Write for the PHB or Become a VIP!

Hey Poptropicans!

Have you ever thought about writing for the PHB, the biggest Poptropica fansite? Well guess what: you can! Many have done it, and we’re always looking for more voices from this community to showcase the diversity of thoughtful Pop players out there – like YOU!

Under our About tab, you’ll find a new page titled Write for the PHB. From guest posting to aspiring to join our staff team, right on this new guide, we’ll go over how you can get involved in producing content for the biggest Poptropica fansite there is. You have things to say, and we have readers who will hear you out. So learn how you can write for us!

write for phb

In other blogging developments, we recently contacted Skinny Moon to ask about the recent VIP program, which the PHB team was invited to join, making the PHB one of Poptropica’s official fansites. There hasn’t been a lot of detail to the whole program yet, so we reached out for some comments and here’s what she had to say:

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So, while being VIP is currently just a title with nice graphics to display, it will expand in the future to include some interesting possibilities, such as VIP sites being linked from the official Poptropica website and maybe even an in-game costume.

Also, if you are a fan who actively blogs or posts about Pop on social media, you should contact Skinny Moon on social media about becoming a VIP! For a list of current VIPs, check out our Poptropica Fandom Community Directory.

Don’t forget to check out our other posts for what’s been going on lately! In particular, we recently wrote some in-depth reviews on various topics, which we hope you’ll check out – plus, we’d love to hear what you think down in the comments:

Keep on popping on, Poptropicans!

– slantedfish 🐠

Book Review: Poptropica’s “The Secret Society”

Hey Poptropicans – get ready for some secrets to be spilled to society!

In this post, the PHB takes on the latest Poptropica graphic novel release, The Secret Society, which came out this April.  You can get this book – the third in the series – on Amazon and some bookstores. This review will discuss the storyline, presentation, characters, and more – so be prepared for some (but not all) spoilers if you read on.

If you aren’t quite caught up with the plot, be sure to check out Mystery of the Map (the first in the series) both as an island you can play on Poptropica right now or read in graphic novel format (either on our Comics page or in the print version as a book). Following that is The Lost Expedition (the second book), for which we recently published a review here (and of course, you should check out the book as well).

And now, let’s get into the review!

Storyline

The story picks up where The Lost Expedition left off, with the kids trapped on board the mysterious Secret Society’s hovercraft. They finally reach their destination, the headquarters of the Secret Society, where they meet the leader Spencer Albright, who explains just enough of what’s going on for the kids to catch up. Here’s where we get the interesting knowledge of how exactly the Poptropica timeline works. Ready?

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As Spencer Albright explains, Poptropica is a unique holding place for islands throughout the timeline of history to just chill, but interfering with their events could have major consequences, which is why the Protectors are there to stop such meddling. As we know from the previous books, Octavian has a time device and is doing some unlawful meddling – and it’s starting to have some negative side effects on history.

So, as Albright and the Protectors scramble to undo the damage – which isn’t going very well – the kids take it upon themselves to help. As worse comes to worse, tensions rise, and each character finds themselves struggling to work together, with personal reasons getting in the way.

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Eventually, we get to face Octavian up close, who is seen ferrying the people he cares about, including a lover – the ones he is willing to destroy history to save. And with some explosive encounters, the kids – in particular, Oliver – finally figures out what he must do to put a stop to Octavian’s out-of-control attempts at control. But even still, they’re not out in the clear just yet… and that’s where we wait for book 4 to wrap up the tale.

Presentation

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As with the other books, illustrator Kory Merritt brings a very distinct style to the pages, characterized by thin lines, gradient coloring, and comical details.

Although the art style is different from what we see in the Poptropica game, it fits into the comics. Often, facial expressions are exaggerated, sometimes to a point where they look a little odd, but that’s the way it goes. Personally, I find the textures and simple lines to be a bit hit-or-miss: while they can work quite well in some scenes (such as the depictions of the Aegis and volcanic lava), at other times they feel incomplete, with shapes merely given a little color.

Something that the illustrations do well in are the sweeping larger-scale panels, which depict whole scenes but also include little details, such as in the spread above of the hovercraft and its whimsical path and frightened seabirds. We also get to visit a couple of exciting places from history: ancient Egypt and Mount Vesuvius.

