HP and UiPE’s Mystery of the Map Island Review

Hi Gs & Heyyo Poptropicans!

HP and I played the recent Mystery of the Map Island together and decided to post a co-review of our thoughts.

NOTE: HP’s text is in red and UiPE’s text is in blue

MotMReview

Design and Feel

I think perhaps the best part of the island, as always, was the soundtrack. It just fit really well and probably was the best Jeff Heim has written. Honestly, to me, the best part of MotM is the overall “feel” of the island. This includes, as Andrew mentioned, the soundtrack, as well as the sound effects. For instance, the waterfall was a really nice depiction of that kind of setting.

More into the overall “feel” is the design. It’s really nice and fits the setting well. Very clean and fresh. I really enjoyed the artwork and the ambience as well.

And don’t get me started on the interactive map – pure bliss! Beautiful animation. I couldn’t say that better HP. Although, I would have preferred if Poptropica made the map more accessible to the player. Since you have to either go into your inventory or go all the way to the edge of the scene to go to a different scene. A simple icon/button at the bottom of the screen for the map would have been a nice touch.

 

Story and Characters

It seems that the story has really been dumbed down a lot for the island, as in the graphic novel it was much more complex. Characters like Embed and most of the main cast are limited in screen time, and the character development isn’t great. The most developed character in my opinion is Octavian, because at least we see some of his personality. Mya and Oliver were bland and had no real character at all – of course, there is the graphic novel for this, but for someone just casually playing, it’s underwhelming. Story overall was frankly not the greatest. The island didn’t really develop much of any of the characters at all, which was one of the best parts of the comics. If Poptropica had added more of that character development.

But the reason for the underdeveloped characters is clear: island length. This island is short. It took me and UiPE roughly 45 minutes to complete, and that’s not much considering islands are generally supposed to take 1 – 2 hours to complete. Islands like Ghost Story dwarf this island. Reasoning behind the MotM being so underwhelming for me is, as just mentioned, how short it is. The creators could have easily fleshed out the characters much more (as they did in the comics) and improved the island not only in making it longer, but just improving all of the characters generally speaking, which was one my criticisms with the island anyways.

A simple cutscene here or there (with pictures!) would be nice! But just overall, the island’s story lacked. There was no story whatsoever when it came to the map. Your character didn’t even react to the new map – something like “There are more of them?” or “Where did he get this…” seems appropriate. So I ask the Creator’s this question: what happens when unassuming players finish the island? If they don’t know about the graphic novel, they’re going to be completely lost. There was no book store on Main Street like previous franchise islands. The lack of length and character development really was MotM’s biggest problem and it really should have taken much more from the comics to improve the island. I was intrigued at the end to learn more of the Poptropica map, but the characters didn’t really seem very interested, not even really a word about their curiousity.


Overall, I understand that Poptropica is done with Pearson and that they’re massive funding is gone; now, they can’t rely on longer islands anymore. But they have to become more resourceful – again, learn how to use cutscenes to explain stories, plus add more dialog in the right places. The quality of the island is good, but too short. Short islands are not good. The story is too long to try to be put across in the way that they did. I give it a 2 out of 5. Not as good as it could have been, especially when it was easy to make it better. Music and art was good, story and character development was not. Please the fans!

Plus, they still haven’t made SUIs not glitchy and still clunky. :c

 

In conclusion, the general story of the island was pretty good, but it lacked much character development and length. Which could have benefited each other very well. The comics are frankly better than the island and the island should have shown much more of the what the character did right. The design and feel of the island (as well as the overall fun premise)  made for an interesting island. Also, want to quickly mention the glitching. Honestly, it wasn’t that bad for MotM. I did crash once during the end chase scene, but besides that, not many problems with the techinical side of the island. Although the island has it’s flaws, it’s fairly good and I’m giving it a 3 out of 5. Could have been a much better island, but still was fairly good.

 

TAFN.

