mixed Twisted Thicket with Mission Atlantis.

#1: A Tale Dark and Grimm

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A Tale Dark and Grimm still remains my favorite book of all time. Yeah, some parts of it might be a tad bit gruesome for kids. When the book was written, the imagery was left to the imagination, but if you’re seeing some of the stuff described as an animated video game, those could be frightening images.

I mean, granted… when it comes to the Poptropica Creators, we’re talking about the same creeps (and I say this with love) who made the Jersey Devil that haunted my childhood so, I guess these things are possible. A combination of some of the most classic fairy tales while also providing some valuable and realistic life lessons? Very cool.

I’d love to hear some of your guys’s ideas for books that would make cool Poptropica islands! Be sure to tell me in the comments. 🙂

Stay safe out there, everybody.

—Striped Cactus


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Striped Cactus! To learn more about the writer, check out Striped Cactus’s My Place in Poptropica story.

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 PHB post, send it in!

Pop 5: Goals for After You’ve Beat All the Islands

Hey Poptropicans! This is a guest post written by Poptropica community member Gabren (Mythical Beard), with 5 ideas for things to do after you’ve beat all the islands. Enjoy!

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So you’ve finished all the islands in Poptropica. You’ve beaten every last one. You feel pretty good about yourself. So you’re done, right? You beat the game, after all. Or did you?

Before you reach for that exit button, consider trying these challenges in-game:

1) Time yourself on the islands and set new records.

See how fast you can beat an island! And I’m not talking about any island, either. I’m talking about one of the looooong islands, like Escape From Pelican Rock. (My best time for that one was 36 minutes, 12 seconds.)

This is one of those addicting time-wasters that takes skill, patience, and just a little bit of luck. See if you can beat my score and set some new records for yourself!

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2) Wear every item in the game at least once.

Being able to say that you’ve worn every item, male and female, in the game, is a very impressive feat. (I still have yet to complete this one.)

Glitching tools like the Avatar Studio Glitch (ASG) and iPop can help you change your gender and access all kinds of rare items.

With the ASG, you to change into a whole new outfit almost instantly. And with iPop, you can view and send various items to your account, plus other benefits like increasing your battle ranking. You can find both these tools (and more) on the PHB’s Glitching page.

3) Contribute to the Poptropica Help Blog.

Why not? You want to see more good posts, right? Why not have it be one of your own? Check out ideas, guidelines, and more on the Write for the PHB page!

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4) Get a 5-star battle ranking.

By winning mini-games against other players in common rooms, you can increase your battle ranking: that’s the five little stars in the upper-left corner that you can see when you hover your mouse over yourself or another player in a common room.

Many people don’t have a five-star ranking, so it’s pretty impressive to have one (that is, unless you used iPop to get one).

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For advice on all the multiplayer games, check out the PHB’s Game Guides!

5) Make and share some ASG accounts.

So we talked about the Avatar Studio Glitch (ASG). But did you know that it is possible to make your own ASGs? Just keep a few things in mind when you make your own:

  1. Your ASG must be wearing one of the following: jetpack from Early Poptropica, glider from Time Tangled, bowtie from Spy, or chameleon suit from Spy.
  2. If you want to share your ASG on the PHB, make sure your ASG is unique so the collection doesn’t have too many overlaps.
  3. Have fun!

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So that’s it for now. Tell me what you guys think!

Keep popping,

Gabren


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Gabren, also known as Mythical Beard! You might also like another one of his guest posts: Why do Poptropicans change their look so much?

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 PHB post, send it in!

Pop 5: Inspired Islands

Hey Poptropicans! This is a guest post written by Poptropica community member Crazy Peppers, who’s here to share about Poptropica islands shaped by popular culture. Enjoy!

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Hey! It’s Crazy Peppers here with a second guest post on the PHB (I also recently shared a My Place in Poptropica story here).

I’ve noticed some similarities between storylines from Poptropica islands and other stories in pop culture, and I wanted to do a post highlighting some of them. So, here’s my “Pop 5” list of islands inspired by outside influences!

#5: PoptropiCon Island

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While the plot of this island is pretty original, the setting and characters feel heavily inspired. PoptropiCon isn’t just any old fan convention—its logo bears striking similarity to that of San Diego Comic Con!