In addition, this book’s illustrations has some interesting little details embedded within! For example, there is a reference to the meme of Joseph Ducruex (Archaic Rap) hanging on one of Albright’s walls. Later, you can also catch Jorge reading a magazine with Dr. Hare’s portrait on it. What other tidbits did you catch?

Even the inside covers are cleverly done with maps, like the previous two books. This one is especially interesting, because unlike the other two books, they start and end with the same magical map – except with changes reflecting the beginning and end! In both, you can see that we’ve started and ended similarly – flying just above a certain island in the hovercraft.

Characters & Conflicts

In our review of book 2The Lost Expedition, author Mitch Krpata left a comment about one of the main characters in book 3: “The Secret Society focuses a little more on Oliver, and his conflict about what leadership to follow.”

And indeed, Oliver is often faced with challenges with others. But he’s very determined about his convictions, even in the face of disagreements. There are a few times in the story when he’s conflicted with his sister Mya about the right thing to do. But the bigger question for him is, are his decisions any better than the villainous Octavian’s?

Mya, for her part, is unafraid of diving headfirst into places where she sees a possibility of saving people, sometimes ignoring the dangers that come with those options. Oliver adamantly opposes, but as things heat up (quite literally), he begins to realize that interference can be in his hands (again, quite literally).

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Meanwhile, Jorge continues to be the self-concerned comic relief of the series, his mind often thinking more of food than the mission at hand. Still, as he continues to see his friends so invested in the issues surrounding them, he starts to care a little more as the story progresses. Perhaps we’ll see even more development from Jorge in the final book.

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Early in this installment, we’re introduced to a new character, Spencer Albright, the leader of the Secret Society. Despite kidnapping our favorite trio, the Secret Society of Protectors turn out to be the good guys – at least as far as we can tell. As Spencer explains, their goal is to prevent people from meddling with history, protecting the strange timeline of islands of various time periods that randomly stop by in the realm of Poptropica. Nobody is allowed to intervene with the course of history.

The Secret Society headquarters houses an impressive collection of ancient artifacts from history, some of which later get erased. As dangers rise, Spencer – who we learn is descended from Egyptian nobility – finds his very existence a point of conflict as well.

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We also meet Jonas, Spencer’s trusty right-hand man. He seems at first to be an easy-going fellow, happy to play his part in helping the Secret Society. However, as worse comes to worse, things get very personal for the protégé – and his actions become fraught with emotion, making his character’s development also an interesting one.

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Finally, of course, there is Octavian, who brought the kids into this mess back in book 1. And now we see the reason he’s causing all this madness in the first place: he has a lover, and he’ll stop at nothing to get her back. We don’t know their story just yet, but we do know Octavian won’t stop bending history until they’re reunited.

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Octavian also seems to have some history with Spencer Albright, and it’s clear the two don’t agree on the right approach for handling the power they have for controlling the timeline of history. So far, things have only turned into a real hot mess, leaving us to wonder how things will play out in the end.

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Consumed by his intentions, Octavian forgets he erases others’ good in history for the sake of his own desires.

Closing Thoughts: 4.5/5

On the whole, The Secret Society is an excellent continuation of the trio’s adventures from the earlier Poptropica graphic novels. While we had some questions answered, such as what exactly Octavian and the Secret Society was up to, we were opened up to new questions, like how Octavian and Spencer came to such drastically different views for operating the timeline. Because of the deeper insights into how Poptropica islands worked, I thought that this book contained more meat than the others so far.

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I also was intrigued by the whole history-alteration plot, and the book raised interesting questions about how we might act towards things we could control, as well as things we couldn’t control. It brings up conflicts about systems put in place for protection, and about following our own gut versus listening to others. Though the story is fiction, it depicts a reality in our own world: we don’t get to choose the way everything is, but we do get to decide how we respond. And how we respond, of course, has ripples.

Oliver asks the very thought-provoking question, “Do we stop every bad thing that’s ever happened? Why do we get to decide?” Unless we have a time device like these characters do – and even for them, it is limited – we don’t get to undo everything we don’t like. We see these characters realizing that some things are within their control while recognizing that other things are not. And that’s something every one of us has to deal with, too.

The story contains both comedic moments and serious ones, and overall, it’s a fun book for any Poptropica fan. It’ll leave you hanging on for what comes next as we await the final book, The End of Time, coming out this fall of 2017…

Have you read The Secret Society yet? What do you think of the story, particularly with regard to what it says about the structure of the Poptropica universe? And would you change the course of history for any ulterior motive?

