Back to School at FamilyEducation.com
|

A Parent's Guide to Poptropica

Since its launch in September 2007, Poptropica has been the fastest-growing online virtual world for kids. Each month, more than 6 million children around the globe explore the vibrant and constantly expanding game world. Kids are also flocking to the Poptropica app. Chances are that your child or one of her friends is an avid player.

But what's the game all about, exactly? As a parent, what do you need to know about this increasingly popular phenomenon? Let's start with the basics.

(Poptropica is also part of Family Education Network.)

The basics of Poptropica

First, kids create a character. After selecting whether to play as a boy or a girl Poptropican, they are assigned a name. Each character's appearance is randomly generated to start with; kids have the option to change almost all of their avatar's physical attributes, such as facial features and clothing. This character can be saved, via a password system, for use in future game-play sessions.

Then, kids enter Poptropica, a virtual world dotted with individual islands. Each island has its own theme, and its own adventure for players to complete. For example, "Time-Tangled Island" is a time-traveling adventure in which players must return objects and characters to their historically accurate periods, while "Spy Island" is a comical thriller with lots of futuristic gadgets. Each has a distinct storyline that is not related to those of the other islands.

Besides the single-player adventure, each island features common rooms, in which Poptropica players can play standalone games against other people. These are primarily short, simple, reflex-based games, such as a skydiving competition in which the first person to touch the ground safely wins, or a basketball shooting competition in which the hoop is rising and falling. Players are given a star ranking based on their win-loss record.

Characters are controlled entirely by the mouse. Players move an arrow-shaped cursor in the direction they want their character to go, and hold down the left mouse button to make them move. To jump, players move the cursor up; to duck, they move it down. There are also special actions that can be accomplished with inventory items -- for example, a jetpack lets users fly, while a glowstick illuminates dark areas. The inventory menu is graphical, and also accessed by the mouse.

Those are the basics. To get a better idea of what kids do in Poptropica, watch this Youtube video or visit these video tutorials. Also, learn more about the Poptropica app by watching this video.

|


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Handwriting Headquarters
We've got handwriting practice worksheets, handwriting tips, and answers to your child's writing struggles, just in time for back to school. Brought to you by BIC.

11 Coolest Lunch Boxes for Kids
Send your child's lunch to school in style! Check out our picks for the 11 best lunch boxes with great features from BPA-free accessories to spill-resistant fabric.

7 Important Back-to-School Safety Tips
Follow these back-to-school safety tips to make sure your child stays safe on the way to school, in the classroom, and while on the playground.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!