Hey Poptropicans, this is a guest post by Dangerous Dragon. Enjoy!
Hi Poptropicans, DD here! (Gosh, it’s been a while.)
So I’ve been seeing MANY MANY comments appearing everywhere about how Poptropica should stop making everything modern. Yes, I think that too. One of the things I’m surprised about is how they changed our nice little crate menu. So let’s get into it!
Poptropica has had this cool crate for a menu for years, and even before this version of it, each menu item had a nice little icon. But why change what wasn’t broken? I thought this was one of the best parts of the game; it was fun opening the menu and seeing all those icons…
…but with the latest Home Island update, the Creators replaced it with a modern-style hamburger menu. Basically just THREE LINES. That’s so boring. Now we just click the button and seeing the extremely long list. I don’t understand what the point of this change was.
Anyway, now let’s go to some of the other issues that have cropped up lately. There have been some really annoying bugs…
Let’s talk about those 30-second full game screen unskippable ads. Ok, I know this is Poptropica’s way of earning money, but there is one problem. Sometimes when you’re patiently waiting for the ad to end, it comes to the end and freezes near 0:01. Then you have to reload everything and watch it again. Come on!
Likewise, while editing your clubhouse, the screen often freezes. (It happened to me a thousand times!) Then, when you reload the screen and come back, most of the things are not saved. This needs to be fixed!
Another issue that’s been happening to a lot of people is the black screen of death. Basically, sometimes when you log in, you get stuck on a black screen that never goes away and the game doesn’t load. When I first got it, I was literally crying and I remember sending the PHB a panicked email. Fortunately, it usually fixes itself by the next day. But it’s still disappointing!
You can also sometimes get around this by logging in on a different account. Meanwhile, wait until the next day to log into your regular account, and send a message to Poptropica support to get them to resolve the issue for you!
Last but not least, the plain pet glitch. For weeks now, pets have mysteriously been stripped of their clothing and custom coloring, and all pet clothing has been missing from our items. Plus, ever since the pet barn disappeared from Home Island, we haven’t been able to use the pet colorizer at all, making for some rather boring, uncustomizable pets. When will Poptropica fix this?
That’s it for this post. What do you think of the new menu? Have you been getting these annoying glitches? Share in the comments, and thanks for reading!
Hey Poptropicans, this is a guest post by White Fox. Enjoy!
Hi, guys! Today I want to talk about the ads in Poptropica.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I totally understand that Poptropica isn’t making as much money as it used to, and advertisements bring in tons of cash, but things have been getting out of hand.
Remember Survival Island? The creators didn’t put a lot of ads there, because they wanted you to feel like you are stranded, and you don’t usually find advertisements for Rolex watches in the middle of the woods. Not having ads helped set the mood of the place.
Now, I find ads everywhere, and I don’t feel that stranded-in-the-forest vibe at all. Then there’s the matter of all the ads in your inventory.
I didn’t even watch the ad videos for these items! I just logged on one day, and I got a ton of stuff that I didn’t want. And it really fills up your inventory space! I wish Poptropica didn’t give you ad items without a choice, because it makes you scroll through a bunch of stuff just to get something you need for an island, and sometimes, you might not even like the stuff you get.
Even for people who do like the advertisement prizes, not keeping it separate from the items you need on an island is maddening. I can’t speak for everyone, but I really wish the creators would give you a choice, instead of stuffing random ad prizes into your inventory, where it takes up space and pushes your important items to the back.
As Slanted Fish noted in the 2019 PHB post “Is Poptropica turning into Mocktropica Island?,” the game has been falling into the traps of user-unfriendliness the island warned about in its cautionary tale. In Mocktropica, ads for Mega Fighting Bots popped up everywhere, and recently, when I was playing through 24 Carrot Island, Dr. Hare’s face was covered by an ad.
It’s upsetting that such an important part of the story — one of the most famous villains in Poptropica — was hidden because an advertisement for clothing had popped up. This could really make it hard to win islands, because I couldn’t see what he was saying. Even though I’d played the island before and knew what to do, it was still annoying.
