Merchandise, Reviews

Pop Merch Review: Funny Bunny Hat 🐰🧢

Originally published on the Poptropica Creators’ Blog.

Hey Poptropicans! Today, I’m bringing you a quick review of the Funny Bunny Farmer’s Hat from the official Poptropica Zazzle Store.

The cap costs US$14.95 and comes in one style: white/green. Though it comes in one size, there is an adjustable snap strap on the back ranging from 17″ to 24″. The front is made of 100% polyester foam and the back is 100% nylon mesh. It is a trucker style hat, so the mesh back is quite breathable.

The Funny Bunny Carrot Farm comes from 24 Carrot Island and is certainly a recognizable, classic design. Other than this hat, it is also available on a mug. I’m impressed with the quality of the print!

The foam front is a bit stiff, but not too bad. And the adjustable strap works well. The brim is strong, yet flexible, and the hat is overall pretty comfortable to wear.

I’ll be excited to wear my new Funny Bunny hat more this summer and see how it holds up against the brutal summer sun.

Thanks to the Poptropica Creators for sponsoring this post! They gifted the PHB a Zazzle gift card so we could share these reviews with you guys. Check out the PHB’s Merchandise Guide for more product info! 💫

Stay funny, Poptropicans!

~SD

Creators' Blog Guest Posts, Merchandise, Reviews

Pop Merch Review: Dr. Hare Button 🐰🔘

Originally published on the Poptropica Creators’ Blog.

Hey Poptropicans! Sometimes good things come in small packages, and I’ll be sharing about one that I got: the Dr. Hare button!

The Dr. Hare button is available from Poptropica’s Zazzle merch store for US$2.25 and comes in various sizes (ranging from 1 ¼ to 6 inches) and shapes (round or square). I went for a classic round shape with a small diameter of 1 ¼ inch. Here’s the packaging it arrived in:

For its small size, the button sure came in a large packet. Cactus not included.

And here’s Dr. Hare with Dr. Hare to show off the front and back of the button. The way the distinct goggles and teeth are surrounded by lots of negative space gives the design a nice minimalist feel. Overall, it’s definitely a cute pin of Poptropica’s pinkest punk!

You can stick this button anywhere that the pin can poke through, like your backpack, denim jacket, lanyards, or more. As for me, my Dr. Hare button has found a home among my pin collection.

Can you spot the carrot thief?

Thanks to the Poptropica Creators for sponsoring this post! The Creators kindly hooked up the PHB with a generous Zazzle gift card, so we’ll be sharing more merch reviews here soon. Stay tuned! 👀

For more about all the Poptropica merch that exists, from Zazzle to beyond with toys and more, check out the PHB’s Merchandise Guide.

Fairy Tale Island, Reviews

PHB Review: Fairytale Island 🧚‍♀️

Getting lost in the story? Check out our Fairytale Island Guide.

Gather round, Poptropicans, and let’s recall the tale of Fairytale Island…

Once upon a time (or actually, twice), the overlords at Poptropica held a Design Your Dream Island Contest. One of the winning ideas was Fairytale Island by Perfect Crab, and as promised for the prize, the island would be made into the game. Now, in April 2021, it’s here!

It’s been a hot minute year or so since the last real island (and even longer if you’re not counting the decided disappointment of Reality TV: Wild Safari), so when we heard about this one, we were pretty excited. Fairytale is the first of the 2020 Dream Island winners and the first original island on Haxe. Does it live up to the hype?

Now that we’ve had a chance to play it (and if you haven’t yet, play it before reading this!), we’re here to share our impressions. Turn the page with us, and let’s get into it! Be warned: This review contains spoilers.


Storyline & Characters

The tale goes like this: you arrive on the island to find out the fairytales have had their happy endings stolen, and it’s up to you to recover them. Fairytale Island takes three classic stories—Cinderella, Snow White, and Little Red Riding Hood—and brings some delightful twists to each one through both plot and characters.

One of the most iconic characters from the island has to be Cinderella. While taking inspiration from the original story, Poptropica also makes this character their own in her surprising switch from dainty damsel in distress to flaming punk rock Cinder, the star of the ball (and what a fitting nickname!). And, in a win for more minority representation, Poptropica has also taken a character traditionally depicted as white and created her Black and beautiful.

