Hey there, Poptropicans! I’m Happy Lobster, and I’m here to bring you the first Thursday Topping. Well, yes, technically this post is a Friday Topping, but let’s just ignore that little fact and move along, shall we? 😉
Anyway, this is a top 5 post of the worst Poptropica islands, cherry-picked out of over fifty islands and episodes. Just before you look below and start screaming at my choices of what the worst islands are, please bear in mind that this is thoroughly-opinion based, so these islands may not be what you think are the five worst islands.
Also, the list below contains spoilers for the corresponding islands below, so read at your discretion. But if you haven’t played the following islands and you love spoilers, please, continue reading! 😛
The following islands will be assessed out of 100 for three categories: plot, gameplay, and art. Directly below is a quick guide to each of these subsets:
- Plot refers to the general storyline and background of the island, and a good plot would be one that is creative, inventive, and that has clearly taken a lot of effort to place together;
- Gameplay refers to how enjoyable the island is for a player, which for me (again, this post is solely opinion-based) would be interesting, suspenseful, and challenging, and;
- Art, which is generally what makes up all the visual aspects of the island, and it is another large attribute to what makes an island enjoyable to play (like you would be thrilled if you had to play a sloppy island with bad shapes and terrible colours).
Then the three scores for each of the above factors will be combined into an average score out of 100, which will be the island’s total score.
Haven’t fallen asleep yet? Excellent. Without any further ado, let’s get started!
- Survival (Episode 2: Hook, Line and Sinker)
After a not-so-epic first episode, the second episode of Survival starts off with your Poptropican climbing down a rope alongside a cliff. When you reach the bottom of the rope, a slightly violent gust of wind conveniently blows by then, and you fall off the rope. You end up landing on a tree, half-dazed for a few moments, and then you suddenly realise that you are hungry, and you set off in pursuit of a fish to catch and eat.
Like most other episodes in Poptropica, it is pretty short. At the very start of the quest, your Poptropican finds almost all of the items for later use in the episode conveniently strewn around trees for you to easily collect, all in just one scene. For most Pop quests, you would have to obtain all your items by accomplishing certain parts of the island, one at a time, and by practically throwing almost everything needed at you as soon as you enter the episode, it does not promise for a particularly developed or even merely challenging quest.
All you have to do for this episode is walk, jump and push certain entities for about five minutes, and it does require little thinking, which is something I personally like to be included in island quests. So it’s fair enough to say that neither the plot nor gameplay are that great. But, at least there are some positives – the art in Hook, Line and Sinker is fairly pleasant. With a picturesque sky with graceful tree silhouettes, the island’s aesthetic is visually pleasing.
In any case, you can get a free Fishing Suit in the episode itself, which is an additional bonus, as it is unnecessary to finishing the quest, but it still looks pretty nice.
- Mission Atlantis (Episode 1: Into the Deep)
Upon arriving on the island, you’ll meet a filmmaker called Cam Jameson standing on a boat, who immediately asks for your help filming underwater footage of some fish, and asks you to find the key to a submarine, so the underwater filming can get started, or as Jameson puts it, ‘the greatest fish story ever told!’. To acquire the key to the sub, you’ll have a fun time kicking buckets of ink over people’s heads, and then you will get the key.
The first part of the episode is rather quick and easily the most boring scene from it, so there won’t be any particularly lacklustre parts from now on during the episode. But that’s not to say it’s going to be particularly exciting, either. Anywho, when you get into the ‘Bubble’ submarine pod, and go underwater, you’ll proceed around the ocean, taking photos of sea creatures, most of which will require simple and vaguely interesting means to get a clear photo of them.
Once you complete taking photos of all the assigned creatures, you’ll spot a rare Hydromedusa, which you follow to the depths of the ocean. You’ll meet a whole clique of the unusual creatures, who’ll come over and electrocute your sub, taking all its power. The Bubble will sink to the deepest, darkest precinct of the sea, revealing the remains of an almost forgotten myth… the lost city of Atlantis.
Most of the episode isn’t very exhilarating. The plot isn’t so great – you take pictures of some sea creatures, and then you conveniently stumble upon Atlantis. There’s not that much to it, and it probably took little effort to think up. In accordance with that, the gameplay is a little tedious. But just as with Survival, the art is definitely good. Well, in the underwater scenes, anyway, since the ship scene is pretty nondescript. The best part of the island is certainly around the end, where the scene zooms out and divulges the most breathtaking feature of all in the episode.
- Monkey Wrench Island
When you start this island, you’ll find yourself in an airborne plane that looks like it has seen better days. In front of you in the plane, is Amelia Earhart, who in real life, was the historical pilot who went missing flying over the Pacific eighty years ago. The Flying Ace race is beginning, and once an official comes over to tell you all that you will be competing for the Monkey Wrench medallion as a prize. And just like that, the race is underway! You’ll be flying among several other Poptropicans with varying costumes and means of flying. But just moments after the race begins, a woman in a red plane, called the Red Baroness comes over, and throws a wrench at your plane. Spluttering with clouds of black smoke, your plane crashes on a small island in the middle of Poptropica’s endless seas…
You’ll momentarily be in a daze on this new island, but you’ll be woken by a monkey. He’ll guide you through the island, dotted with a few unavoidable setbacks, which are momentary tutorials that’ll teach you how to walk, run, jump, click on objects, open your inventory, exit scenes and also how to change your Settings. It’s not as if a lot of you really need this, but after all, it is a tutorial for new Pop players. You’ll meet the chatty Crusoe, who tricks you and Amelia by making you give him materials to make a hammock and a drink for him. He then shows you his plan for a brilliant blimp to get back into the Flying Ace Race, and asks you to build it.