Anyway, that just about wraps up this post! I hope the creators were reading this, because all this advertising stuff is really getting overwhelming. Thanks for reading!
Hey Poptropicans, this is a guest post from HfEvra, who will be discussing ideas for changes to classic islands should they get remade in Haxe. Enjoy!
Greetings, fellow humanoid creatures with unrealistic proportions who lack ears and noses! My name is HfEvra or Mess of a Being (or Messy Knuckle in-game) and I’m here today with a guest post about island stories.
Though the fandom at large seems to be disappointed by the changed gameplay of the first (and currently only) Haxe remaster, Mythology Island, its existence has made me hopeful that perhaps remastered islands could also have story changes in addition to gameplay changes. In this post, I’ll go over some of the story changes I’d like to see in future Haxe remasters. (Warning: Contains spoilers for Mission Atlantis, Super Villain, and Monster Carnival.) Without further ado, let’s begin!
#1: More on the aliens in Mission Atlantis
One of my biggest gripes about Mission Atlantis Island is how little we learn about the aliens of the story. Poptropica had already made an island about potential alien life (Lunar Colony) two years before the release of Mission Atlantis: Episode 3; and despite it being an island I have very mixed feelings about, I firmly believe that the story of Mission Atlantis pales in comparison.
The big reason for this is that in Mission Atlantis, the alien aspect seems to come out of left field with no prior build-up in episodes 1 & 2. It doesn’t seem really well thought-out, and feels a lot like it was just thrown into the story for no other reason than because the writers wanted to subvert the players’ expectations by having it so that an island called Mission Atlantis doesn’t even have an Atlantis.
At least in other mystery islands like Ghost Story and Steamworks, there was constant progress being made with the mystery. The more you played, the more questions were answered as to why everything is the way it is. The answers weren’t as blatant and in your face as islands like Mystery Train, but they were still there.
With Mission Atlantis, there’s barely any time for the alien mystery to be expanded on — we spend the entire second episode trying to find a way inside a mysterious underwater structure, and then spend the entire third episode trying to find a way out of it. We get a small slideshow near the end of the third episode, but even then, that slideshow doesn’t tell us much beyond the reveal that the fortress is of alien origin and has been underwater since before the continents were formed.
I understand that the reveal of the fortress being unrelated to Atlantis is meant to be a twist, but that doesn’t mean we can’t know a little more about the extraterrestrials to whom this vessel belonged. Sure, the artifacts and glyphs from Episode 2 are a start, but there are more ways to scatter clues throughout the story without having them instantly spoil the twist. After all, Super Villain and Mocktropica could leave a trail of clues; I’m certain Mission Atlantis could benefit greatly from it.
#2: The totems in Super Villain
Speaking of Super Villain Island, another story change which I’d love to see in a Haxe remaster is changing what the totems in the villains’ dreams are meant to represent.
The plot of Super Villain Island revolves around helping Dr. Jupiter by removing totems of evil from the minds of some of Poptropica’s most infamous villains in an attempt to bring them back to the light, only to find out that Dr. Jupiter is Zeus in disguise and that he wants to use the power of the totems to take over Poptropica. And though this isn’t necessarily a bad idea for a story, the plot suffers in its treatment of the totems less like a source of evil energy and more like a physical manifestation of a person’s dark side, which can simply be removed from a person’s mind with no immediate consequences.
Not only does Super Villain not at all address the aftermath of the totem removal and the (former) villains’ escape, it glosses over some other pretty important questions: Have these people been completely stripped of any and all evil? Is it possible for them to go back to villainy, or will they remain cleansed for all eternity? And if they truly are good now, what will happen with their former victims? Will they be obligated to forgive the people who have tried to ruin their lives?
