Sneak Peeks, Zomberry Island

Spinning with sneak peeks for friends and Zomberries

Hey, friends! Gentle Dolphin here with the latest Poptropica news! Today, we’ll be taking a look behind the curtains and seeing some future updates as well as what goes into the making of an island experience.

Back in May 2019, the Creators asked players for feedback on how to improve Poptropica’s friends feature. Now, in October 2020, we finally get a sneak peek of the new friends feature coming soon to Haxe!

The one feature fans requested the most was the ability to find and add their friends via usernames, which was part of the original friends feature back in 2012. It looks like the Creators will be implementing this small but handy feature back to the Poptropica Friends experience. One interesting thing to note is that it looks like you can either accept or deny friend requests from other players, similar to Facebook.

Seeing the username feature return makes us wonder if any other old features such as pop quizzes and medallions will also return to Poptropica Friends, whether immediately with the update or later down the line. We’ll have to wait and see if that’s the case.


Hopping over to Instagram, the Creators posted another sneak peek. This one is a short video showing a few kids inside a large spinning device, and the caption doesn’t give any more information. The design reminds me of a nut and bolt, so maybe it’s a hardware-themed fair attraction or observation tower? Judging by how fast it’s going, something may have gone wrong. What do you guys think?


With the Zomberry Hero special event going strong, the Creators posted a special behind-the-scenes look at the making of this event. We’ll only be covering the bare essentials, but you can read the original post for a more in-depth look of their creative process.

First, the Creators shared some concept art for the opening comic page. The artists start with a rough storyboard, then create a formal sketch closer to the game’s art style. Once the sketch is approved, the artists can then create the final piece.

Several artists also help design the various levels that players will explore, following a similar process to the comic artists. They also play a role in helping the developers understand how certain elements will work in the game.

After the art is complete, the developers can move on to animation and coding! As you can see below, the game’s assets are animated in Adobe Animate, and everything is coded in Haxe Javascript (the game’s current engine).

Last but not least, there’s the factor of sound. Not only is Jeff Heim’s music a big part of the experience, there are also the sound effects, such as the eerie moaning of the zombies. This audio sample here was made by an anonymous Pop Creator with the help of blankets!

What do you guys think of these sneak peeks? What other fan-favorite features do you wish to see return in the future, and what do you think that Instagram video is about?

There’s one week left to enter our annual PHB Halloween costume contest so make sure to submit your entries before October 30! Also, don’t forget about Poptober and Community Creations, which are ongoing until the end of this month. We love what you guys have been sharing so far, and we can’t wait so see what else you have in store!

Thank you for reading, and have a good day! 

—Gentle Dolphin 🐬

Sneak Peeks, Zomberry Island

Zomberries to return in upcoming event! 🧟‍♂️🫐🔦

Hello, ghouls and ghosts! Halloween is fast approaching, and everyone is gearing up for some spoopy fun. The hype is so infectious that the Poptropica Creators couldn’t avoid it. Yesterday, they announced a new limited time event coming to Poptropica maps near you.

Everyone, brace yourselves because the zomberries will be returning for an upcoming Zomberry Special Event!!!

The original Creators’ Blog post also featured two Zomberry-themed sketches— possibly concept art for the event’s map icon— to go along with the announcement. You can see them below.

If you go to Instagram, you can see what’s presumably the final icon design, which borrows elements from both sketches. The caption on the Instagram teaser simply reads, “Something is happening VERY SOON. And then more is happening after that.”

Man, there’s a lot to look forward to! Judging from the announcement, it’s likely not the Zomberry Island remaster that was teased last year. Since it will a limited time event, it may be a special minigame similar to D.C. Diner or a quest like the Haunted House.

This event could be borrowing elements from previously scrapped Zomberry minigames, which we covered in our “PHB Sneak Peeks” series. Maybe it has something to do with that 8-bit minigame that was teased for the Zomberry Island remaster? Who knows? We’ll have to wait and see.

Players participating in this limited time event will be awarded special perks, so who knows what new prizes could be in store. Keep an eye out for upcoming sneak peeks, and be prepared for the return of the fruity undead.

While we’re waiting for this event, why not buy some costumes to dress up your Poptropican? The Poptropica store added some new items for players to buy, so it’s a great chance to get in the Halloween spirit. Plus, it gives you more to work with for the PHB’s Halloween costume contest. 😉

Thank you for reading, and have a good day! 