As for the characters, the Mighty Action Force parodies many Marvel and DC heroes and villains we know: Elf Archer is Hawkeye, World Guy is Captain America, Gold Face is Iron Man, Teen Arachnid is Spider Man, Dirt Claude is Clayface, K-Man is Superman, and Omegon is Ultron. Also, Stan Ditko could be a cross between Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

Check out the PHB’s PoptropiCon Island Guide for more interesting trivia.

#4: Shark Tooth Island

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This island is like the movie “Jaws”: there is a shark threatening a town, and it gets stopped with a special formula. But here there’s also a tropical island, a medicine man, and an ancient temple—none of these are in Jaws, so that’s pretty neat.

Shark Tooth Island also gives us a stranded boy, a professor, and a very special boy (RIP Shark Boy). Castaway Island, where the boy and prof are stranded, even has Wilson the volleyball from the movie “Cast Away.”

Check out the PHB’s Shark Tooth Island Guide for more interesting trivia.

#3: Crisis Caverns Island

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Crisis Caverns bears quite a bit of resemblance to “Journey to the Center of the Earth” by Jules Verne. In both stories, you enter the earth’s crust through a cave, encounter strange creatures at the core, and have to get out before a volcano erupts. There are differences, of course—for one thing, in Crisis Caverns, you’re at a state park.

Check out the PHB’s Crisis Caverns Island Guide for more interesting trivia.

#2: SOS Island

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This island has traces of both the book Moby Dick and the movie “Titanic.” First, the resemblances to Moby Dick: there’s a guy named Ishmael, a white whale and a captain who does not like the white whale. As for “Titanic”: there’s a big ship sinking from an iceberg crash, and people need to be rescued.

There is some originality, too: for example, a bonus quest where you need to clog the oil leaks from the ship. That is not in either Moby Dick or “Titanic.”

Check out the PHB’s SOS Island Guide for more interesting trivia.

#1: Escape From Pelican Rock Island

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Like SOS, Escape From Pelican Rock also appears to draw ideas from more than one source. This time, it’s a combination of the films “Escape From Alcatraz” (based on a true story) and “The Shawshank Redemption.”

For the former, we have Bay City/San Francisco as the setting, with a high security prison on an island, much like the former Alcatraz prison. You escape with rafts and twins in tow, with a dummy of your head resting on your prison bed. It’s also like “The Shawshank Redemption” because you were framed for a crime you didn’t commit and sent to prison for it.

Check out the PHB’s Escape From Pelican Rock Island Guide for more interesting trivia.

Well, there you have it, folks—a list of the top 5 most inspired islands (in my opinion). What do you think? What else would you add to this list?

And, cut!


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Crazy Peppers!

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 PHB post, write it up and send it in!

Pop 5: Most Educational Islands

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

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Hey Poptropicans, it’s Purple Claw, and today I’ve got a Pop 5 list for Poptropica’s most educational islands! Previously, I made a post asking which Poptropica (Original or Worlds) was more educational, and [spoiler alert] Original won that round.

So now, I’ve made a list of top 5 educational islands, all from Pop Original! Keep in mind that this list is just my opinion, and it may contain spoilers. That said, let’s get into it!

#5: COUNTERFEIT ISLAND

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Counterfeit Island is really well-made, with lots and lots of art, a really exciting mystery, and a super cool villain (#BlackWidowFTW). Also the Balloon Boy long-running gag started on this very island, so you can blame Counterfeit Island for the whole “dearest Balloon Boy” thing in new Poptropica Worlds trailer.

The most educational thing about this island were, of course, the art pieces at the art museum. That’ll probably help you a bit in class, in case a teacher that lame asks you about a painting and who made it, and if you know it because you saw it on Poptropica, you’re in luck! If you didn’t get that info from Pop, well… kudos to you. If you didn’t know the answer at all… then… you’re on your own.

I’m getting off track here… so let’s continue on, shall we?

#4: VIRUS HUNTER ISLAND

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Hear me out on this one. I’m aware that this island is hated by, like, most of the community because of its glitches and its overall grossness, but it can still be educational.

Basically, on this island you travel through a person’s body to kill a deadly virus. In your adventures, you travel through different parts of a human’s body, such as the heart and brain, plus you learn how dangerous deadly viruses can be. It could be more informative, but it’s a decent start.

Still, I must say, this island isn’t really that well made. The bright colors sometimes hurt my eyes, plus the difficulty is extremely hard and a bit annoying at times. But overall, it’s not half bad.