Share your thoughts, concerns, and criticisms in the comments below!

Keep popping,
–slantedfish 🐠

PHB Review: Crisis Caverns Island

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Crisis not yet averted? Check out our Crisis Caverns Island Guide.

Hey Poptropicans! It’s been a few weeks since Poptropica Worlds released – and with it, Crisis Caverns Island. We’ve shared our thoughts about Worlds, and now, it’s time for us to delve into its first and only island adventure. Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Anyway, with that out of the way, let’s pop right in…

Storyline & Characters

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Let’s begin with a simplified summary: You arrive at Caldera State Park and soon find out there’s a supervolcano here that’s on the verge of eruption. Being the nosy curious Poptropican you are, you poke around and eventually find yourself going deeper and deeper into the caves until at last you are captured by “mole people” who live underground. You also encounter the chthonians, monsters who have declared war on the mole people and are causing the tremors that may soon lead to a volcanic eruption. However, you help make things right, and by the time you pop back up to the surface, all is right with the world again. Well, sort of…

It’s really cool how Poptropica seemed to be inspired by subterranean fiction as a plot to this island, with vibes kind of like Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. Subterranean fiction could offer a lot of ideas for a Poptropica island, like a lost world of dinosaurs, Middle-Earth, or even Wonderland! So… it’s a bit baffling that of all the possibilities, they would go with… mole people?

For those who’ve played this island, perhaps you’ll resonate with the thought that, although the premise is interesting, the way it all plays out feels somewhat lacking. There were many opportunities for further exploration of ideas, yet on the whole, the story felt rather rushed from one plot point to the next. The plot leading up to the mole people was okay, but it all went downhill after that. At that point, it was like trying to achieve the climax without first putting on a good foundation.

Looking at a few curious characters, here are some of our questions:

Who, really, are the mole people? Are they human – and whether the answer is yes or no, why do they look so strange, with greenish skin? Is the civilization above aware of their existence? If so, what do they think about them, especially now that they are aware after the quest? How did they get here? Even the first time we see the term “mole people,” it’s just a casual mention by one of the mole people. We also only see a few mole people – king, queen, guards. Where is the rest of the civilization? They are noticeably absent throughout the rest of the caverns.

Also, why chthonians? Their introduction is quite abrupt. You’ve barely met the mole king and queen when they start bombarding you about the chthonians, and we have no idea what they are. Plus, “chthonians” is a long word, and not one many of us are familiar with. Perhaps it would’ve been better to refer to them in simpler terms (beast, worm, creature). And we only had to perform one easy task to appease them, which seems less challenging than a typical Poptropica quest.

And at the visitor’s center, we learn of the missing Dr. Vincent Crispin, founder of Crispin Cave, who had spoken of an underground civilization (the mole people) that no one else believed in. He went too far in his investigations and never returned – but we never do find out what happened to him. Why didn’t we meet him in the mole people’s lair? Did he die – and if so, where is his skeleton? So many questions.

Each character had an interesting design; however, most characters in the park didn’t get as much screen time. Perhaps the park ranger could’ve given a tour deeper into the caves, and it would’ve been nice to see more tourists around the state park.

Despite these confusions, however, meeting the other characters along the way was pretty fun, both in their designs and witty lines. Standouts include the frenemy feud between Hazel and Beatrice, the two old ladies stuck in the cave (“Let’s go somewhere even more depressing: your house”) and the tourist boy who decries the big geyser as “Old Unreliable.” If only we could customize clothing from our new friends!

Gameplay

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Something this island didn’t have, for better or for worse, was a good amount of going back and forth. Given the plot, it makes sense to keep going downward deeper into the caves, but it felt like it needed more exploring and going around.

The mechanics of this island also feel quite repetitive. Having the magnetic belt do the job for almost half the island seems too much. Also, the block-the-geyser mechanism gets repeated twice.

As far as game bugs, there definitely were a few. Some players have experienced bugs like not being able to grab the chthonian egg, the scientists at the park not giving the reward after the second island play-through, and more. Although Poptropica continues to work on fixing these glitches, they could have eliminated more of these issues prior to releasing the island to allow for a smoother player experience.

