By Peter Montwill
Student Correspondent / Award-Winning Poptropica Player
When talking about all time classic games, some that first pop into mind include “The Legend of Zelda,” the original “Mario” and “Pac-Man.” One game often left off these lists is a 2010-2011 era game titled, “Poptropica.” This game is the apex of the free online computer game industry and exemplifies everything good and bad about the industry. Never has there been a game with a multitude of stories full of intrigue, mystery, puzzles and good fun. While there are some bugs and problems, “Poptropica” remains one of the greatest games to date.
To start, you make your account and build your character. You can change your appearance, albeit your options are very limited. Once you enter the realm of Poptropica, you are welcomed to a land of over 20 islands. The earliest are all the way to the right of the map and newest are all the way to the left. I recommend starting with the older islands as some of the islands have stories that intertwine with other islands. This doesn’t happen often but when it does, it’s very exciting. One of my favorite islands would have to be “Game Show Island” as the game shows it requires you to participate in are enjoyable and interesting. Each island changes a little bit. Some will be simply talking and jumping around with few puzzles. Others are just puzzles with little story elements like “Poptropolis Games Island”.
One of the biggest drawbacks of this system is the “locked for membership” feature. Poptropica has a membership system that will only allow you to play a demo of an island before requiring you to pay a ludicrous amount of $4 for one month, $11 for two months, and $20 for six months. With the game getting its basis from having free content, this is outrageous that extra content has to be paid for. “Shipwrecked Island” is an island about the Titanic crash. At the end of the island, they tease at you being able to scuba dive and find various items. This prospect enticed me until that dreaded pop-up saying that it was membership only appeared. The fact that Jeff Kinney, the creator, has the audacity to make me pay to play for this game is infuriating. The only other benefits the game has to offer is that you get “cool” clothes, when the coolest clothes you can receive are from the game world. For example, here is my player character. I have no membership, yet I still have an empanada hat on. I don’t understand what you need a membership for when you have an empanada hat.
Finally, this game is advertised to children as a game many children can play and have a good time with. I can tell you this game is not for kids in anyway shape or form as it is the most difficult game to get through. The only way to beat an island is to use a walk through. “Skullduggery Island” is an island about pirates and pirating. It has a really cool innovative system where you sail to the different smaller isles that are apart of the archipelago, so to speak, while gaining money to get a better ship and beat the main boss. What ended up happening was me losing all my money and being stuck. I am nearly 16 years old, imagine if an 8-year-old tried to beat this island. The difficulty of the island and the entire game is insane. Another example is “Astro Knights Island.” Words cannot even describe Astro Knights. If Kevin Perlow were still here, he would see your destroyed Fujitsu and know that it was Astro Knights Island.
All in all, “Poptropica” is a fantastic game with a few problems that are pretty bad but not too bad if you ignore them. Playing it will overcome you with memories of those days in fifth grade not doing homework, trying to beat “Shark Tooth Island.” I haven’t even touched on the multiplayer aspect of the game and that alone gives it a 10/10.
In the end, taking everything into account, I am giving Poptropica a legendary, never before seen score of 12/10. You will never in your lifetime play another masterpiece like this. This is the reason why we have Fujitsu’s after all.