Anyways, what did you think about MotM Island? Feel free to comment your thoughts!

 

-HPuterpop & • Ultimate iPad Expert •

Mystery of the Map Island is on its way!

Hi Gs,

Quick post to let you know that Mystery of the Map Island is coming out today for members, but more importantly it’s coming out at 3pm EST. Get ready for an adventure like no other!

MysteryOfTheMap02

And, just to make it that much more enticing, you can listen to the unreleased theme for the island here – magical! Now, you may not be able to view the audio at first, but once loaded, flip one of the slashes in the url backwards (i.e. game/music to game\music). It’ll fool the barrier, and you can get past.

Tell me what you think about this new island! It’s the first full and original island in a while…

TAFN.

-HPuterpop

Verdana Island?

Hi Gs,

futureI’m sure that title threw you off guard, but get this: remember Future Island from way back when? The mysterious book on Amazon by Caroline Laidlaw that had no cover or description? You’ve probably already guessed it – it’s released now. That doesn’t solve the mystery, however.

“Poptropica Future Island Adventure” is a part of the Poptropica English series of content, which isn’t surprising. Pearson seems to be trying to milk what little time they have left with Poptropica. Caroline, as discussed previously, has written other books for Penguin Kids, which seems to have been changed to Pearson Kids.

The book is short, only having 40 pages, so probably won’t have anything really deep when it comes to story. :P I haven’t gotten a chance to read it, but from the description, it seems really interesting:

It is one thousand years in the future on the island of Verdana. For Leo, Carla, Tim and Ola, life is sad and boring. There are no trees or animals. The streets are dirty and polluted, and the children are chased by horrible robots! But Ola’s grandfather, Popp, remembers life in the past, before Verdana lost its wildlife. “Something terrible happened one day, a long time ago…” Join Popp and the brave young friends on their exciting adventure to clean up the island and stop the robots.

Verdana Island, huh? Like the font? :P Sounds like a Lorax story, but here’s what I’m interested about: Popp tells the kids that “Something terrible happened one day, a long time ago…”. Whaat? Does this relate in any way to the timeline of Poptropica?

WAIT. STOP THE ROBOTS?! DID E. VILE FINALLY COME TO PLANET POPTROPICA WITH HIS ROBOT ARMY? IS LEGENDARY SWORDS COMING BACK?

We’ll just have to see. I’m planning on buying the book soon, and I’ll update you guys when I get it.

TAFN.

-HPuterpop

New Demo Reel, GHD on Poptropica App and more Twitter news!

Hey Poptropicans! SR here.

There are some new scoop on Poptropica lately and without further ado, here we go! First of all, Jeff Heim, the composer of the Poptropica music we hear today, released a brand new demo reel not so long ago. It contains some new tracks and you can listen to it down below!

I have an extra challenge! Can you tell me where the tracks are being played? Try to guess as many as you can! It’s so amazing! Great job, Jeff Heim!

Moving along, Galactic Hot Dogs Island is finally added to the Poptropica along with new GHD items on the Store! I’ll try to add the photos soon but in the meantime, here’s the app logo!

popapp

Last but not the least, Twitter news! Here’s a couple of what we got this week:

Poptropica announced via Twitter that Timmy Failure Island is the next scheduled island after MotM Island. Also, there is no underground island on the schedule.

Around October this year, Poptropica is trying to let our own players from the computer version come to the mobile! They also stated that there will be more such as costumes and islands.

Last but never the least, Poptropica comics are also featured on Tumblr. How amazing!

What do you guys think of the news? Don’t forget to leave a comment!

Slippery

Fanon, Fanon Everywhere

Heyyo Poptropicans, it’s Ultimate iPad Expert here. It’s time to announce some more news!

I’m sure you all know of the Poptropica Wiki and you’ve probably also heard of the Popcorn fan magazine. Well, now we have the best of both worlds in the new Poptropica Fanon Wiki!