However, there were some high points as well. The room with the traps, like the statue that squishes you, evoked some Indiana Jones-esque feelings. Also, the slider mini-game is commendable. It really added a bit of a challenge to the island, and it’s been quite a while since we’ve seen a slider game from Poptropica!

Overall, it feels as though the bugs and the repetitive aspects overweigh the positive parts of this island experience. Thus, the overall gameplay is so-so.

Visuals

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There’s no doubt about it: the visual style of Crisis Caverns is absolutely stunning. From the captivating crystals to the refined rock carvings, there is so much delightful detail to surround yourself in. The scenery is definitely a highlight of the island.

But despite the beauty, there’s one more crisis that can’t go unmentioned: all the gorgeous designs that were scrapped in the making of this island. It probably happens to every island during the creative process, but it seems this one was especially affected!

We’ve been seeing sneak peeks for this island since 2013, and the island was even declared canceled at one point, so it’s a miracle it’s finally made it onto the big screen of Poptropica Worlds. Along the way, however, a lot of cool ideas didn’t make the cut, but they’re definitely worth admiration:

So grand. Such a waste that these scenes never made it to the game!

Verdict

All things considered, our final verdict for Crisis Caverns Island is…

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We’ve been waiting a long time for Crisis Caverns, and with all the dazzling previews we saw as well as amazing experiences from past islands on Poptropica Original, our expectations were pretty high for the first Worlds island.

It’s clear, however, that the hype and anticipation from players led to a rushed production from the Creators – who had at one point decided not to work on this island due to ideas not quite working out. Although we are grateful that popular demand brought it back, the overall experience still felt somewhat lacking.

While it wasn’t a complete flop – indeed, the art direction continues to be beautiful as ever – other aspects of the island (plot, character, mechanics, bugs) leave quite a bit to be desired. So, we’ve decided to award it a 2.5 out of 5 crystals.

Thanks for reading our review of Crisis Caverns Island! What did you think of the island and this review? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

– the PHB team –

Discover the fandom with the Poptropica Bloggers Network and PHB Directory!

Heyo, readers! It’s me, Purple Claw!

The Poptropica fandom is full of talented artists, fun YouTubers, bloggers, and more! Although we’re proud of what we have here on the PHB, we think you’d be missing out if you didn’t also check out all the other awesome creative work that goes on in the Poptropica community. So, in this post, we’re going to show you how you can discover many of these Poptropica fan creators!

In the past few months, so many blogs were created in this community that we simply had to do something about it.  Thus, the Poptropica Bloggers Network was created by Hyper Gamer and me, and it’s been going strong for several months now. Check it out here!

Our goal with the PBN is to help smaller Poptropica blogs, even those that are just starting out, to grow and become more popular. If you’re interested in seeing what else goes on in the Poptropica community outside of the PHB, check out the list below of all our current PBN partners:

As you can see, there are a lot of blogs that have joined the PBN, and I’m really glad about that. Smaller Poptropica blogs deserve a chance to shine and become more well-known in the community, and the PBN is here to help you on that journey.

Blogging is a fun hobby, and if you have a Poptropica blog yourself, you might consider joining our network. Or if you’re not a blogger yet, but you want to give it a chance, guess what? Starting is easy! You can build a free blog by using WordPress.com, Blogger, or another website creation tool.

If you’re interested in joining the PBN, head over to this page to review our guidelines, then leave a comment with the required info. We’ll get back to you!

There are many benefits to joining our network, including:

  • Get listed in the Our Popping Sites page along with your blog’s slogan.
  • Have your blog’s RSS feed added to the PBN Blog page so people can see your posts.
  • Get your events, contests, or parties advertised in the Community Events page.
  • Have a personal emoji of your blog on the PBC.
  • Join our awesome events, polls and contests!

The PHB isn’t the only Poptropica blog around – you might want to read more than one! Each blogger has a unique style and fun ideas and I hope you’ll be willing to give their awesome content a chance!


At the beginning of this post, I mentioned artists and YouTubers along with bloggers. While the PBN is just for blogs, there is a lot more Poptropica content waiting to be discovered in those other realms as well – which you can discover in our newly-revamped Poptropica Fandom Community Directory right here on the PHB!

