The second episode of PoptropiCon has come out for Members today! I finished it fairly late, but still got #82, and enjoyed it quite a bit! The full written guide is finished! Click here to see it. In the meantime, everyone can now play the cool first episode of Arabian Nights, and the guide for that is here. One strange thing about PoptropiCon is that the Creators didn't release a video walkthrough for the episode! I think that was a pretty wise move for everyone. Members, don't forget to get the Popzilla Costume!
Before you go, for those of you not active on Twitter (hint: you should follow me), here are some very early sketches that the Creators recently posted:
The first one is obviously from the upcoming Arabian Nights 3 -- looks like they're going in a cool direction! The second one is really interesting. Why is that guy playing basketball in space? And why is the illustration not flat 2D like Poptropica and perspective like the Poptropica comics? I think this might be a sneak peek from the upcoming comic book (in February) rather than a really bizarre island idea, but you never know. And the third one is a little bit too random for me. They all have something wrong with/coming out of their mouths though. Some strange genie ideas, perhaps? We'll find out eventually. Have fun, and make sure to enter the Land Challenge!
The first four days of the Poptropica Land preview are over, and that means the winners of the Dream Home contest have been announced! They're not really called "winners" officially, though. Perhaps it's because they've got so many good entries? Sadly, mine was not one of them this time, I was too busy, but I'll try to participate in the others. So, without further ado...
Make sure to click on each one to see it in all its full glory! They're all great, but my favorites were Cool Sponge's Victorian mansion, Slanted Fish's slanted fish, Golden Lobster's whale, Mad Comet's hillside home, and Zany Crown's treehouse. I voted for one of those; which one did you vote for? The Creators' Blog home page is where the poll is, or you can click here.
Immediately after that, the contest for the best Village has already started. Only four days, so get building! Here's a useful tip: hit the 's' key in your Land to save a screenshot of the entire thing, which you can crop later. Cool, isn't it? Check out our Land page for more tips!
And for some even more exciting news: the second episode of PoptropiCon is coming out for Members this Thursday! Check out my sneak peeks of the episode until then. To celebrate the release, there's a new costume, the Popzilla Costume, available for Members. Get it fast, it's only here during Early Access of the episode, which starts tomorrow! There's even more fun for non-Members: everyone will be able to play the first episode of Arabian Nights on the same day! Click here for the guide.
Be sure to get this costume and vote for your favorite Land creation! But that's not all for today. Check out the latest video from Captain Crawfish. In it, he tells you how to enter the Land Design Contests, in case you didn't know. Very useful:
I wonder if the Creators will ever release the World file for Dr. Hare's awesome Secret Lab creation? I guess technically we do have the original Dr. Hare's Secret Lab, but still... Okay, that's it for today!
Starting today and continuing until October 30th, Poptropica Land is now open to all, non-Members as well as Members! During that time, the Creators will be hosting four contests; here are the topics:
Heh heh, looks like the Creators took my idea for the Obstacle Course competition... I'll be sure to enter that one. You've only got three days for each one, so best hurry up!
Our online comic heroes, Jorge and Oliver, are soon going to make an appearance in actual comic books. Check out these pages that were released through the Creators' official Twitter (click to zoom):
Very nice artwork. They promise that it's coming out in January 2015. Only two more months! And finally, just for fun, check out this rendering of a Zomberry cityscape that was never used. Looks so real I could almost swear I've seen that scene before.
That's all for today! I'm off to design my Dream Home in Poptropica Land (using the new blue material and Props). Sorry for the inactivity; I've been sick and had lots of catching-up to do at school. See ya later!
Guess what just popped up on the Creators' Blog today? Emphasis mine:
For two weeks, from October 16-October 30, everyone will be able to explore and create in Poptropica Land. You'll be able to save your creations and share them with us.
Basically a Poptropica Land construction contest, but on a massive scale, and this time anyone can participate! Even though it's only a limited time, I think non-Members would love to buy a Membership after it's over (trust me -- it's worth it for only $3 to $4 a month). Moving on, the Creators went a little bit overboard with the Twitter sneak peeks today, releasing a screenshot of an internal e-mail:
"Polish and bug fixes" for Poptropica Land definitely sounds cool, but New Start World really caught my attention. The Asgard theme probably will remain the same, but they could be about to make a major change to the way you obtain the hammer (Svadilfari). All in a week before the public preview.
More cool stuff: On the 23rd, Arabian Nights Ep. 1 will be free for everyone (yay!) and sometime before that (probably) PoptropiCon Ep. 1 will be available on the iOS app (whether for free like the online one or for purchase, we don't yet know). By the way, did you check out my PoptropiCon Episode 2 sneak preview yet? So that's the scoop on upcoming awesomeness in Poptropica!