Poptropica Fanon Wiki Logo

With the Poptropica Wiki you can learn and help teach others about Poptropica facts, but with the Poptropica Fanon Wiki you get to create your own islands, your own characters, and any more fanon – and share them with everyone to read. You can also check out other people’s ideas and show off your fan art, stories, etc. with everyone.

Along with the new Fanon Wiki, we’d also suggest you check out the We-Love-Poptropica DeviantArt page. Feel free to submit any sort of Poptropica fan art there, and send me a note with a link to it if you’d like it in an upcoming Popcorn fan magazine issue!

Let’s finish this post off with this awesome new logo from HP for the Poptropica Help Chat:

Poptropica Help ChatWhat do you guys think of all this? Feel free to comment your thoughts!

• Ultimate iPad Expert •

The Official Poptropica Wiki?!

Hi Gs,

We got an idea a while back, here in Poptropica Help offices – if we could get the Poptropica Wiki an official title (the Official Poptropica Wiki, think the Official Terraria Wiki), it would boost the visitor count, and therefore we would have more helpers and better content. Things like character names and graphic assets would be easily attainable.

And, let’s be honest: I can’t write a wiki by myself. Out of the hundreds of characters, items, and scenes, we’re going to need help. While we have a pretty large community, it’s going to take a whole lot more in order for this to happen.

So, basically, we asked Poptropica on Twitter if this could be a possibility – we also sent a proposal letter that basically stated the benefits. They’ve responded, but still no definitive answer.

Now, we’re asking you, the PHN community, to help us out. Tweet at @Poptropica the #OfficializePoptropicaWiki hashtag! Let’s convince the official game that we are worth an official title! :D

make pop wiki official

We’re also thinking about merging with Gamepedia, and if you want to voice your opinion about that, you can check out the forum post. :)

TAFN.

-HPuterpop

Daily Pop Peeks: Here comes Timmy Failure!

Hey Poptropicans! News has been a bit sparse lately in the Poptropica world, so now seems a good a time as any for another peek into the Daily Pop sneak peeks. This month’s peeks (and a few from last month) thus far have all been pointing to the previously confimed Timmy Failure Island:

It looks like this sponsored island will be drawn in a more flat, cartoony style unlike the typical Poptropica graphics (think Big Nate Island or Galactic Hot Dogs Island).

Personally I much prefer Poptropica’s usual style – even sponsored islands like Red Dragon or Nabooti are often forgotten to not be completely Poptropica-original quests because their art style fits the rest of the islands, and they tend not to be remembered as “just another [mediocre] sponsored island quest.” Let me know in the comments what you think: is the idea of Timmy Failure Island a failure, especially for those not well-acquainted with the franchise?

Meanwhile, the underground cave island we were hoping for this year seems to have been placed on the back burner as TF Island takes its place, according to this tweet:

In the rest of the Poptropica illustration world, we get a peek at a loose concept art painting (calling Poptropica “the Spirit of Adventure”) stated to be “new and not for any specific purpose”. Popstorm #27 has also been published, with the caption “Meet the frog family”.

Poptropica also casually mentioned this fun little protip for the next time you’re playing around on Realms: pressing the F key causes an avalanche!

Interested in asking official Poptropica Twitter-er and CEO Jess Brallier some questions? Check out the PHB post below, where we’re collecting interview questions for a Q&A!

Stay popping, Poptropicans. :)

Ask a Poptropica Creator!

Heyyo Poptropicans, it’s Ultimate iPad Expert with some really awesome news!

I’ve been talking with Jess Brallier, aka Zeus, who heads the Poptropica Twitter. I brought up the question of maybe doing a Q and A with him and he said yes!

Q&A with the CEO

I felt it best that it not only be us authors to ask questions, but also the community! Do you have a question that you want to ask a Poptropica creator? Put them in the comments of this post. The other PHB authors and I will pick the best ones and send them to Jess for him to answer. :D

Looking forward to seeing all of your questions!

• Ultimate iPad Expert •

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