—Gentle Dolphin 🐬

Member Gifts, Membership, Paradise Island, Poptropica Store, Sneak Peeks

Let’s taco ’bout some new store items 🌮

Hey, Poptropicans! This update comes in two parts: one new sneak peek, and hundreds of new items. Let’s pop right in.

Last week, Poptropica gave us a sneak peek of an upcoming feature called Poptropica Airways. Needless to say, it left many fans curious. And this past week, the Creators shared a new teaser image on Instagram, of two characters in front of a taco truck (“Taco Loco”) manned by the same girl who also mans whatever the latest food stand is on Home Island (currently, ice cream). Is this related?

Whether or not this is another remodel for Home Island with tropical trees, we’re also wondering, could this be related to whatever Poptropica Airways is?

And who are the other characters? They seem like player characters—the girl wears the Sweet Strawberry summer dress from the store, and the boy has the exact look of “Got Game,” one of the default Haxe characters. And there’s a pet puppy. Could this be a new multiplayer space? What’s your theory?


In other news—and this is a big one—the three main stores on Home Island have all received massive shipments of new items. We’re talking hundreds of items across the shops, the most we’ve ever seen!

The Poptropica store currently has 44 costumes (practically double the usual), 4 followers, 4 powers, 4 pranks, and 15 miscellaneous items. That’s 71 items in total!

A few new items can be found within this large gallery of goods. We have 6 trendy outfits: Summer Cool*, Sunny Sport*, Natural Breeze*, Gossip Girl, and Coolin. While 9 new items have graced the miscellaneous section, 3 of them are actually new: Slime*, Rainbow Balloon*, and Instant Camera*. (* = for members)

Speaking of members, a few formerly-exclusive member gifts are up for purchase in the store (for members only, of course). These include: Stylin’ Outfit*, Cool Outfit*, Party Popper* (one of this month’s member gifts), Flamingo Floatie*, Watermelon Purse*, Drone Flying Follower*, Popsicles*, and Hover Scooter*.

Why give these exclusive items for a limited time if they’re going to be available in the store down the line? Sure, they’re still “exclusive” to members, but they’re no longer limited edition. And buying a member gift at a later date does mean they aren’t free like before. This might be a good thing, as it makes the items more easily available, while monthly subscribers can still be the first to have the shiny new thing, though others may later catch up to their collections. Thoughts?

Member Gifts are touted as “exclusive.”

The pet store lineup has kept the same items, but there are three new accessories: a Unicorn Horn (slightly different from the Rainbow Horn), a Pink Tiara, and a purple Beanie. In Haxe, the visual quality of these items has become noticeably pixelated. Looks like this part still needs a bit of work.


The clubhouse store probably received the largest update up to this point. Across its five sections, the clubhouse store has 197 items, most of which are brand new! There were so many, I had to group each category. Behold!

There’s plenty of cool stuff to decorate your clubhouse with, so make sure to save some extra coin! Prices range from 25 credits (for simpler items like balloons) to 2000 (!!) credits (for big motor ships). Slanted Fish and I took some pics with some of these new furnishings to show you what they look like in-game:


So it looks like the Creators are well on their way in creating options for customization for Poptropica’s future in Haxe. Let’s hope the island migration from Flash to Haxe sees similar progress! What other items and features do you want to see in the game? Share your ideas in the comments!

Thank you for reading, and have a good day!

—Gentle Dolphin 🐬

Paradise Island, Poptropica app, Sneak Peeks, Social Media

Airways and Animal Jam ✈️🦊

Hey Poptropicans! In a stunning turn of events, Poptropica has suddenly, somehow managed to do the unexpected: shared actual sneak peek images of something they’re working on, and post a controversial tweet.

Let’s fly into the first thing: sneak peeks! Over on the Creators’ Blog, they shared a post teasing “new stuff” they’re working on. As is the case with their communications these days, the writing is sparse, leaving much to the imagination. But whatever Poptropica Airways is, it’s about to make a landing.

Could planes be the new blimps? That might explain the recent disappearance of the beloved, Poppies-award-winning blimp decor in clubhouses, even while blimps continue to be our Poptropicans’ mode of inter-island travel. But if that’s the case—even conceding that planes might be a more modern form of travel—Poptropica would certainly be losing a very iconic part of its identity! Even the Creators’ Blog uses the blimp in their branding.