The PHB’s Directory is organized by multiple categories for you to explore: PHB-owned sites, the Creators on social media, VIP fans handpicked by the Creators, active fan sites – and you can add yours too! Check it out under the PHB’s Community tab!

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Thanks for your time! I hope this proves to you that neither I nor the blogging community are dead. Go check out a new blog today!

  Purple Claw
:mrgreen:

#PopBlogsMatter

Customizing Changes on Worlds: New Clothes, Cliff Housebuff, and More

Hello everyone!

Lucky Joker here, with a range of customization-related tips and updates from Poptropica Worlds. Let’s get into it!

Earlier, Skinny Moon posted on the Creators’ Blog some ways in which you can customize your character on Worlds. Also included was this quick new video giving an overview of customization and more in Worlds:

As we said in our Poptropica Worlds review, you can now buy clothing items individually, which really makes customization convenient. For example, you can buy shoes from one outfit, a pair of glasses from another and create a look that’s totally unique! Even better, in Poptropica Words, we have access to all costumes and all various parts regardless of our Poptropican’s gender.

While we’re looking at outfits, there are several new ones in the store, including: a ninja, orange-and-blue (American) football player, gothic cheerleader, and red-and-blue cheerleader!

As you can see, Skinny Moon’s definitely taking advantage of Poptropica Worlds’ customization options – what a difference! To share how you customized your Poptropican, use the hashtag #MyPoptropican on social media so the Creators can see and possibly re-post it!

Speaking of appearances, have you noticed that, as of last week, Cliff Housebuff on Home Island had a bit of a makeover? Hmm, when will we get to change our skin tones too? 😛

Also, another little update you might’ve seen in the pics above: there’s a little arrow in the corners of speech bubbles, so you can now click them to speed up dialogue!

Transferring your account now also allows you to create your look and award you 750 coins for starting a new account on Worlds.

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There were other minor updates from last week as well, including: fixing Bleachy Boy/Girl (avatars missing their style and coloring), music added to the login screen, more sound effects, etc. The Creators continue to work hard to keep making Worlds better!

Well, that’s all for today. What do you think of these customization options? I personally think that being able to buy individual items is a great new feature. Sound off your opinions in the comments section.

–Lucky Joker

My Place in Poptropica: Cassandra

This is the My Place in Poptropica story of Cassandra, who enjoys making fanart for her fandoms, including Poptropica. See below for how to send in your own MPIP!

2007 | Starting Out

I was in third or fourth grade when Poptropica came out in 2007. I was on the computer, supposed to be playing some math game on FunBrain, but instead I found Poptropica. As you can guess, I created my avatar, beat islands… and then, I found out about glitching.

I wasn’t a glitcher or anything, but I was a kid who didn’t realize there was hacking of accounts going on. When I did realize, I stopped. Soon after, I found the PHB – yes, I was reading the blog even then. That brings us to my middle school years…

2011–2012 | Middle School

Middle school began with me as my normal fifth-grade self, with a huge grin on my face because I was now in middle school. Well, I took a long leave of absence from playing Poptropica, but I still read the PHB.

At that time, I started liking the Percy Jackson books. Also, I started making art. I didn’t really create Poptropica fan art, but I learned about the Poptropica art style from the Percy Jackson fandom. I still liked Poptropica, but not enough to create fan art for it.

Then came high school…

2013–2016 | High School, part one

In the first two years of high school, I didn’t have many interests, not even Poptropica. I don’t remember much about how much I was involved with the Poptropica fandom.

However, in 2016, I started getting back into Poptropica – and this is where the interesting stuff happens! I saw that Poptropica Worlds was introduced, and to me, it was a new beginning. So, that’s why I wanted to wait until Pop Worlds came out to do my own MPIP story on the PHB.

I also wanted to build my art portfolio on DeviantArt. After a few months of thinking about it, I thought, well, why not just do it? So, at nearly 11 p.m. on a Sunday night, I decided to do it. And, that brings us into June 2017…

2017 & beyond | Decisions, Decisions…

First, now, I’m getting back into Poptropica. I was waiting until Pop Worlds came out before I actually started playing again. I wanted to see what it would be like, and I do have some theories and questions.

I also am doing Percy Jackson stuff, but that’s for a different place than the PHB. I still think Poptropica is awesome. Pop Worlds is out, so I’m slowly starting to play Poptropica more. I really liked Pop Worlds (customization is awesome!) but I wish they had more islands to play and stuff to do other than just admire Home Island. I really like the running animation. I hope to draw more fan art and do cool things in this fandom.