Another character who enchantingly subverts expectations in this island is Snow White. We’re tasked with finding her a true love’s kiss to wake her up—so far, classic fairytale concept—but it turns out her heart’s with animals, not Prince Charming! After a goat’s kiss rouses her, she goes off to pursue her dream career of becoming a veterinarian. We can even see her in vet scrubs at the island’s happily ever after.

Fairytale Island plays host to various other interesting characters that we also have to mention here. We love Red Riding Hood for its fun twist on a girl in a red cap who doesn’t look traditionally feminine and works a thankless job in modern-style food delivery, the adorable little dwarves in a trench coat who just want to be taken seriously, and the snarky talking pig who mocks your Poptropican’s call to save the day.

But other characters are a little more strange. Perhaps the most cursed of them is the huntsman, who tried to lure the wolf into eating the grandma, all in a bid to, apparently, meet girls. (??!!!) But even he found a willing date in the end with Cinder. Sweet, or a total red flag?

Amelia from Home Island is also fairly involved in the story, which is interesting. But what in the world is she thinking, patting us on the back when there’s a creepy magic dude on the loose?? The dialogue seems to set the stage for future episodes in Fairytale Island, but nothing we’ve seen officially confirms this. If this is The End, it’s not very satisfying!

Which brings us to a major issue in this storyline: it ends on an odd cliffhanger. We’re not quite sure what Rumplestiltskin is up to, and then there’s the crying prince, who’s left without a happy ending.

Gameplay

The gameplay, unfortunately, is where this island shines least. Fairytale Island is basically comprised of a disjointed series of three mini-quests that didn’t really weave into each other. (They were literally labeled side-quests, despite each being required to fulfill the main storyline.)

There wasn’t much of a challenge offered throughout the island—it was fairly easy to click around for the right kiss for Snow White, and even the obstacle mountain we climbed with Cinderella on our backs didn’t have the same struggle of previous plays of Poptropica parkour, though at least it was fun. The most challenging aspect was the dark forest maze, and this at least provided a decent degree of difficulty—many players reported taking a while to find the real cabin! That sort of complexity could have been applied to the rest of the island, too.

The lack of challenge wasn’t the only thing that made Fairytale feel different from the classic Poptropica experience. As with other recent islands like Reality TV: Wild Safari, at no point in the quest did we collect items to add to our inventory to use later in the story. Not even the teased lipstick from Rumplestiltskin was used anywhere!

Fairytale could have brought on more exploratory elements like with the old islands, such as having the player participate more through dialogue options and allowing the player to click around more of the scenes instead of being teleported out of them as soon as each part was done. Maybe, for example, we would’ve liked to mingle with the guests at Cinderella’s ball instead of being whisked away almost immediately! And what about a boss battle when we finally face Rumple?

Audio & Visuals

When it comes to the sounds and sights, Fairytale makes the mark. The audio we hear as we play through this island is nothing new, but it all helps set the mood, from the walking stomps to the mighty slapping of the mountain saplings to the spooky background music of the woods.

As we make our way through the island, we get to enjoy some fun animations and clickable interactive parts, which does feel like classic Poptropica. Highlights include the unicorn that barfs purple, the strumming of the lyre, and the pig throwing bricks.

And as with many Poptropica islands, the scenery is stunning. Check out these postcard-perfect shots from all over the Fairytale kingdom:

Verdict

Considering all of the above, from storyline and characters, to gameplay, to audio and visuals, out of five we’d give Fairytale…

…3 out of 5 goat kisses. While the island’s lack of challenge felt almost like hand-holding the player more than allowing us to explore, Fairytale redeems itself with interesting new takes on classic tales that give the story some depth — it’s just unfortunately unclear how this fable ends.

The island’s also got some gorgeous graphics, including some amusing animations and fascinating character designs that are sure to be the subject of future fan art. In fact, it’s already inspired some on the PHC!

Guess it’s a semi-happy ending for Fairytale Island. Will there be more to come? Time will tell. In the meantime, we look forward to the other Dream Island winners, Goofball and Secret of the Jade Scarab!


Thanks for reading our review of Fairytale Island! Do you agree with our verdict? Share your opinions in the comments below!