Have anyone of you ever played Magic? It's the first trading cards game, and there's going to be a trading cards game in PoptropiCon! The card game is centered on the Mighty Action Force comic book franchise, which seems to be the theme of the whole episode. Here are the cards you can use:
Nice art, don't you think? There are two players. Each player has a deck and a hand (you draw a card from the deck into your hand every turn). Each card has a value of gems; you can either gain that amount of gems for yourself or remove that amount of gems from the opposing player. There's probably a target amount of gems you have to reach in order to win, or perhaps the opponent loses when they hit 0 gems. So far, I don't know the reason why you play the games. Anyway, moving on to the scenes that you'll visit during the island!
It's also going to release with it's own common room (that's where the Atrium door leads from the Theater scene). The Creators are getting adventurous with the number and complexity of scenes once again! Also, did you hear? The Creators are re-releasing Shrink Ray Island! Anyway, back on track. The episode is in a very early stage right now, so the most I can gather is this: you're trying to create a costume this time to look like Omegon, one of the Might Action Force heros. In order to do this, you'll have to beat people at the trading cards game so they'll let you get certain items, or things like that. Fairly Poptropica-y, don't you think? To top it all off, here's the link to the intro animation. I hope these sneak peeks were insightful, and have a nice week!
The first episode of Arabian Nights Island, "How Bazaar," just released to Poptropica Members today! It was the winner of the Create Your Own Dream Island contest, and is arguably the first Poptropican-inspired island. I found it pretty fun and it was executed pretty well. Also, the final episode of Survival, "Escape," is now out for all players. Click here for the guide!
UPDATE: The full written and video guide for Arabian Nights episode 1 is complete! Click here to read/watch it.
Check out what the Creators said on Twitter:
Does this mean that we can expect another Diary of a Wimpy Kid-themed island, like Wimpy Wonderland and Wimpy Boardwalk, or maybe even a Galactic Hot Dogs-themed island? We'll just have to wait and see. And take a look at this image they published recently:
Bears a striking resemblance to our Poptropica-comic heroes Oliver and Jorge, don't they? Hmm... could this be an upcoming Store costume? Again, we'll just have to wait and see.
The Creators have been busy on Twitter recently, posting some fresh sneak peeks of Islands both upcoming and unreleased. Here's a whopper: the Creators were once seriously considering a "Water Thrill Island"! Check out one of the scenes:
Looks like we missed something that could have been very fun. The Creators said that it's only "rejected for now," but seeing that this island has a definite Summer theme, we'll be waiting for a while. One of the least likely things you'd consider that the Creators would have to puzzle over is the Island logos. Look at all the iterations they went through for the logos of Mission Atlantis, Arabian Nights, and Back Lot:
Speaking of Arabian Nights, the first episode of that Island is coming out for Members tomorrow! Another thing we now know about the Creators is that they have some very talented artists; see these sketches of some scenes from Arabian Njghts:
By the way, if you want the fastest news and coolest stuff about Poptropica, the best way is to follow me and the Creators on Twitter. It's better than just waiting on super-long blog posts like this one ;).Anyway, enough about that. The long-awaited Furniture update to Poptropica Land is here! Except it's not called furniture, it's called Props. The Creators did a great job of describing it, but in Props, you can drag in some pre-made items like doors and dressers (like the old Lands). They're unlocked by Poptanium. There's also a new menu interface on Lands to go with this. So, now you know where to find me for the next 2 hours :). Make something cool and send it in to the Creators, they might post it on their Twitter or on the Creators' Blog! And I'd love to see your creations too. That concludes this post from Poptrickia (finally)...
Arabian Nights Island, the winner of the Create Your Own Dream Island contest, is so close to being released at last! The official release date is October 2, which is a Thursday, as usual. The trailer is pretty interesting, though it made no sense to me (view it below). And remember, click here for Poptrickia's sneak peeks for the episode!
Survival Island, Poptropica's first episodal island, has been wildly popular so far; there's 61 comments on the guide, compared to 8 (!) for Mission Atlantis. And why not? It's got plenty to love about it, including one of the best villains Poptropica has ever came up with. Here's my review of the entire Island, all five episodes. Though I have a reputation of being negative, I tried to be fair and there's actually a mix of ups and downs here. Also a lot of words, fair warning :)
Episode 1 - Crash Landing
Let's just say, not the most positive start. I was really irritated by the endlessly looping dry wind sound and the fact that you couldn't stay in one place -- let alone switch to another tab -- without resetting that scene. That's not to say that it was glitchy, just some poor choices from the Creators. The music, on the other hand, was awesome as usual. All five of the episodes had great music.
Also, the episode had a reasonable difficulty. You had to really think in order to get each item required for the fire, even though there was only one real goal in the episode: make a fire. Not to mention the super creepy and exciting binocular zoom-out at the end! That was the highlight of the episode. I give it three out of five stars.