In the future, I’d like to be an active fanartist and fanfic writer, and also have a DeviantArt page set up so I can post my original art as well as fanart. I hope to be a professional artist one day, and even still, continue to make fanart for both Percy Jackson and Poptropica.

~Cassandra


Hope you enjoyed this “My Place in Poptropica” story!

If you haven’t already, we invite you to send in your own (please include a minimum of 550 words, type with good spelling and grammar, divide it into labeled sections, and include your username). If you send in your story, we will continue to post new community MPIPs!

~the Poptropica Help Blog

PHB Review: Poptropica Worlds vs Original

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Poptropica Worlds has arrived at long last, and now – at a comparatively quicker rate – so has the PHB’s review of Worlds. Welcome!

In this post, we’ll go to great depths analyzing what Worlds has to offer, reviewing what we like and dislike about it (providing suggestions for improvement along the way), as well as comparing the similarities and differences between the original Poptropica and Poptropica Worlds. Let’s pop right into it.

Animation & Visuals

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Analysis:

In most areas – like background scenery and items – Poptropica retains its unique, semi-2D artistic style in Worlds. The main thing that’s new is the design of the Poptropican avatar, which was recreated to have a more detailed structure overall. Also new are its animations, such as the running or jumping movements as well as the occasional idle action of stretching or kicking at the ground.

Review:

Poptropica continues to stun us when it comes to scenery designs – Crisis Caverns Island, in particular, is full of gorgeous crystals, detailed rocks, and other little bits that make up a delightful, whimsical world to explore in. Keeping the unique charm of the style we’ve come to know and love has worked out well.

The re-design of the avatar, too, is a noteworthy accomplishment. Although some may find that it takes some getting used to, the new character looks pretty good with its limbs that aren’t just mere lines anymore, and better yet, new kicks you can customize to your liking. Moving your character around also goes over quite naturally.

One thing that’s a bit of a give-and-take is the addition of the idle actions, which is when your character is standing around for a little too long and randomly decides to yawn or kick their feet or something silly like that. Sometimes, they seem to fit, yet at other times, they seem almost too comical, perhaps unnecessary.

Comparison:

As far as the art style goes, it’s much like the way it is in Poptropica Original, with the notable exception being the new avatar design. Both the avatars of new and old Poptropica are charming in their own ways, yet the new design fits in fine with the rest of Worlds (which is just as well, as it’s here to stay).

Controls/Mobility

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Analysis:

Most of the controls are similar to what we’re used to: a cursor we can point and click to move in a certain direction and a hand for clickable parts. What’s different is that clicking and holding will no longer show you the long arrow that gradually gets smaller as you get closer to your target, and in fact, there are no arrows, least of all colored ones corresponding to the direction of movement.

Review:

Overall, the new controls are just as usable as the old ones, even with the differences. Some may miss the long colored arrows that showed when you’d run, jump, or climb, but you are still able to do these things with relative ease with the single cursor – just click and hold.

Comparison:

As mentioned, there are slight differences with how the controls are presented, but they are easy to figure out. The new does not seem to be any better or worse than the old.

Customization

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Analysis:

One of the first things you’ll notice that’s different in Worlds is your avatar: it’s undergone some changes, but it remains inspired by the original version. With the new style, however, you look more three-dimensional, you’ve got fingers and shoes on your feet, and your limbs are even significantly thicker.

All of this means that you’re going to have to start over in the outfit department. But not to worry: you’ve still got some decent options. Aside from editing your look at registration, you can also customize via clothing parts you buy individually from the shop, some of which are exclusive to members. Shoes and handheld items included.

Review:

Remember when Poptropica advertised that “the possibilities are endless” when it comes to customization? Well, of course that’s hyperbole, but when “the possibilities” are way less than they were in the original Poptropica, you can’t help but feel a little stiffed. Of course, we definitely understand that they’ve started from scratch, and the new art style doesn’t allow for the old clothing to be imported without them manually creating something new. So, in that respect, it makes sense that the possibilities aren’t going to be endless. Not for a while, anyway.

