Astro-Knights Island, Guest Posts, Reviews

Ramble Review: Astro-Knights Island 🚀

Welcome to another Ramble Review! This guest post comes from MaryannTheConqueror, who will be rambling about Astro-Knights Island.

It’s no secret that I love Astro-Knights Island, and from what I’ve seen, many others feel the same. There is an abundance of fanart of all its major characters, and even some minor ones! Despite this, it is strangely ignored by the Creators, a trend I’ve noticed over the past few years.

“Lost in the Stars” by MaryannTheConqueror

Again, Astro-Knights was a big deal during its heyday. It was so difficult that it was the first and only island to have a built-in official guide. The villain (who I shall get to) won the Villain Showdown hosted by the Creators’ Blog back in 2011, against the likes of Zeus and Dr. Hare.

And yet, hardly any content related to it gets released anymore. Most ads for Poptropica featuring many classic villains leave Mordred/Binary Bard out of them, and we’re lucky to see any Astro-Knights references at all, despite its continuing popularity, even after it was among the many classic islands removed then brought back but locked behind the membership paywall.

The story of this Island had potential. Serious potential. I’m saying right here, right now, that it could have easily been turned into a book series, game series, or even a TV series that expanded on it, and with the right writers, it could have been one of the most unique ideas in decades. This isn’t just my inner fangirl speaking (though I can’t deny that my 14-year old self is influencing the writing of this article) — this is from what I’ve observed in the creative world.

Astro-Knights is a clever blend of historical medieval fantasy and futuristic technology (sometimes referred to as “clock punk”). There’s space travel, epic boss fights, a lore connected to one of the most famous Western legends, the legends of King Arthur. Of course, now I’m just stepping around what I consider to be the best character not just from the island, but from the entire game, and one of my greatest examples of Poptropica’s squandered potential.

But first, let me give you a little bit of, as TV Tropes calls it, “fridge horror.” A couple times during Astro-Knights, it is mentioned that Mordred made his near-fatal ascent into space twenty years ago. Meaning he was trapped in space for that long, without any human contact that we know of. Imagine going through quarantine but for two decades, with no contact from family members or friends of any kind.

Binary Bard is what is known as a tragic villain, similar to Azula (from Avatar: The Last Airbender) or Sweeney Todd (from the Sondheim musical). He’s a character who, through a mix of his own bad decisions and circumstances beyond his control, was sent down a path with little hope of him ever turning back, except maybe through a very carefully written redemption arc (I might talk about my mixed feelings with a certain sequel island another time).

I was very disappointed that the Astro-Knights book (anyone remember those?) did little to expand on him or the lore of this island. These are the characters and stories that can go very far if allowed to do so, and I am sad to say that, just like its villain, the fate of Astro-Knights is tragic.

Less is Mordred.
Less is Mordred.

Hope you enjoyed this guest post by MaryannTheConqueror. If you did, be sure to check out the first Ramble Review on Twisted Thicket Island, and stay tuned for more! And of course, join in on the fun on the PHC Discord.

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

Guest Posts, Red Dragon Island, Reviews

Ramble Review: Red Dragon Island 🐉

Welcome to another Ramble Review! This guest post comes from Purple Paw, who will be rambling about Red Dragon Island.

Let’s talk about Red Dragon Island. I choose it mainly because it is one of the few very good sponsored islands. At first, I was skeptical about choosing a sponsored island, because usually, sponsored islands are very poor at showing Poptropica’s authenticity. Mostly, they tend to be unexciting remakes, nothing you would think of as being truly Poptropica. But Red Dragon? This island couldn’t be more different.

As you may know, the story is based off of the Magic Treehouse book Dragon of the Red Dawn, with some of the gameplay tactics borrowed from Night of the Ninjas, an earlier Magic Treehouse book that also takes place in ancient Japan. But the plot of the Red Dragon Island takes such a unique twist from this classic book series, it doesn’t feel like a sponsored island at all; miraculously, it feels like a true Poptropica island.

And it wasn’t just the storytelling aspect of this island that made me choose Red Dragon; the gameplay, too, adds greatly to the overall enjoyment of the island. Though not exceedingly difficult, learning ninja skills does take some concentration and practice, and you’ve got to focus and think hard to master catching the kappa, trimming the bonsai, and other tasks you’re asked to complete, creating the perfect balance between challenge and fun.

Last but not least, the scenery adds the icing to the cake, and ties this whole amazing adventure together. Floating cherry blossoms, lily-pad dotted ponds, and splendid architecture make for one of the most beautiful and poetic islands yet.

There’s simply nothing you can’t enjoy about this island, and I think Red Dragon surely deserves a spot in the best of all time.


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Purple Paw. If you did, be sure to check out previous Ramble Reviews on islands like Twisted Thicket and Ghost Story, and stay tuned for more! Plus, join in on the fun on the PHC Discord.

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

Guest Posts, Reviews, Super Villain Island

Ramble Review: Super Villain Island ⚡️

Welcome to another Ramble Review! This guest post comes from Incredible Fire, who will be rambling about Super Villain Island.

Super Villain Island is just as thrilling as it sounds. Poptropica’s 30th island has you slipping into the minds of the most diabolical villains ever. Full of twists and turns, this neatly pulls together some of Poptropica’s most iconic characters for a whirlwind adventure.

