Poptropica

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Poptropica
PoptropicaLogo.gif, Poptropica screenshot.jpg
Poptropica's home page
Developer(s) Jeff Kinney Group
Publisher(s) Family Education Network
Distributor(s) Pearson Education
Designer(s) Pete Amomaur
Platform(s) PC and Mac
Release date(s) July 2007, September 2007
Genre(s) Educational, Adventure, single-player with Massively multiplayer online game elements.
Mode(s) Single and multiplayer
Distribution Adobe Flash

Poptropica is an online, role-playing game owned by Pearson PLC, the global publishing and education company. It was primarily the creation of Jeff Kinney, the author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The site is aimed at children ages 6 to 15. Players can go to different 'islands' (game quest scenarios), compete in multiplayer games, and communicate with each other. The islands all have various difficulties, but all center on a problem that the player must resolve by going through multiple obstacles or completing goals. All islands, upon finishing, award "Poptropica credits" which are non-negotiable but may be used to buy costumes and special effects in the Poptropica store. Since February 4, 2012, Poptropica has an Alexa Internet rating of 1,302 in the United States, and a ranking of 5,162 in the world.[1] Poptropica officially launched in September 2007 with 3 islands available to play; Early Poptropica, Shark's Tooth Island, and Time Tangled Island. It has grown to have over 500 million registered users, as of October 19, 2012, 35 million of whom are in the 6-15 age group.[2]

Pearson PLC also owns kids' site FunBrain.com.

Game-play elements

Characters

When players first arrive at Poptropica, they create a character avatar that can be customized immediately, or modified while playing.[3] Such modifications include changing hair color, clothes, eyes hair style, and skin color. Characters' names are automatically generated from lists of nouns and adjectives, in the interest of user safety (i.e. Fierce Paw, Magic Hippo, etc.) This is so there is no user name abuse in the game. This is also to protect users from using their real names in the game too.

Multiplayer rooms

Players can interact with other players through scripted chat in special multiplayer rooms, commonly called common rooms. In multiplayer rooms users can only use a selected message pre written to talk to other users in the game. This is so no abusive language is used in the game. Players can also play games with others, such as Sudoku, Hoops, Balloons, etc.(See games below)

Clothes

Most of the clothes found in Poptropican characters (both players and NPCs) are obtainable by players with a tool called the Costumizer. This tool allows players to put on nearly any clothes they see worn on other characters. Such clothes include hats, hair, mouths (i.e. if and how the character smiles), neck items (jewelry, scarf, ties), shirts, belts, skirts, dresses, jackets (which are worn over the existing shirt) and pants. The Custumizer is represented by a green T-shirt icon.

Additional clothes may be obtained from the Poptropica Store. Some costumes from the Poptropica store allow special actions when you hit the space bar. (i.e. the Pop Star costume makes a character sing when the space bar is pressed).

Handheld items are usually not Custumizable. However, they sometimes can be purchased from the Poptropica Store, as part of costumes. An exception to this is in the Haunted House, where most of the Halloween costume items can be copied.

Items

In Poptropica, a backpack icon is used to represent the inventory of a player. By clicking on it the player can view the items they have acquired. Items are obtained from quests on different islands, many of which allow special actions on the associated island. Players are awarded a special medal and 50 credits each time they solve a quest. Some items picked up on one island cannot be used on other islands.

Players can also "buy" items from the Poptropica Store such as special costumes and gold cards that allow various actions like turning smaller (Minimizer) and chewing bubble gum (Bubble Gum). Items bought in the store may be used on all the islands.

Friends

The Friends icon will be at the top of the toolbar in Poptropica. In April 2012, a new feature called Poptropica Friends was announced and replaced Friends on the main menu and in uses. Poptropica Friends also allows you to answer pop quizzes each day, put up to 30 costumes in the costume closet (members only), see your photos, and much more. The old Friends is now discontinued, replaced by the re-vamped Poptropica Friends.

Islands

Poptropica consists of 40 islands between which the character can travel. Each island has its own quest, which players are encouraged to complete. If a player completes an island's quest, he or she receives an island medallion as well as 50 credits to spend in the Poptropica Store. Starting July 6, 2011, Poptropica started allowing players to replay islands, while keeping all the Island Medallions they had already earned.

Non-Island games

Temporary Ad-Games

In addition to the available island quests, advertisers contract for temporary games that appear on the site, sometimes targeted to players of a certain age group or gender. Regular advertisers have included Disney, Kellogg's Froot Loops, Lego toys, and various animated movies and DVD releases. Games normally appear only during a two-week period.

Games

  • Twisted Wizard: Build a wall to protect your wizard. Use magic to defeat the ogres by smiting them with lightning bolts. At first it was only mentioned in Wimpy Wonderland island, but is now required in order to complete the quest. It is also available in the games menu.
  • Switch: A 60-second game similar to Bejeweled in which the player groups three or more fruits in a row to earn points. This is the only game available exclusively in the games menu. However, it can also be found as an arcade machine in the Arcade building at Early Poptropica Island.
  • Sudoku: A game of Sudoku. This is the only game the player can play alone from the game menu or with another player in the multiplayer rooms.
  • Hoops: The player shoots basketballs into the net. The first player to get 5 points wins.
  • Sky Dive: When the signal is given, the player's character has to land on the ground safely by clicking on their parachute, which is in a brown backpack.
  • Paint War: The player needs to blast seven paint-filled balls with their cannon to win.
  • Star Link: Link stars together using a line to form a square. A player earns a point by filling a box with four lines.
  • Balloons: This game is similar to Connect 4 but using balloons. The first player who connects four in a row wins the game.
  • Soupwords: Spell words by connecting three or more letters in a bowl of alphabet soup. The player's goal is to find as many words as he or she can before the soup gets cold. This game is similar to Boggle.
  • Pathwise: A hex like game in which, the player must make a connection by clicking on a hexagon each turn on a rhombus-shaped board in order to bridge their way across and win.