As far as the actual selection available in the shop, it’s decent. If you comb through every page, you can probably find things you like and assemble something cool out of it all. For a new game, the selection is not bad – but of course, there’s a long way to go before we get near the unfathomable number of options that existed on the original Poptropica! That’s just the reality of it being a separate new game.

What’s pretty cool about the new system is that you can now buy costume parts individually from the shop, so you get only what you actually want, and it makes each thing more affordable. One downside is that there’s no way of telling whether or not a costume contains members-only parts until you click on it and realize that there are, which is a bit of an inconvenience. A simple membership icon over the costume (perhaps partially colored in to represent how much of it is member-exclusive) would help to eliminate this issue.

When you go to put on the clothes you’ve acquired, you can flick between tabs that correspond to the relevant areas (such as leggings, hairstyles, etc), which is pretty useful. It would be nice to see this implemented in the shop window as well, to make it easier to browse through clothing parts by category rather than just by costume.

Comparison:

Two customization features are noticeably missing with the new system: the Colorizer and Costumizer. Both would be highly useful, and it’s our hope that they eventually implement them again. At the moment, you can only modify your hair and skin tones at registration, so if you pick something you don’t like, you are stuck with it for the foreseeable future. Plus, there aren’t very many color options available, in contrast to the wide array of possibilities offered by the color selector of the Colorizer on the original Poptropica.

As for the Costumizer, it’s simply nonexistent on Worlds, but on the original Pop, we could use it to copy clothes from various characters (both players and NPCs) we encountered onto our own avatars. This much-loved feature definitely deserves to return, though of course, clothes from the shop that we hadn’t yet bought would remain uncostumizable.

Glitching (and Glitches)

bleachyboy

Analysis:

Because Worlds is running on a new engine (Unity), all the methods of glitching that have been used by glitchers of the original Poptropica are invalid in the new game. Perhaps with time we will uncover new ways to “get ahead” on Worlds, but for now, the only glitching you’ll see are the bugs nobody wants.

Review:

So, there’s no glitching for fun in Worlds (at least, not yet). Well, that’s not such a bad thing. If you miss glitching, though, you can still do it all on Poptropica Original!

As far as glitches of the not-so-fun variety, though, they do exist – not too surprising considering that the game has only recently been released. A notable example of this is “Bleachy Boy” – what the PHC community has dubbed a glitch that removes your mouth and turns your avatar’s hair and skin white (and of course, with no Colorizer, how could we rectify this abomination?).

The game also runs into other bugs, such as not being awarded your coins at the second completion of Crisis Caverns, or furniture not appearing in your house items after being purchased. Hopefully, Poptropica will fix these issues in a future update!

Comparison:

Poptropica Original definitely has ways to game the system, if that’s what you’re looking for. From the ASG to iPop, glitchers have discovered and spread various methods for making the most of your Poptropica experience that you simply won’t find with Worlds, because that’s a whole ‘nother ball game.

And yet, even as Poptropica Original had its technical bugs, so Worlds also has a number of issues with gameplay: Bleachy Boy, for instance, might remind old-time players of the infamous Afro Guy. If all else fails with either game, the usual advice remains: clear your cookies/cache, try a different browser, restart the island, and of course, contact Poptropica support if necessary.

Houses

houses

Analysis:

On Poptropica Worlds, you get to customize your very own home! You can find it by entering the house interwoven with the big tree to the left of Home Island. Inside, you can click the “Decor” button on the bottom right to place furniture all over your house – although first you’ll need to acquire furniture via spending coins at the shop.

Review:

On the whole, this is a pretty awesome feature to have, and definitely the highlight of Home Island (it’s in the name, after all). There are a lot of fun options with which to decorate your house, from classy brick walls to hipster-aesthetic triangle wallpaper, potted cacti and mounted antlers, and three whole floors to fill up.

Some items (like the wall map seen above) are members only, but non-members will still find lots of cool options to play with (though members do get a 25% discount on everything!). The selection is decent, but it’s not wrong to wish for more, is it? We know members will have access to the upcoming house expansions (the locked doors in the house), and we’re also hoping for the ability to visit other players’ homes as well as throw parties in our own!

Comparison:

Well, this one’s easy – there’s no player housing in Poptropica Original, and in fact, Houses is one of the big new things about Poptropica Worlds! It’s been often requested over the years and it’s finally here, so that’s pretty neat, eh?