Episode 2 - Hook, Line, and Sinker
Ouch. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and call this episode a waste of time and a weaker copy of Episode 1. Sorry. First of all, the premise was pretty much the same as Ep. 1: you're lost, survive by doing one specific, obvious thing, in this case catching a fish, in the last episode making a fire. But Episode 2 was much easier and way too obvious: you go to the left, pick up a convenient fishing pole, find all the items you need, then return to the place where there's obviously a lot of fish (no need to look for them), and press SPACEBAR. The beaver dam mini-game was pretty easy, but besides, why are you destroying their natural habitat and punching innocent animals on the head? Sheesh.
Also, it was a little bit less polished too. Maybe these bugs have been fixed now, but fish flying out of the water and through the air? The boulder strikes ice but doesn't crack it? On the other had though, the music was even awesomer than the last episode. You can't go wrong with Poptropica music. All in all this episode gets a two out of five stars. If only for obnoxiously getting in the way of the more exciting episodes.
Episode 3 - Distress Signal
Talk about a turn-around! This episode would have to be one of my favorites. The mystery around the wreck area was pretty chilling: why is there a huge, broken plane lying here among the trees? Whose items are these that have dropped all over the area? What is Max McGullicutty trying to say on the cargo manifest? And the important one -- "Who is MVB?" This is the episode where the real fun starts to begin. To top it all off, the background music goes really well with the mood of the episode.
The highlight of the episode is the animation. I loved the plane as it crumbled and fell through the trees, and especially the part where you try to leap out of the plane hanging over a ravine. My other favorite: the radio tower scene. Climbing the radio tower was not too stressful and really fun, to see your Poptropican shrinking smaller and smaller as you rise above the trees and into Van Buren's realm. Little things here and there about the animation really appealed to me. It was all very entertaining.
Some downsides: there were initially a lot of bugs (its launch was even postponed a day to fix them but some slipped past), the part where you jump off the see-sawing plane wing seemed a little too impossible to be intentional at first, and it wasn't as difficult as I would have liked. Still, it gets five out of five.
Episode 4 - Cabin Fever
Cabin Fever was definitely the climax of Survival Island. And it was a good one, at that! The thing that made this episode work really well was the atmosphere -- it starts off welcoming but tense: you're finally rescued, but you're getting lots of unpleasant hints about MVB, until, BAM, you're poisoned and locked in a room. From then on, you go through the curious experience of skulking around an insane game hunter's personal cabin, with a myriad of stuffed and mounted animals everywhere (such as Winston), and persons willing to stuff and mount you (such as MVB, the chef and Winston). And of course, the music was brilliant once again, especially at the last grand reveal. I loved it. A full five out of five stars.
Episode 5 - Escape
This episode carried over almost the same atmosphere, music style, and scene appearance from the amazing Episode 4. Which was a pretty bad choice. Don't get me wrong, I loved the atmosphere, but I didn't like how they re-used it. And there was another problem: the climax was supposed to be episode 4. Why, then, are we still sneaking around Van Buren & company?
Still, it wasn't a total flop. I liked how we're finally on the offensive, that even though we're oppressed by a pretty overpowering enemy with traps and hounds reaching across the landscape, we're still sneaking under his nose and launching a "secret revolution" of sorts. I also appreciated how Max McGullicutty was integrated into the story, but I thought he could have done more than magically show up riding a bear.
Oh, and how could I fail to mention my most favorite part of all? The opening Chase scene was, in my opinion, one of the most powerful scenes in Poptropica, suspenseful and how you're thrown right into it before you catch a breath. Even though it was frustrating when you jumped instead of ducked, the music was pretty darn awesome (and the upgraded "Tally-ho" call was quite a relief). This episode mostly gets 3 out of 5 stars, but including the chase scene I'd have to up it to four out of five stars.
Getting the Balloon: Let me say one thing: it's VERY rare (UPDATE: it was so hard that the Creators had to tweak the frequency -- props to the super-lucky who found it during the first 8 days!) Here's my strategy that's worked in the past:
What's your most favorite Poptropica moment? Mine is the time I beat Astro-Knights, and the most memorable was the Jersey Devil's house on Cryptids Island. Your favorite Island? I loved them all, but Survival stands out (if only because it's so recent). Answer in the comments!
What do you do on a birthday party? Eat cake and ice cream, other irrelevant stuff... kids, now is the time to get your parents to let you have ice cream on a weekday!
New: Behind the Scenes of Poptropica
Some crazy news here! After four years of being on my own island in the sea of Poptropica blogging, I've joined another blog -- Behind the Scenes of Poptropica! BTSPop is focused on cool sneak peeks of the variety you've been seeing on Poptrickia, only a lot more elaborate. It's owned by my friends Nameless UnDEFiNed and Slippery Raptor. Check it out!