Hiya, Silver Wolf here! So, basically, there’s something you may or may not know about… Something huge… Poptropica looks different. Yes, the Home Screen has had a makeover…and it’s not bad, but it just doesn’t have the same feel, which may have actually been what the Creators were going for. The keys have changed, the header is different (no more palm trees! 😥 ), the island listings are different… There’s a lot. I don’t know, but it looks like Poptropica has decided to complete a New Year’s Resolution: change the layout. But the point of the post isn’t to rant on how different it is, but to rather show a full review of how it’s different, and a sort-of guide on how to use it.
First, just look at the photos. I mean. C’mon. The first thing I want to point out is that the beloved Poptropica Palm Trees are gone. Instead, there are clouds beside Poptropica and sunshine behind Poptropica, including the blimp that’s flying beside it. Now, from an unbiased point of view, yeah, it looks pretty amazing; more modern, smoother, eye pleasing…but, to me, Poptropica’s header became more than just a header. It was Poptropica; it symbolized what Poptropica is, what it was, and what it will be. Of course, this is probably just my attachment to it, but that’s my perspective…
What I’m referring to is the square outline that is the game. First thing I noticed was the slideshow. It changes automatically, but you can go to whatever slide you want by clicking the boxes in the left corner below it. Honestly, I think this part was pretty clever. They get to advertise their islands, but look cool and not be annoying while doing it. As of now, there is a slideshow for Poptropica Realms, Arabian Nights: Lair of Thieves, Shrink Ray SUI, your own Poptropica t-shirt, and Poptropica Mobile. Pretty good choices. But one flaw I see in the future, though, is the small “Play Now” button that loads to the old Poptropica screen in the new format. New players, especially small children (since Poptropica’s age range begins at 6), might not be able to navigate to the actual game, and that’s a valid problem. Even I had to think for a moment if that meant create a new character, or use an existing account. When I clicked it, though, it just ended up loading the old Poptropica screen, but either way, it probably needs to be a bit more noticeable and clear.
The links on the new layout from left to right on top of “The Box” include a link to the Poptropica’s Creators’ Blog (which has stayed the same), the Parent’s Overview Page, the Membership Tour Page, the Poptropica Shop, the Frequently Asked Questions Page, and the Poptropica App Page. Good choices, and a convenient area for the viewer to entice curiosity, or just click on by mistake, particularly since it is right next to the “Play Now” button. But either way, they’re pretty handy, and it just has a visual font appeal. I’m also going to be including the Creators’ Blog excerpt, which is far larger than its predecessor, and much more noticeable. What strikes me is that it’s actually bigger than the ‘Play’ button. By a lot. A bit weird since the main point is to actually play online, but if its all the same, I always thought the PCB needed a bigger section than what it had before. Just not bigger than the actual “Play Now” button.
Island & Merchandise Categories
So this is pretty simple and quick. At the bottom of the Home page, there are four categories: “Merchandise,” “Newest Islands,” “Classic Islands,” and “Popular Islands.” Under Merchandise, there is are subcategories named Poptropica App, Custom T-Shirts, Books, Video Games, and View All. They sort of speak for themselves. 😛 “Newest Islands,” are all of the SUI’s that have been released recently, including Arabian Nights and PoptropiCon. On the other hand, “Classic Islands” are the non-SUI’s that are still on the map; S.O.S and Nabooti are a couple of examples. Lastly, “Popular Islands” are simply the islands that are played the most, with Wimpy Boardwalk and Poptropolis Games at the top (not known if they’re in order).
That’s about it, guys! I hoped this familiarized you with the new format, or at least got you thinking about it. Every aspect seems pretty cool on its own, but when put together it’s not very…eye-pleasing? Which is one of the most important things websites need to shoot for, and I still can’t get over the “Play Now” button. Again, I may be biased, though, so don’t let me affect what you think. I do have to admit, though, it’s smooth and mostly functional (*cough* ‘Play’ button *cough*), so I guess we’ll have to just wait and see what happens next. Then again, Poptropica had to become more modern at some point, but I don’t think I was ready for it yet. What about you? Do you have any opinions or suggestions for Poptropica? Comment below to tell us what you think! Bai!