Membership

membership

Analysis:

On Poptropica Worlds, the benefits to a membership subscription are multi-faceted: you get access to purchasing exclusive items in both the clothing and furniture stores as well as 25% off all shop purchases. If you have a membership on your account, it applies to both Worlds and Poptropica Original in one go, so you can play members-only islands and more. Soon, members will also get to expand their house with more rooms.

Review:

This is probably one of the touchiest subjects when it comes to Poptropica gameplay. On the one hand, even Poptropica knows that not every player can afford a membership, but on the other, it’s a way of supporting the people who make the game. Still, Poptropica continues to find a good balance between offering extra perks to those who pay while still allowing those who don’t plenty of access to most of the game’s features.

The incentives Worlds offers are enticing without going overboard. Members get 25% off, but everyone can easily rack up coins to buy things by spinning the daily wheel and replaying islands. Members get exclusive items only they can buy, but everyone else still has lots to choose from (though perhaps a little more to non-members wouldn’t hurt). And soon, members can get house expansions – more room to put things in their house – but with three whole floors for each person to decorate, there’s plenty of room even for the non-members!

Comparison:

The price is still the same as before, and it connects to both new and old Poptropica, so now you get more bang for your buck! There’s no sight of members-only islands just yet on the new Worlds, as there are on Poptropica Original, and we’re really hoping it stays that way.

Player-to-NPC Interaction

Analysis:

On Worlds, you interact with NPCs (non-player characters) by tapping on them. Sometimes, they’ll simply have a speech bubble with a one-liner, as we’re used to from Poptropica Original. For longer conversations, a speech bubble icon will appear over the NPC, and you must click on that in order to talk. Then, a translucent window with both parties’ avatars and names will appear, and the conversation will flow with your speech in white and theirs in blue.

Review:

Both ways of conversing on Worlds are readable, but you won’t know which way it’ll happen until you click on the NPC. It can be a bit disorienting if you’re expecting it to go one way but getting another.

Also, how do Poptropica names even work? On Home Island, we meet three new NPCs: Paula Pureheart, Cliff Housebuff, and Captain Scuttlebutt. Some characters from Crisis Caverns also just go by ordinary first names, such as Stanley or Beatrice. Yet player names continue to follow the adjective-noun format, like Friendly Fish. Why are we different?

Comparison:

In Poptropica Original, we would have speech bubbles with the text appear when we talked to NPCs, and if they had more to say, another speech bubble would replace the one prior after a while. The Worlds method allows us to read each bubble at our own pace and only click when we’re ready to move on, but the differences between long and short conversations may take some getting used to.

Something that’s absent from the Worlds method is the lack of speech options when it’s our character’s turn to speak. On Pop Original, we were sometimes given multiple choices for what we want to say, which would in turn influence the response we would get from the NPC. It’s a small thing, but it would be nice to have that again!

Player-to-Player Interaction

lonely

Analysis:

There is simply no player-to-player interaction, at least not currently. It’s awfully lonely not having any friends on Poptropica Worlds…

Review:

Not much to review in this category, but we trust that the Creators are working on some cool features that encourage player interaction! Here are some things we’d like to see:

  • The return of Friends profiles – pop quizzes and all!
  • Visiting friends in their houses – and having friends visit yours!
  • Playing islands with a friend, or even many friends!

What else would you add to this list?

Comparison:

On Poptropica Original, we had friends. On Poptropica Worlds, we do not.

Liek dis if u cri evrytiem.

Sound

music

Analysis:

Like the Sound-Updated Islands (SUIs) first introduced in 2013 on Poptropica Original, Poptropica Worlds is equipped with sound: both ambient sound effects and music in the background.

Review:

The sounds are generally quite ear-pleasing, though if you do not like them, it’s a simple process to go over to the settings in the menu and click the buttons to turn them off. Home Island has its own distinctive soundtrack, and Crisis Caverns has several different ones you will encounter as you play through it, each helping to enhance the mood of the current setting and story point.

Comparison:

Sound in Poptropica Worlds behaves in the same manner as in Poptropica Original – at least on those islands with sound. On the whole, an excellent aural complement to your Poptropica adventuring.


That concludes our review of Poptropica Worlds! What else would you add? Anything you disagree with? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Stay tuned for our review of Crisis Caverns Island, coming soon!

– the PHB team –