What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Poptropica: Forgotten Islands is a virtual world quest game for kids, especially kids who are fans of the popular Poptropica website. It does not connect to accounts players may have on the Poptropica website. As kids fly a blimp across an ocean, they land on island environments and go on quests, "discovering the secrets of Poptropica's past, one artifact at a time." The quests essentially ask kids to search and find sets of items. Once they complete the quest, they earn points to buy accessories. Unlike the Poptropica website, kids cannot interact with other kids; the actions of the 80 characters that kids see on the app are determined by the app, not other players. Also, unlike the website, there are no memberships to buy. Once the app is paid for, all content (an estimated 10 hours) is available. There are no verbal instructions. Some reading is required.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- solving puzzles
- part-whole relationships
- problem solving
- achieving goals
- work to achieve goals
Engagement, Approach, Support
Highly visually engaging quests exist in a colorful virtual world populated with islands, 80 characters, and a bright blimp that players use to travel from island to island. Kids are also engaged by creating their own character and choosing his or her name, physical characteristics, and clothes.
Kids use some problem-solving skills to achieve the goal of completing the quests, but the app doesn't offer a deep learning experience.
Reading (or being read it) is required to know what the characters are saying, what the clues are while moving through the virtual world, and to complete the quests. Other than coins earned point total and visuals that identify how much of the quest is completed, kids aren't given much feedback. No verbal instructions or feedback at all.
What's it about?
Choose a boy or girl for your character on POPTROPICA: FORGOTTEN ISLANDS and customize. Begin to read what characters say in the cartoon bubbles. Move a finger forward and hold to start your character exploring the environment. Tap characters with scrolls to find out quest info. Tap to put items you find on the quest into your backpack. Continue meeting characters who give clues or create obstacles, pick up needed items, visit other islands, and earn coins to spend on accessories.
Is it any good?
The graphics, characters, and other visual elements that make up this virtual world are highly engaging and just a lot of fun for kids to imagine being there on quests. It's important that kids can read or have the characters' dialogue read to them. Multiple users can store profiles to save progress. Parents who don't want to be asked to make in-app purchases will especially appreciate that the $4.99 purchase price is all that's required.
If kids like the aspects of the website that aren't available on the app, such as interacting with friends, Poptropica: Forgotten Islands could be missing some important elements. But if they enjoy the general gameplay, this app will not disappoint.
Families can talk about...
If your kid plays on the Poptropica website and the app, talk with your kid and compare and contrast the differences between the two experiences. What does your kid like or dislike about each?
Even though Poptropica: Forgotten Islands doesn't include interaction with other players, since play is very similar to other virtual worlds that do, this may be a good opportunity to discuss safety for online interaction. Especially if playing on this app causes your kid to want to play on the companion website that does include interaction, read Common Sense Media's Online Worlds for Young Kids Tips for talking points.