And what to make of the blimp photo on the clerk’s desk? Is it a tribute to a soon-to-be past, or will blimps be relegated to being the beat-up rafts to the Phoenix Warbirds of the air? (That’s a Skullduggery Island metaphor, btw.)

Or is this part of a new island adventure? The post does also say they’re working on converting islands, with Time Tangled and Mythology in progress right now—which seems to leave little room for the planning and developing of an entirely new island. But who knows?


Now onto the next juicy news: yes, for the second time in 2020, Poptropica managed to tweet something controversial. (In case you missed it, Poptropica briefly endorsed Joe Biden for US president on Twitter.)

It all started when the Poptropica app reached #1 somewhere in Apple’s App Store, knocking out Fortnite for the top spot. Of course, this called for a celebratory post (and story) on Instagram that started innocently enough, mentioning how they’d outlasted games like Club Penguin and Animal Jam.

But Poptropica’s tone was a little more over-the-top with the gloating on Twitter. In addition to a similar post sharing the same news, Poptropica also responded to a Twitter thread from Animal Jam co-founder Clark Stacey by saying, “First #clubpenguin and now #animaljam too? It’s lonely at the top. #poptropicaforever.” Poptropica’s tweet was pulled in less than a day, but we saved some pics, plus Mr. Stacey’s unamused response, which remains.

Mr. Stacey’s original Twitter commentary had been about the struggles of kids’ game developers being incentivised to create their games for a general audience rather than specifically for the kids category of game lists, as well as Apple’s ambiguity about why they were rejecting game updates to Animal Jam and other kids’ games. And instead of offering sympathy from a fellow kids’ game developer, Poptropica decided to gloat.

The Animal Jam co-founder swiftly called them out for being “childish” and “sloppyheaded,” adding that “the Poptropica I know was above this sort of thing.” Which brings us to the question, what’s up with Poptropica’s lackluster communications to players lately? Since Skinny Moon left in 2017, the years of general silence (with occasional vague updates) that followed were unimpressive enough, but this year’s (albeit deleted) Twitter blunders are bewildering. We sure do miss the days when Poptropica had a dedicated social media manager who took the time of day to respond to players’ questions!

By the way, Fortnite’s fall from the top spot is likely related to the game recently being pulled from both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play store for trying to circumvent the stores’ 30% “tax” on in-app purchases by offering a direct-payment option away from the app stores.

In-app purchases give a cut of the cost to the app stores.

But Poptropica does the exact same thing: even though you can buy a Pop membership through an in-app purchase (which gives a cut of the costs to the app store), you can also buy a membership directly on Poptropica’s website, which would allow Pop to keep 100% of the earnings. No matter where you buy the membership, it gets applied to your account on the app (as well as on the computer). So perhaps some sympathy for the predicaments of games like Fortnite is in order. After all, Poptropica could very well be at the same risk.

You can buy a membership on the app and directly from Poptropica’s website.

That wraps up these peculiar updates! What do you think Poptropica Airways will be? Thoughts on Poptropica’s Twitter habits? Hoorays for the app’s achievement? Sound off in the comments below!

~Slanted Fish 🐠

Sneak Peeks

A berry bitsy sneak peek…👀

Hey, Poptropicans, it’s LJ again! No need to feel blue, because I’ve got a sneak peek for you! Yep, that’s right — a small but exciting peek into Poptropica’s latest project: the return of Zomberry Island.

This just in a screenshot of what appears to be a new minigame for the  soon-to-be-reborn island was posted to Poptropica’s Instagram, @poptropicacreators. Take a look!

Seriously, every time we get a new sneak peek for an upcoming island release (or in this case, re-release), I’m always excited. Zomberry was never my favorite island or anything, but I’ve always enjoyed it — and this looks like it’s going to be a decently fun game. I particularly like this 8-bit, retro style too.

Poptropica says to keep our eyes out for more artwork “sooooon” and that’s definitely what I’ll be doing!

What other types of sneak peeks would you like to see? What are your expectations for the upcoming Zomberry Island coming back from the undead? Leave your comments below, and stay tuned to the PHB as our Halloween Costume Contest and Community Creations for this month continue.

Thank you for reading as always. Talk to you guys in the next one… pop on!

– Lucky Joker 🍀