Due to how the island immediately shifts all its attention to Zeus following the retrieval of all the totems, none of these questions are given so much as a passing mention. Not even the bonus quest gives us any answers — it’s basically a fetch quest that takes place in Zeus’ dreams. (By the way, is there any reason as to why the player can’t also just take out Zeus’ totem of evil and turn him into an ally? Wouldn’t it be very helpful to have the king of the gods on our side? Just saying.)
#3: The ending of Monster Carnival
Would you look at that? This month’s Island Flash-back actually found its way onto the list! And it’s for good reason.
If there is one thing that almost the entire fandom unanimously agrees on, it’s that the ending of Monster Carnival is extremely problematic due to the way it dehumanizes a man of color who was already treated as a literal monster by the narrative because of an aspect of himself that he had no control over. Although I do not fully agree with the idea that Ringmaster Raven did nothing wrong ever, I am of the opinion that the punishment is far too severe for the crime, especially considering how villains like the Shogun from Red Dragon and Scheherazade from Arabian Nights committed far worse crimes and got away scot-free.
I already made an entire video months ago talking about the messed up implications of Monster Carnival’s story, so I will not re-tread that ground. All I will say is that the way Monster Carnival went out of its way to give Ringmaster Raven one of the saddest backstories in the game and then stripped him of his free will to make him go through even more suffering is not okay. If I could change only one thing about Poptropica, it would be Monster Carnival’s ending.
(Thankfully, it does seem that the creators are aware of the community’s view of Monster Carnival, as evidenced by the Q&A with the CEO back in November. Does this mean that justice will finally be served after seven years? Fingers crossed!)
Hope you enjoyed this guest post by HfEvra (Mess of a Being). If you did, you might also enjoy other posts in our Pop Petition series.
The Poptropica Help Blog welcomes interesting Poptropica insights from anyone in the Poptropica community with thoughts to share. Interested in writing for the PHB? We’d love to hear from you! 📰✨
As you may have gained from the title of this post, I’m here to discuss a Poptropica island that, although it had lots of great potential, is often overlooked by fans, and was even erased from the map altogether two years ago. Yes, I’m talking about Monkey Wrench.
It’s easy to see why this island is so frequently forgotten, as it was only a tutorial island; incomparable to greater classics such as Astro-Knights or Skullduggery. But, even though it was only invented to teach new Poptropicans how to play, I still felt that Monkey Wrench was quite a bit more than that. To better understand what I’m on to, take a look at the following reasons for why I think Monkey Wrench should be brought back.
One of the biggest things that made me get so attached to this short but sweet island is the lore it provided. You’re probably wondering what I mean; Monkey Wrench didn’t give us a full, thoughtful story to think over, unlike other islands that centered on their storytelling. But it did give us something I never expected to have a real answer for, least of all from a tutorial island; where the iconic Poptropica blimp came from.
I’m sure many of us wondered how one of Poptropica’s most well-known features, the golden blimp, came to sit on Home Island the moment we created our Poptropican avatars. And it was a big surprise when the answer to this longstanding question came in the form of a tutorial island! Besides, learning where your blimp comes from is a perfect introduction to Poptropica. In my opinion, Monkey Wrench succeeded all expectationsof what a tutorial should be.
You may still be slightly doubtful about how important Monkey Wrench really was. I know one thing that bothered a lot of players about this island was how many game controls were taught during it, interrupting the experience; but, after all, Monkey Wrench is a tutorial. If it didn’t teach you how to control your avatar, speed up the dialogue, and use items from your backpack, that would have ruined the whole point. (Although I do think it would be interesting to see Monkey Wrench expanded into a full island.)
Another reason why I think Monkey Wrench should return is the amount of design that went into it. The visual scenery, character design, and audio soundtracks were all amazing, and I don’t think such beautiful work should go to waste so quickly. A couple of my favorite scenes from Monkey Wrench include Amelia’s airplane soaring over the majestic Poptropican sea during the Flying Ace Race, as well as all of the lush tropical scenery on Crusoe’s island.