#3: RED DRAGON ISLAND

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Red Dragon Island is one of Poptropica’s most popular islands, and for good reason. It’s visually great, the story is really interesting (though it’s inspired by a non-Poptropica book), the platforming is fun and not too frustrating, and it’s also pretty educational.

It’s a really beautiful island which introduces us to good ol’ ancient Japan and its culture. From sumo wrestling, to helping random strangers, writing Japanese characters, catching mythical river demons, snipping meticulously at bonsai trees (that’s sorta educational, right?), to fighting Japanese dragons – this island is full of interesting tidbits!

#2: TIME TANGLED ISLAND

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While I think Time Tangled is a bit, well, overrated, there’s no denying it’s one of Poptropica’s most educational islands. I mean, when you go back in time to various periods of history, there’s just so much to see.

You go to Mount Everest, to Ancient Greece, to all sorts of places to repair the future, but while you’re doing that, you actually learn something. The new SUI version doesn’t have those Fact Monster bubbles I mentioned in a previous post (thankfully), but even still, you might pick up a new fact or two as you explore these historical environments.

However, there’s a glitch to play the non-SUI version of Time Tangled, with all the Fact Monster bubbles. To activate it, make sure you have the time device given to you by your older self, then go into the Party Time Tower common room, use the device to go to any time period, and voila! The whole island will be a non-SUI! (Special thanks to Tall Melon for reminding me about it!)

#1: MYTHOLOGY ISLAND

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Ah, Mythology Island! This island intrigued me, not just because of the wonderful storyline and the visually great graphics, but because I learned a whole lot about Greek mythology too!

As some of you might know, I was born in Greece. I learned a little about Greek mythology in third grade, but not much, so it was really cool to explore it more in Poptropica.

Everything about this island is educational, and really fun at the same time. There’s the museum of Olympus (which has info about various Greek gods and goddesses), Aphrodite’s minigame where you’re supposed to guess the deities’ names, and all the mythical creatures you get to meet. The whole island is really well thought-out!


I congratulate Poptropica for making islands that are both educational and really fun at the same time. They really can appeal to everyone!

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

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

🐾 Purple Claw 🐾
:mrgreen:🌊

Pop 5: Most Immersive Islands

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Hiya, Silver Wolf here with a Pop 5 post!

Islands can be fun, easy, or hard, but there are some that just… stand out. The mood and scenery create the mesmerizing feeling of actually saving an island yourself and not just as your Poptropican in a game. These islands make it feel like you’re really part of the story, and I’m here to recognize them!

Before we start, though, here are examples of why some islands’ “immersiveness” was ruined: time pieces were missing (going from day to night), the island was difficult enough at parts that it made you keenly aware it was a game, it became repetitive, it was only immersive in certain areas, or the story was broken into pieces (such as episodic islands). There are some other reasons, but those eliminated a lot!

#5: Vampire’s Curse Island

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This island expels creepiness from the very beginning, even if they are clichés. The lightning and rain in the background and *gasp* sound of thunder in a non-updated island is enough to get someone interested, but it goes further when you get to the medieval castle, where there’s also a blood red sky.

Plus, the first time you enter the castle it’s nearly pitch black, furthering its mood until you finally end with the infamous kiss… Yes, the kiss we all cringed at and thought was disgusting even though they were just pixels on a screen (yay for immersion!). Ultimately, the scenery and sound make it feel like you’re in the island, sadly even to the kiss.

#4: Mystery Train Island

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From decor to language to outfits, Mystery Train practically yells that it’s in the 1890s, and it does it well, especially if you dress for the occasion! Not only that, but it really feels like you’re a clever detective that, by piecing together clues and talking to other Poptropicans, can find the culprit.

It truly makes you feel like the next Sherlock Holmes. After all, as seen on the Mystery Train Inspector card, “The game is afoot!” It is similar to Spy Island’s premise mystery-wise, but its scenery is really what ties it together and makes you feel like you’re truly living luxuriously in the 1890s.

#3: 24 Carrot Island

24 Carrot Island was immersive before its sound update, and it definitely became incredibly immersive after. The crying mayor, eerie music, background scenery, occasional crow call, and helplessness of the citizens just give it that feeling that something has gone terribly wrong — and you can help it.

