Hey Poptropicans! You’re familiar with Home Island, the perennial launchpad of your Poptropica adventures (and home to a brand new store interior!), but are you aware of its storied past?
This week on the Poptropica Creators’ Blog, guest writer Invisible Ringlays out a history of Home Island and how it connects to the disappearance of Monkey Wrench Island, released in 2016 as a tutorial for first-time players. Her main theory is that, as Home Island kept changing with seasonal makeovers, the connection to Monkey Wrench must have gotten cut off. “How could Amelia land her airplane on Home Island if Home Island won’t stay still?”
Ring also gives a shout-out to “Monkey Wrench posts on the PHB” which inspired her to contact the Pop Creators about bringing the island back. (One such post: Purple Paw’s Pop Petition: Bring Monkey Wrench back.) In response, the Creators have confirmed a return for Monkey Wrench, although no dates are set yet.
As for Home Island’s history, in addition to Ring’s guest post, the PHB has captured its evolving stories over the years as well. Before 2015, there was no Home Island — when you logged in, you’d find yourself wherever you last left off on whatever island you were on. Since its release (back when it was briefly known as Hub Island), it’s gone through a lot of cosmetic and functional changes in the past five years.
Did you know that in the first Home Island, you had to find a wrench for Amelia Earhart and medallion shards for an explorer, which was later disbanded into the separate islands of Snagglemast and Monkey Wrench? Anyway, we went through our archives and pieced together some pics from over the years! Do you remember these scenes?
Enjoyed the throwback? There’s much more in the PHB archives!
Anyway, how do you feel about Home Island? What changes do you want to see on it, or have you had enough of its constant facelifts? Do you miss Monkey Wrench, or is Snagglemast superior? Share your thoughts in the comments, and pop on, Poptropicans! ✌️
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.