Merchandise

Poptropica began selling products via the internet in March 2009,[4] starting with T-shirts through Zazzle. Poptropica also started selling wall prints with various Poptropica characters a few days later through Larger Than Life prints.[5] Poptropica recently began selling shirts that the player could customize with their own avatar. The player just has to type in his/her username, and they have their shirt!

On May 30, 2009, Poptropica began selling "Poptropica credits" online. Credits are used in the game to buy special costumes and abilities. However, players can also obtain credits through the completion of islands.[6]

Toys

Poptropica began selling Toys in the summer of 2011. They are currently available through Toys "R" Us. Some of the toys sold are Poptropica blimps and other various items like game characters.

Gift Cards

Poptropica sells gift cards ($10) at various stores, such as 7-Eleven, Target and Toys R Us. The gift cards used to allow the purchase of 1 month membership or 1000 credits. However, as of September 2012, the credit option was discontinued.

Island Creator Kit

On June 7, 2013 an island creator kit was announced and is available for preorder on Amazon. The kit was released August 1 the same year. The Poptropica Island Creator Kit is an activity book that will walk the player through all the same steps the developers take when they make a new Island. The players will come up with a storyline, create characters, and design puzzles.[7] Based on this book, Poptropica is currently having a Create-Your-Own-Island contest.

Video game

In 2012, Poptropica released a new video game for DS, Poptropica Adventures. According to the Nintendo description: "The Poptropica museum is in ruins and needs your help! Explore three amazing islands and find missing artifacts to help restore the museum to its former glory. Meet interesting characters, collect artifacts, solve puzzles and play mini games in the ultimate on-the-go Poptropica experience!! Looking to stand out in a crowd? Customize the look of your avatar with new clothes, hats, hair styles and more and show off your own unique Poptropica style!"

Poptropica: Forgotten Islands

On September 5, 2013, Poptropica launched Poptropica: Forgotten Islands an IOS game. According to Poptropica, you will get to meet new characters, play mini-games at random, explore worlds, upgrade your blimp to visit even more places and more. You will also be able to discover secrets about Poptropica by finding artifacts littered throughout the game.

The game is $4.99 (US app store) and features no in-app purchases.

Lego Cuusoo Project.

In late 2012, Poptropica added Dr. Hare's Lab Lego set to Lego Cuusoo. The set has been fairly popular, and as the set has gained popularity, Poptropica has been giving out free costumes and items. At 2,500 supports, for example, they gave out a Carrot Costume. At 7500 supporters, they gave away a Dr Hare Ears power with the promo code DRHARE7500. This project has been closed, as it has reached 10,000 supports and is now under the guidance of Lego.

As of March 2014, the project was rejected and will not be made into a Lego set.

Clothing

In mid 2013, Poptropica began offering the option to put your Poptropican avatar on a T-Shirt, sweater, or select other clothing items.

Books

Poptropica sells a range of books based on its islands with historical and real facts. Books include ones based on Cryptids Island (mythical creatures), AstroKnights (space, aliens), Lunar Colony (the moon), Wild West Island (wild west) and more. They also have books about Poptropica, such as the Poptropica Fact Book and the Island Creator.

Poptropica for iOS

On March 10, 2014, Poptropica announced its new iOS app, which allows playing Poptropica on an iPad via their free app. The app, entitled Poptropica (App), originally launched with Time Tangled Islands and 24 Carrot, but more were promised to be coming soon.

Tribes

When Poptropolis Games was first released in 2012, Poptropica added Tribes. For Poptropolis, they acted as your "team", though you played alone and where more playing for the tribe. However, the tribes have grown to be a bigger part of Poptropica, evidenced when they were re-releasing Poptropolis Games, and had the tribes compete to see who could help rise it the most.

Your tribe is also shown on your homepage and you can get access to a special tribe member only common room. Each tribe has its own common room. They also have their own costume that you get when you play Poptropolis Games (2012 or 2013 edition) and their own flag.

The tribes are: Nanobots, Seraphim, Nightcrawlers, Black Flags, Flying Squid, Wildfire and Pathfinders.

User safety

Poptropica uses pre-scripted chat which allows players to communicate without sharing personal information.[8] This also keeps the communication profanity free. Character names (such as "Fierce Hippo" or "Magic Feather") are also pre-constructed to prevent any profanity or personal information from entering the virtual world. Players can only interact with each other in special multi-player rooms.

Membership

In early 2010, Poptropica began offering premium use of the site through the payment of a monthly membership fee. Paid monthly members have the use (but not ownership) of items from the Poptropica Store. Early access to new islands is now restricted to paid members and has been set at 4 weeks prior to free general use. Members can get exclusive things such as a Red Dragon Ninja Costume in the Poptropica Store. Early access is available to members only. Members are also the only players to have access to bonus quests. This allows them to do an additional quest after completing an island. The player then receives an item upon completion. Poptropica also began selling memberships at Target and other stores.

References

External links