— 🧚‍♂️ the PHB team 🧚‍♂️ —

Monster Carnival Island, Reviews

Ramble Review: Monster Carnival 🎡

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

Hello, DD here. Today I am going to review an island which was good and almost perfect. It’s the amazing and sad Monster Carnival! *applause*

First, why do I like this Island? It’s because of the monsters. If you’ve played it then you would know that it’s spooky… horses going backwards?!! Oh no! I also like the twist. You work in the day, and just when night falls and you think you’ve saved the day, you see everyone has disappeared. Now, who did this? (Spoilers ahead.)

Pony Ride: Off into the sunset we go.

By following the trash trail, you find out the carnival people have all turned into monsters. Now comes the monster part and it’s really fun. Then after all this, we get to chase Ringmaster Raven (more on his story in my other post)!

Now this could have been my favourite island instead of Time Tangled, but the reason I say it was “almost perfect” was because of what happened to Ringmaster Raven. (This is getting tense. I can’t forget it! Raven always makes it in all my posts!) Yeah, everyone who’s played it knows what happened to him.

He just meant to take revenge on those bad townspeople for how they treated him. If they could’ve just helped him, this wouldn’t have happened. All he wanted was a place to belong, and to live together happily, but no! They couldn’t let them stay because he was a monster!! When Dr. Dan revealed himself as a monster too, they told him that they loved him, but if they had let Raven stay, both Dr. Dan and Ringmaster have had their happily ever after. I was really sad about this and I thought Raven should’ve taken revenge.

Ok, that’s the end. I really like this island but the ending really depressed me. I would give it a 9/10. What do you think?

Before we close, just a quick reminder that I’m hosting a mini competition which is open till the end of April. Check the comments of the PHB’s Community page for the full details.

Also, quick question: when Monster Carnival was on the map, could we customize from Ringmaster Raven? I had tried it but I don’t remember.

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

Keep Popping, Poptropicans!

~DD 💜


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Dangerous Dragon. If you did, you might also enjoy the PHB’s other Ramble Reviews of various islands, like this one about Vampire’s Curse by White Fox.

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! 📰✨

Reviews, Vampire's Curse Island

Ramble Review: Vampire’s Curse Island 🧛‍♂️

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

Hi, Poptropicans! It’s White Fox again, here with a Ramble Review on the one and only Vampire’s Curse Island. First things first, I have to mention Christopher. The brave, loyal boyfriend.

Yeah, right. Moving on.

One of the reasons I liked this island because of all the references to Bram Stoker’s vampire story Dracula. For example, the villain’s name is Count Bram. Seriously, it is right there.

Also, one of the graves is dedicated to one of the Count’s victims, who was drained of her blood in the novel Dracula. There’s more trivia like this in the PHB’s Vampire’s Curse Island Guide!

Let’s be honest, this island was definitely creepy. I mean, graves. Old statues. Vampires. Spiders. Eek! At first, this island did not seem like something I would be interested in playing. Mythology? Sure! Spies? Fine! But I didn’t feel like I wanted to play an island based on vampires.

Personally, seeing blood makes me freak out, so there’s a problem. The dark sky, the small city, everything at the beginning of the island was not what I would call welcoming. In the end, however, it was one of my favorite islands!

If I could change one thing about this island, though, it has to be the part when you make the anti-vampire serum. Just the fact that it’s so random. I wish it had more reason to it, like you find something that gives you a clue to it. More of an explanation to why it is like that. Or maybe there was, and I didn’t see it.

Even if this island doesn’t get brought back, I hope that the dumbwaiter and the crossbow gets brought back. I loved that. I especially liked the part where you shot arrows at the side of the castle to get the mandrake root. That was hard, but fun and memorable.

I always wondered why tomatoes were in his lab. I mean, next to blood, I suppose tomatoes are a vampire’s favorite food? Or maybe he just had them for research?

I loved this island because of all the adventure. From using the crossbow, to firing the cannon, to growing a tomato head, to helping Katya escape Count Bram, the island is purely full of wonder and mystery.

I think that just about wraps up this post! Put your favorite part of the island in the comments below. 👇Thanks for reading!

Peace,
White Fox


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by White Fox. If you did, you might also enjoy the PHB’s other Ramble Reviews of various islands, like this one about Lunar Colony by Purple Paw.

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! 📰✨