Praise for the Pop

If you haven’t noticed by now, a majority of my posts revolve around things that I believe can be improved in Poptropica. For me, the best parts of this wacky virtual world are clear, so I often skip the praise and head straight for the critique. However, I’ve decided that it’s time to give Poptropica the praise it deserves, in the way it deserves: an awkwardly heartfelt letter that makes me glad I am in no way associated with this blog in my real-life. So here goes:

Dear Poptropica,

Thank you for always being there for me. From when I first created my Poptropican until this very moment, you have given me an escape from reality like nothing else ever has. I am grateful for the wacky world that you are, and I thank you for letting me be whatever my heart has desired. I’ve been a pirate, a superhero, a cowgirl, an astronaut, a spy, and a detective, just to name a few. I’ve had to battle cryptids, zombies, vampires, and monsters in every shape and size, just to find peace away from the monsters in my real-life. Throughout all of my Poptropican adventures, I have been many things, but most importantly, I’ve learned how to take pride in being myself, just the way I am.

Thank You For Everything,

Happy Hippo

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Poptropica’s New Ranking System Gets an F From Me (more like a c+, but still)

For quite some time now, I have believed that the Poptropican Islands should be arranged by their difficulty levels. And personally, I thought it would rather simple to do this.

The order was quite clear in my mind: on the easy end of the spectrum would be islands such as Shark Tooth, Early Poptropica, and Big Nate.

On the other end, islands so challenging you’re wary to even consider replaying them, would be those like Skullduggery and Steamworks.

So when I found out that all of the islands I previously deemed “Easy” were ranked “Challenging,” I was quite confused. At first I figured, if Shark Tooth is ranked as Challenging, then Skullduggery must be ranked as Really Super Extremely Challenging. However, I soon realized, through a quick scroll through the map, that the easiest islands and the most difficult ones had been lumped into the same category.

Of course, how easy any given island is depends on the individuals perception of such island. But you have to admit that there is a difference between Steamworks and Early Poptropica (I mean . . .  right?!?)

Another problem I have with this new system is the “Adventure” category. I understand that the revamp of Poptropica is a process, and there is likely to be an increase in the amount and type of categories. However, in the meantime, why have a random category that has nothing to do with how difficult an island is?

In short, I’m beyond thrilled that islands are now ranked by their difficulty. However, I am less-than-thrilled that there are 38 islands considered “Challenging” and a mere 3 considered “Easy.” Obviously either something is wrong with the system, or the Creators were like: You know what we should do? We should make a website targeted at kids but make it REALLY SUPER EXTREMELY CHALLENGING. Just to mess with the lil’ buggers.

 

Spin and Win

Old people drive me crazy.

Wait, lemme rephrase that. That might have been a *tad* harsh . . . .

It drives me crazy when those who are older than me say, “Back in my day . . .” and continue on with some mundane story about how they use to have it so much worse than I do now. They then go on to say that life nowadays is too easy, everything is at the tip of my fingers. They like to bring up typewriters and card catalogs and having to walk uphill both ways in the snow. They like to remind me that they had it worse than me, and, for some reason, they seemingly want me to have it worse too.

Anyhow,

I can’t believe that I had to go complete islands to earn credits when kids these days can just use the Spin and Win Wheel on the Home Island.

I, personally, have a hard time being a fan of the Spin and Win. “Why?” you ask among your hundreds of credits that were earned by simply pushing a button, so aptly named “Spin.” Perhaps you already know the reason based on my sarcastic tone.

The truth is, I’m exactly like those old people who complain about “kids these days.” I remember starting from zero and playing island after island to earn my credits, anxiously anticipating the next opportunity to be able to cash them in for that cool special effect I had my eye on.

But at the same time, I know I would have much rather have had this wheel “back in my day” than spent my time focusing on the credits instead of the substance of the islands themselves.

Now get off my lawn!

Islands of the Month: The Light at the End of the Tunnel

After a long string of what I personally consider ever-so-desperate moves to stay relevant in this fast-changing world, there is a light beaming at the end of the tunnel. And that light is the Islands of the Month. This new feature promises first-time players 500 credits and repeat players 300 credits to complete a select set of islands. This month, for example, is Arabian Nights and Time Tangled.

Islands of the Month are really a win-win for Poptropica and Poptropicans; it allows the promotion of underappreciated islands while giving Poptropicans the chance to earn additional credits, especially useful for regulars who have already completed all the islands.

Really, my only concern is that this could be temporary. When Poptropica begins to create islands again (Poptropica 2?!?) I worry this feature will be replaced with the new islands, that this is essentially just a way to keep us interested while they get to that next step. (As long as they don’t bring episodes back, am I right?)

I suppose I simply must hope this light at the end of the tunnel is the daylight of tomorrow’s Poptropica and not a train.

Please feel free to comment – even if you don’t agree with me! Trust me, I can take it. Really, I can. Well, maybe . . . now I don’t know. I probably can. We’ll see.

Demo For Non-Members

It all started with Nabooti.

As islands were updated one-by-one to meet the new format, Nabooti became the first member-only island.

Now, I have to be honest, when it was just Nabooti, I didn’t mind. Nabooti has never been one of my favorite islands, so not being able to experience it again didn’t bother me. But once Charlie And The Chocolate Factory got involved, well, that’s when I really felt the effects of this new policy.