The settings themselves—a mysterious prison on a dark and stormy island, magical landscapes, ghostly ships—give off chilling vibes to all who dare enter. And the sometimes annoyingly difficult gameplay gives the island a challenging edge.

The plot — extracting the source of evil from a villain’s dreams, all Inception style — makes this quest an exciting journey. This island is bound to keep players challenged as they strive to save Poptropica. It’s also worth noting that other islands make an appearance here, effectively raising the stakes, and keeping Poptropica connected.

All in all, Super Villain Island is an enjoyable experience, thrilling players by bringing back so many iconic villains in a satisfying way.


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Incredible Fire. If you did, be sure to check out the previous Ramble Reviews on Twisted Thicket and Ghost Story, and stay tuned for more! And of course, join in on the fun on the PHC Discord.

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

Ghost Story Island, Guest Posts, Reviews

Ramble Review: Ghost Story Island 👻

Welcome to another Ramble Review! This guest post comes from MaryannTheConqueror, who will be rambling about Ghost Story Island.

Now for the first and only island that I remember actually making me teary-eyed! Ghost Story is one of the best examples of Poptropica testing their limits for what kinds of stories their audience will enjoy.

Other than a couple jokes and one of the character’s names being “Henry Flatbottom,” this island has a relatively subdued tone, with a dark and cool color scheme, contrasting to the bright and at times childish other islands.

It’s spooky, with the whole ghost theme and one of the few examples of voice acting in the game, but not desperate in its attempts to scare the player. It uses elements of gothic horror to create a sense of unease without excessive jumpscares or gore.

Ghost Story also shows Pop’s ability to handle more mature themes, without being “edgy” or going too far beyond what its target audience should be able to handle. The characters hang desperately to the past, while avoiding it at the same time, resulting in the ghost’s inability to leave the mortal realm.

While there are many stories within this story, they are all connected to each other, leading to a satisfying conclusion. And they say you should avoid mentions of death in children’s media!

As much as I can rave about Astro-Knights (coming up soon…), this island certainly deserves more attention. While I can talk about the creativity of other islands until I’m blue in the face, Ghost Story is best appreciated for showing the variety in the stories Poptropica can tell.

Sometimes we can have wacky fantasy, or thrilling crime solving, or just plain childlike fun, but we can also have calmer, slightly darker tales that may not be as flashy, but can leave just as deep of an impact. While Ghost Story takes inspiration from comedies such as Ghostbusters, it also has themes of grief, handling past mistakes, as well as the difficulty to not only forgive others, but ourselves.


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by MaryannTheConqueror. If you did, be sure to check out the PHB’s own review of Ghost Story, and stay tuned for more Ramble Reviews! And of course, join in on the fun on the PHC Discord.

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

Guest Posts, Reviews, Twisted Thicket Island

Ramble Review: Twisted Thicket Island 🌳

Welcome to a new PHB series called Ramble Reviews! This will be a collection of thoughts and opinions from rambling Poptropicans from our PHC Discord community taking a look back at past islands. We hope these posts (and more are coming!) can be a space for fellow fans to read and discuss.

Please welcome the first writer for the series, Purple Paw.

I’ll start by saying, Twisted Thicket is one of the most important islands Poptropica has ever made. It’s not often you see environmentalism portrayed in a kid’s’ game, especially not in this setting, where the message is clear, and yet it is incredibly fun and enjoyable all the same, without being too harsh. I knew right from the start I had to talk about it!

Twisted Thicket is one of the shorter islands, although most times, it’ll take one longer to complete, due to all of the slightly more challenging puzzles hidden within. Your task appears simple at first: rid the forest of the horrible creatures that are terrorizing the town, and help Burt Diamond and his Lumberjerks destroy the magical terrain and build his casino. But the story of the forest goes deeper than that!

The first time I played this, I hoped very much that the island would not end with the forest being bulldozed and the magic destroyed. And as soon as I reached the Sacred Tree Hollow, I saw how kind and innocent these animals actually were, and that they had only acted hostile in defense of their home. What a twist, right?

Twisted Thicket is simply enchanting in every way possible, from the glowing blue mushrooms to the lit-up flowers to the tangled clusters of dark green leaves. And yes, the Tree Hollow is one of my absolute favorite places in all of Poptropica. The Creators aced the setting, characters, and plot, and I will never tire of replaying this island.

The story highlights the misunderstanding between nature and human settlements, and shines an entirely new light on how to fix it. But that certainly doesn’t mean it’s a solemn island; there’s the perfect amount of tension, action, beauty, and storytelling to keep you engaged and having fun the entire time.

This island is a perfect example of the Creators’ old heart and caring, an island that showed they cared about making a true story, and sending a real message (unlike the nonsensical fetch quests we’ve been seeing more recently…).

Troll, from Twisted Thicket

Because of this, Twisted Thicket has got true potential, a meaningful plot line, and is a real gem on the map. I don’t believe the Creators would let something like this go so easily, and if they’ve got half the heart they used to, they’d be working as hard to preserve the Twisted Thicket like we did all those years ago when we first played.


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Purple Paw. If you did, be sure to check out the PHB’s own quickie review of Twisted Thicket by Lucky Joker! Stay tuned for more Ramble Reviews from Purple Paw, Incredible Fire, Magic Flipper, MaryannTheConqueror… and maybe more! And of course, join in on the rambling fun on the PHC Discord.

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