And the visual design isn’t the only ‘wow’ factor in this island; I truly mean it when I say Monkey Wrench’s soundtracks were some of the best in Poptropica. (You can listen to them on SoundCloud.) Each music piece sets the mood perfectly, with the right amount of action, calm, and fun. Not to mention that there were at least four separate soundtracks created all for this one smaller island!
And we haven’t even reached the character design yet. The Red Baroness, Monkey Wrench’s main villain, had a spectacular outfit going, and I was always very intrigued by her. If only Monkey Wrench could be returned to the map and possibly expanded on, it would give us a chance to delve deeper into her back story; and find out just where she got to when her plane crashed in the ocean! Does the great Red Baroness live on?
After all that, Poptropica’s current tutorial island, Snagglemast, pales in comparison to Monkey Wrench. While Monkey Wrench provides story, suspense, scenery, music, and even an explanation for Poptropica’s iconic blimp, Snagglemast gives us a much shorter quest of collecting coins from across the small island. Let’s not forget that the tutorial is also very important because it’s most new players’ first impressions of Poptropica. If the tutorial island is made carelessly, than new players probably won’t want to stay around for long.
Although I had already played Poptropica for a time before Monkey Wrench was released, I would have been glad if Monkey Wrench were my first impression of the game, because it truly shows what Poptropica is all about; storytelling. Even though Monkey Wrench’s story is short and doesn’t reach as deep as other, bigger islands, it still has a small amount of lore, and that’s what counts. Whereas if a new player plays Snagglemast as their first island, they would most likely think Poptropica was nothing more than several short fetch quests.
To conclude: if the Creators are reading this post, I hope you’ll take into consideration what I’ve said. Monkey Wrench will always hold a special place with me, and it would be all for the better if it returns someday.
This is a guest post by Tiff on why Poptropica should focus more on their older players.The following is the writer’s opinion only. Enjoy!
Hi, I’m Tiff, and I want to talk about a few things—but most importantly, the idea that Poptropica should gear the game toward older kids.
Despite the fact that Poptropica bills itself as a children’s game, fewer and fewer young kids are interested in Poptropica these days. In fact, if you look at the PHB’s surveys, you’ll find that the majority of players are 13 and up (at least, the majority of who read this fan site are teens and young adults).
If the Creators want to keep Pop going, they’ll need to create content suitable for the audience they have and expand on that, rather than holding onto the past ideal of being suited for kids. They need to grow with their fanbase, so that they’re not left behind by their competitors.
After all, Poptropica is my favorite game, and I really want it to stay. Plus, with an evolving games market, and a growing trend for augmented or virtual reality, I wonder if they can explore that avenue further.
And as we know, Poptropica has been putting a little too much emphasis on Membership. I know they’ve been working on the Islands, and bringing the old ones back, but they really should be available to all players, not just members. This post isn’t necessarily about the paywall, but more on the fact that the Creators seem to only orient their game for a subset of players that they find more valuable—whether that’s members or younger kids—rather than focusing on the majority of who’s already here: the non-members and the older players. I’m here to say, Creators, focus on who your players are now, not who they used to be, and expand from there.
Creators: grow with the game, and grow with the times. We are not kids anymore, we’re teens and young adults. Poptropica’s demographic has changed, so let’s change the game with it. It’s supply and demand: the demand is the older demographic, the little kids who aren’t so little anymore, who’ve grown up with Poptropica and have stuck around for the fun and nostalgia. And the supply is Poptropica, which needs to adapt for this crowd which seems to make up the majority of our community these days.
Let’s be a little less forceful in trying to promote our game to a younger audience, who seem to have already moved on to other things—after all, there’s not much a new player can do on Poptropica these days as they’re locked into a Haxe account with few islands—and perhaps, with careful consideration for the older demographic (and particularly our desire for islands with deep storytelling), Poptropica’s demand may rise again.
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 page on how to Write for the PHB, and share blog posts on the PHC.
📰 If you have an idea for a PHB post, send it in! ✨