Since I had already completed the island when it was available to everyone, I figured that the member-only factor didn’t apply to me. But as I tried to “mind the drop,” I learned that “Mr. Willy Wonka’s Amazing Factory Is Only Open To Poptropica Members.” Um…didn’t I save your factory Mr. Willy Wonka?

Final Verdict: There are plenty of Poptropicans who are unable to be members for a multitude of reasons. This wonderfully wacky virtual world should be a one-for-all, not an all-for-one. Poptropica needs to make all islands available to all members, but at the very least, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory!

The Poptropolis Games: A Gold Review

In honor of the Rio Olympics, I have decided to give my humble opinion on Poptropica’s 27th and 36th island: Poptropolis Games.

First and foremost, I believe that one of the best things about The Games is the ability to choose your tribe. Not only is it fun to be able to represent and take pride in your choice, but teams are also an essential of the actual Olympics. And after you choose, you can join your tribes common room to “Battle, Chat, And Friend Other Members Of Your Tribe,” according to Poptropica.com.

Another perk of Poptropolis Games Island is the games themselves. Some of them can be really entertaining to play. From long jump to diving, it’s a great opportunity to explore athletic events you may not normally have the chance to participate in.

One of the downfalls to this island, however, is exactly what I just described. You have to compete in all of the events. That makes us Poptropicans better all-around athletes than even Ashton Eaton! It also means that we have to endure and compete in the events that don’t really pique our interest. And that can make it harder to stay focused and win the medallion.

But at the end of the day, if you can use Bolt-like focus, Biles-like confidence, and Phelps-like determination, Poptropolis Games Island is an entertaining adventure to fuel your quest for gold!

To see which tribe I belong to, see my post “Who Is Happy Hippo?”.

What do you think of the Poptropolis Games? Which tribe are you a proud member of? Share in the comments!

The End of an Era: Poptropica Blogs

As the popularity of Poptropica soars, the popularity of Poptropica blogs seems to be dwindling. Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of us Poptropicans detailing our journeys on the world wide web, however, our visitors seem to be becoming fewer and farther between.

One reason that stands out to me is that the Poptropica website currently has a link to their own cheats and walkthroughs. When I first embarked on my Poptropica journey, cheats and walkthroughs were an underground system. Well, “underground system” may be a bit of an overstatement, but they were certainly a lot harder to find -and make- than they are now.

Remember good ol’ Thinknoodles? The absolute go to for walkthroughs way back when? His walkthrough of Escape From Pelican Rock has received 773,540 views as of today. Not a measly amount by any means. However, his video for Zomberry has reached almost 2 million!

Of course, there are varying degrees of difficulty for each island, and Zomberry has certainly been out a lot longer than Escape From Pelican Rock. But my point remains the same: Poptropica blogs are a dwindling legacy of creative, driven, albeit single-minded, Poptropicans whose focus is the ever-changing, ever-growing world of Poptropica.

Agree with me? Think I am totally, 100%, completely wrong? Tell me in the comments! Or don’t. It’s your life, after all.

Fun Fact!

The word blog comes from web+log.*

*http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/blog <- (Oooh citations. Fancy.)

Poptropica App

When I learned that there was a Poptropica app, I was beyond excited. Being able to play Poptropica on a smartphone in today’s technology-centered world? Sign me up!

Or don’t.

You can imagine my disappointment when, after downloading the app, I discovered that I would need to create a new character. That means I would have to start from scratch. No costumes, no friends, and no medallions. How about No Thanks!

While I do understand the appeal to new players on-the-go, for veterans looking to switch over, it just doesn’t make the cut. And as a girl looking to someday pass on my account to my own kids (yes, I’m serious,) there was no way I was ready to abandon Happy Hippo.

So what do you think? Should the app allow players to use their veteran Poptropican? Is this just another scheme by the creators to get more money? Or does this Poptropica addition really knock your socks off? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

Growing Pains: Is Poptropica getting too big too fast?

When did you join Poptropica?

2007, when it first started out? Just this year? Or perhaps somewhere in between?

I joined in in 2009, when there were only nine islands. Back then, I took my time enjoying each one and accepting my medallion and 100 credits. This was a time before member-only gold cards, 50 credits for non-member, bonus quests (ugh – remember those?!) and episodes. This was a simpler time.

Unfortunately that simple time is long gone, and now what lays ahead is a new, vast and unpredictable frontier. Now it seems every month there’s a new island. At first, I was excited, what Poptropican wasn’t? We were finally getting new islands at a faster rate than ever before! But then one day, I logged out of Poptropica and didn’t log in again for a very long time.

Well, maybe “a very long time” is a bit of an overstatement, since it was only six months, but my point remains the same. When I logged back in, after only half a year, I was overwhelmed by the amount of new islands. I mean, I was actually stressed about having to finish all of them. I can’t imagine being a new member in 2015. Feeling the stress of having to complete over fourty islands? No thanks! I’d log out and never log in again.

(Old grandpa voice) Back in my day you had to wait to get a new island! Now, as soon as you finish one, a new one’s out! Where’s the boredom of having no new islands?! Where’s the anticipation of getting to play the demo?! Where’s the excitement of finally getting to play all of it?!

So what do you think? Is Poptropica getting too big, too fast? Tell me in the comments!