Guest Posts, Pop Petitions

Pop Petition: Bring back credit rewards for island completions

Hey Poptropicans, this is a guest post by Giant Dragon. Enjoy!

Hi y’all, Giant Dragon here with a Pop Petition: bringing back credit rewards for island completions!

So, before a recent update, a key way of earning credits in Poptropica was to fly around in your blimp and complete the islands. But now you only get this:

You see, now the only thing you get for completing an island is a medallion and a congrats note. So now the only major way left to get credits is the daily login rewards. (You could also play arcade games and the Baron’s mini-game when it’s around, but they only offer a little.)

And I honestly think it’s not enough. First, the Pop store (Adventure Outfitters) gets updated every week with new costumes. I still think the prices are a bit too high.

But for those Poptropicans who received the 5000 credit bonus, I guess they don’t have to worry about credits for a while. Still, for those Poptropicans who didn’t, I think it’s a really hard time for them because they will want to buy new outfits from the store, and if you buy all the outfits, you will have a bill of around 2000 credits and that’s toooooo high. Not only that, but the Baron’s ship is offering great (but pricy) costumes and decor!

So if you don’t buy them, you are gonna regret it because they are so cool, and even if you do buy them, you will regret too because they cost so much. But if we had credit rewards from islands, we wouldn’t have to think about it at all. If only we could just replay islands for more credits like before. I really think the island credits gotta come back, don’t you?

That’s all from me today. Bye, and keep your eyes popped for my future posts!

~Giant Dragon 🐲

Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Giant Dragon. If you did, you might also enjoy his other recent guest post, a clubhouse tour!

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! 📰✨

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 — 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! 🏝

⌛️ 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 focus—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. 💙

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!

the Poptropica Help Blog

Pop Petitions

Pop Petition: Craving the crate and bothersome bugs off the menu 📦

Hey Poptropicans, this is a guest post by Dangerous DragonEnjoy!

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!

Unskippable ads dominate the game screen

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!

Load, load for eternity…

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!

Keep Popping,
DD 💜

Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Dangerous Dragon. If you did, you might also enjoy his other posts, such as DD’s clubhouse tour.

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! 📰✨

Guest Posts, Pop Petitions

Pop Petition: Tone down the ads

Hey Poptropicans, this is a guest post by White FoxEnjoy!

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.

Mega Fighting Bots took over on Mocktropica Island

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.

At one point, Poptropica was wrapped in banner ads on all sides—promoting Poptropica!

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!

White Fox

Hope you enjoyed this guest post by White Fox. If you did, you might also enjoy another guest post of hers: Popspiracy: What happens to Poptropica villains after “the end”?

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! 📰✨

Pop Petitions

Pop Petition: Story changes for classic islands

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.

Zapped: A jarring circumstance for this little fella.

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?

The Big Sleep: A pirate just can’t get any rest around here.

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.

Spread Your Wings: And fly on out of here, or you’ll be sorry.

(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! 📰✨