Eventually, you get invested in the story; what happened, who did it, and how? Even inside the factory, seeing the mind-controlled people just adds to how immersive it is. You get lost in the story and feeling of it all until the very end when you earn your medal!

#2: Ghost Story Island

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This was probably expected by many of you, as it’s popular for its unnerving tone, background, sounds, and plot. The whole ghost facade, the old and cobweb-ridden house, the sudden and creepy voice by Fiona, and the beautiful yet sad violin tune definitely all set the unsettling mood.

Well, all of that is true until (spoiler!) you find out it’s actually a love story, but even then, the plot only thickens and makes you want to know more until you forget you’re even playing a game. Yeah, this island is so immersive I’m not sure adding music and sound could even do much other than enhance its already stunning qualities.

#1: Steamworks Island

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This will probably be my most unpopular decision, but let me explain first. This island really makes you feel like you’re supposed to. At least, that’s what it did for me. The majority of the island is desolate except for broken down machines and overgrown vines. You’re alone. No sound (I think that is actually good for this island). No dialogue with people until near the end.

I truly felt lonely when playing this island, and that’s the purpose; if you were all alone on an island with the only signs of life being monsters and a friendly robot, would you feel lonely? Yes, and that’s the point of immersion! You feel like you’re the person you’re playing. Sure, there are some other scary islands, but they don’t really ever make you get so absorbed that you feel scared long after, and that is the exact reason why I think Steamworks deserves the #1 spot. It does that, and its story is fascinating.


What do you think of this list? Which islands on Poptropica have immersed you into their world the best? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

~SW

Pop 5: MiniGame Collections

This post originally appeared on Poptropica Fun Zone and is being shared on the PHB courtesy of the author, Hyper Gamer. See the bottom of this post for how you, too, can write for the PHB!

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Hi everyone. Today, I will be talking about the best mini-games you can play, categorized by island. These mini-games require getting to a certain part of the island before you can play them, and many of them are collections with lots of games in one island. Plus, you can play them even after you have completed the island.

This was originally published as a “Pop 6” list, but in keeping with PHB tradition, this is post will give the “Pop 5,” with the full list on the original. Now, onto the list!

#6: Wimpy Boardwalk

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There are a lot of mini-games you can play on Wimpy Boardwalk: Himalayan Hurl, Fastball Fury, Circus Soaker, Space Fling, and Pirate Panic. These mini-games are fun and somewhat of a challenge, but they really aren’t that hard.

In order to access these games, you have to be a member, since non-members can only play a demo of the island. Also, you need to obtain a certain item in order to win Himalayan Hurl. You’ll also need to accrue tokens, found around the island, to play these games.

#5: Wild West

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There are a lot of mini-games you can play on Wild West: Slap-Jack, Shooting Contest, Spit-N-Time, and Slots. They can be found on various parts of the island.

In most of these games, you get to play against other characters, except Slots where you play against the machine. This makes for more of a challenge as you have someone to compete with, even if they are computer-controlled.

#4: Wimpy Wonderland

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There are two mini-games you can play on Wimpy Wonderland: Twisted Wizard and Bingo. Bingo is only available for members. Twisted Wizard is available for anybody that has completed Wimpy Wonderland.

Personally, I think Twisted Wizard is a really fun game that you can play on any non-SUI island once you unlock it. You can find the CD in your games or island inventory.

Bingo, found in Leisure Towers, is also a fun game, but takes some concentration. I’d say Twisted Wizard is more fun, though.

#3: Game Show

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There are a lot of mini-games you can play on Game Show Island: Mr. Yoshi’s Super Terrific Challenge, Kerplunk, Spin for Riches, Scardy Pants, and Brainiacs.

These games are a mix of games based on skill in doing challenges and games that use knowledge. The knowledge-based games tend to repeat questions, but the skill-based games have challenges that you can play over and over.

#2: PoptropiCon Ep. 2, Spoiler Alert

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The Mighty Action Force card game is the biggest game talked about in PoptropiCon. The MAF card game is super fun. It is a game I keep going back to play. You even have the option to change your deck with the cards you found so you can make it better.

There are two people you can choose from to battle on the island. The game is simple and very easy to access from the end of the episode.

Want to find out what #1 is? See the original post over on Poptropica Fun Zone!


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Hyper Gamer! If you did, be sure to check out his blog, Poptropica Fun Zone.

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 PHB post, send it in!