Yeah … maybe brilliant is not the word to describe it.
But then a monkey comes forward with a another plan – and this plan shows a sketch of your old, trusty Poptropica blimp, surrounded by unusual Nordic runes, which I’d guess translate into measurements and material names. The monkey certifies that it can build it, after you ask it. The yellow blimp is soon made, and you’re back in the race!
You’ll then find that the ever-annoying Crusoe is accidentally with you and Amelia, so you’ll trick him into leaping into the Red Baroness’ plane, which distracts the Baroness and causes her plane to crash. Consequently, you will win the race, and therefore obtain the Monkey Wrench medallion.
So… suffice it to say, your Poptropican does not get the most active on this island out of all the other islands. The gameplay of this quest comes crashing down like the Baroness for me. The storyline is quite simple, and one might even say that it is pretty crude. But the art within this island is spectacular, in clarity, colour and detail. But still, this island was meant as a tutorial for new players, and I think Poptropica has definitely delivered on this. It has been made easy to play for beginners to understand Pop and its quests, and MW definitely conveys a clear sense of adventure, an element that I think is certainly a necessity in any Poptropica island.
- Virus Hunter
Just about a minute into the quest, and you’ll meet a strange man atop the Globochem building, who believes the government is up to something. He’ll tell you that if you can prove that the government has set up a shop in the building he’s standing on, he’ll help you get inside. So, after catching a very inconspicuous-looking truck, with the name Pizza Delivery Company, you’ll bring back a bag of shredded documents, dropped by the truck’s driver. Piece them together, and you’ll end up with three complete documents, one of which shows how to get in the PDC’s secret laboratory. The strange guy will then give you a fake PDC badge.
After accessing the Poptropica Disease Center’s lab with you fake badge, you’ll meet Dr. Lange, who’ll tell you that your badge is a phony, but she really wants a volunteer to stop the virus. She’ll show you a slightly creepy video about the CC13 Influenza, and then send you on your way with two items. Then, after a bit of rummaging through bins, talking to falafel guys, following falafel guys and taking photos of falafel guys’ customers (now that’s what I call not stalking), you’ll be back at the PDC, and you’ll show her the picture of Joe Stockman (the falafel customer), who is also Patient Zero, the person containing the perilous virus. Dr. Lange will then take you to another room, reassures your Poptropican that they have 99% success chance of nothing going wrong when she shrinks you (very reassuring), and then the giant machine facing you fires a laser at you, and you’ll shrink to a nano-sized Poptropican.
You’ll then be in a tutorial, which will show you how to control your ship, the Panacea, which comes with four individual weapons. After the tutorial, a PDC scientist will give Joe Stockman some Chinese food, and you and the Panacea are in it. He’ll eat it, and you’ll now be inside Patient Zero’s stomach! You’re in for an adventure like no other Poptropican quest – you’ll travel all over inside a Poptropican’s body, fighting killer viruses, which, to be honest, do look very impressive.
In all, Virus Hunter is far from the classics. For this island, the storyline is poorly developed. After all, we only know about the Poptropica Disease Center, disguised as the Pizza Delivery Company in public, which finds out the person with the hazardous virus, and they send you in a nano-sized robotic ship, in Patient Zero’s body, to stop it. How did the virus come about? Why is Stockman Patient Zero? There are several questions in Virus Hunter that aren’t answered. The gameplay is definitely full of action – but only in a few parts, when you have to face off against the more major viruses, Otherwise, the action is a little dull. And the island is also glitchy in several areas, being the first official SUI. For the art, to be perfectly honest, is mostly tedious inside the body, and a few sections could even be considered as gross. But like I said before, the appearances of the viruses are quite impressive, which definitely boosts up the island’s visual attributes.
- Wimpy Wonderland
As soon as you get off the blimp on this island, you’ll encounter Greg Heffley, the protagonist of the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series. He’ll say that his younger brother, Manny, has disappeared while Greg was supposed to be babysitting him. Greg is obviously the best babysitter around, isn’t he?
Like the inquisitive Poptropican you are who gets itself tangled in trouble and mystery just upon touching the island, you set off immediately in pursuit to find Manny. The island actually is reasonably fun to play, with several lively scenes; you get to ride a Rumble Bike, chase Manny around a school, climb up Leisure Towers with numerous chances to get belted with random objects thrown at you by elderly residents, play bingo (for those of you folks out there who love puzzle games) push a giant snowball that avalanches over the Whirley Street kids, and perhaps the most fun of all, you get to sled over hills to get back to the Heffleys’ house.
In short, the gameplay is very enjoyable. But in total contrast, is the art (excuse my bad puns). With the whole island being mostly white, with hints of black and negligible traces of blue, it makes for an aesthetic that is boring and depressing in equal measure. The plot – a little better than the visual aspects. Again, like the first episode of Mission Atlantis, the storyline isn’t really developed, but Wimpy Wonderland’s general plot is definitely better than Into the Deep. Some may think it’s just ‘you lose Manny, then you find Manny’, but there are several aspects of the plot between those two phrases, many of these being connections and references to the actual Wimpy Kid series.
Moreover, there is an extra you’ll receive in this island: a video game called Twisted Wizard. If you love zapping ogres while being a wizard, this is the perfect game for you.
If you need a helpful guide to beating this game, click here.
Well, ending on that note, that’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did writing it (which is to say, a lot). What do you think are the worst five islands of Poptropica?
See you soon, Poptropicans!