As 2016 is well underway (already on January 3rd?!), it’s once again time to look at the previous calendar year and what it had in store for our beloved virtual world. As with other years, we were treated to a plethora of parties (including mini-parties), some new Puffles and plenty of items and pins. But how did 2015 stack up to 2014? Known to many as one of the most disappointing years in CP’s history thus far; CP risked losing players if they didn’t step up their game. Let’s see if they did..
I say the same thing pretty much every year in these reviews. (Almost) 12 parties, lots of items and pins and the ongoing promise of the highly anticipated Project Super Secret / CPNext. This year was slightly different however, as this was CP’s 10th year online. Surely they had planned something pretty amazing? Well, kind of. Not quite Project Super Secret but something that will certainly be one of the more memorable parties throughout the history of the game. More on this later!
I’ve already done a critical review on every party of this year therefore this section will be a quick synopsis of each party and my own personal opinions on them.
January – Star Wars Rebels Takeover: As those who have read my previous reviews on any related Star Wars content, I’ve never actually watched any of the films or cartoon series (bar the Family Guy parodies of course). The original Star Wars takeover was much much better, so much so that I barely logged in for this event. Very simplistic tasks, poor items and only a handful of decorated rooms ensured this was a party to forget.
February – SoundStudio Party: A party to advertise the new SoundStudio app. A mixture of the Hollywood and Music Jam sounded great on paper but didn’t seem to work very well in-game. Again, very simplistic tasks and pretty average items. Oh, and the decorations were incredibly lacking and too heavily focused on neon lights.
March – Pi Day: A mini-party at the Mine Shack; complete all the simplistic decorations that would’ve suited the 2007 days. Rookie and Gary’s backgrounds were the only free items, however, thus making the lack of an actual item the only downside for this maths-themed event.
March – Puffle Party: The seventh Puffle Party really needed something to stand out. It actually featured a plot and introduced the Sasquatch officially. Plenty of head items to ‘enjoy’, all inspired by the Puffle Creatures found in the Puffle Wild. Ultimately, it felt a strange party that was a little to farfetched for my taste – and that’s coming from a game in which has talking penguins and an evil crab.
April – Cave Maze: Another mini-party in which took place underneath the Dock. A pretty fun event featuring some satisfying maze themed rooms, complete with a free item for finishing said maze It even featured a secret room with an animated dance floor. Awesome!
April – Frozen Fever: Lots of free pins, very very simplistic tasks and re-used rooms from the previous Frozen takeover. This party was surely one to let go (pun intended).
May – The Fair: Basically the 2014 version with a few fixed flaws. Plenty of games, prizes and neon lights. Whilst it was certainly an interesting concept, I still prefer the classic Fairs.
May – Rainbow Puffle Party: The first ever app-exclusive party. It allowed everyone to complete the quest and adopt their very own Rainbow Puffle. It even came with some nice rainbow-themed items and decorations.
June – Royalty Week: Not even a party really. Basically, those who logged into the app got a few free royalty-themed items. Pretty self explanatory!
June – Festival of Snow: One of my favourite parties of the year. Very similar to that which occurred in 2007, only with new snow sculptures. Even the Snowflake Shirt and Ice Crown returned. A great idea from the team to fill this otherwise empty month (whilst CP worked on other things).
July – Inside Out Party: A pretty decent party in which had player’s going inside Rockhopper’s mind in an attempt to recover his lost memories. It featured Rockhopper-inspired characters from the film and even a basic, if not bizarre plot. Decorations were extremely lacking, however.
August – Fashion Festival: A primarily female-oriented party that actually had some user interaction. Not too many decorated rooms, though those that were looked appealing. No items however, though this was a party focusing on how player’s could use items, as opposed to getting new ones.
September – Descendants Party: A plethora of hand items (for non-members) and only three decorated rooms. This felt more like a mini-party, and a pretty poor one at that. The Iceberg was nice, though.
September – Talk like a Pirate day: Ironically my favourite event of September. A fun mini-party at the Beach which was nicely decorated and even featured the return of the rare Red Bandana. Feeling more like an original 2007 party as opposed to a 2015 mini event, it was my personal favourite mini-party of the year.
October – 10th Anniversary Party: The grand event of the year. Most rooms were decorated exactly as they were during a certain party of the past. A blend of many different parties such as Christmas, Halloween, Music Jam and even April Fools featured within this historic event; complete with several different items (one from each party). No member-only features meaning everyone was included. My absolute favourite event of the year and one of the best parties within CP’s history!
October – Halloween: I always love Halloween parties and this was no exception. Excellent decorations, a simplistic scavenger hunt, a solid plot featuring the malfunctioned MascBots of the 10th Anniversary and even Herbert – this was one Halloween I’ll always remember.
November – Moustache Madness: A small-scale mini-party located at the Forest. Very very simplistic decorations with five different moustaches to collect. A nice addition to a pretty busy month.
November – Extreme Paint Festival: Basically a coverup for the main event of the month. No items, only decorations. Located at the Dock, plenty of paint all over the place and even some user interactivity ensured this was a great way to foreshadow November’s flagship party.
November – Operation: Crustacean: The next instalment within the Operation-themed parties. Unfortunately, a sub-par plot with only a few decorated rooms ensured this couldn’t compare whatsoever to Operation: Blackout; or even Operation: Puffle/Hot Sauce. The Area 501 and UFO worked pretty well however and the release of several coloured Alien Puffles was an admittedly nice touch.
December – Holiday Party: A return to a more classic CP christmas featured lots of items, decorated rooms and there wasn’t a Merry Walrus in sight. The lack of activities however was a disappointment and many of the items available were either returned or re-coloured versions of older items.
Ultimately, the parties this year were satisfactory. With October standing out in particular, 2015 certainly saw an improvement over 2014. Mini-parties were also successful and I hope we get to see more of them this year.
Whilst I don’t usually have a section dedicated solely to pins, I found 2015 to be the year pins became an enjoyable element of the game again. Previously, pins were far too large and hidden in places in which made them stand out like a sore, well, pin!
During the second half of the year however, pins became a lot smaller (though not quite as small as those of 2006-2007) and were hidden with more care; thus revitalising this ageing concept. I had given up finding the pins during their overly large and obviously ‘hidden’ stage and simply resorted to external sources showing where it was. Now however, I’m back to hunting down the fortnightly collectables manually. Long may small pins continue!
Outside of the occasional App update/release, CP still refuses to release any physical merchandise in which fans of the game can purchase from stores. Plush penguins, Puffles and penguin action figures were immensely popular during their introduction back in October 2008. It seems a shame that not even a plush Puffle can be purchased anymore by any means other than third-party selling sites (eBay, Amazon etc).
I remember the Treasure Books and coin codes creating a storm of excitement when first released. It seems a shame that this has faded into literally nothing over the years.
2015 wasn’t the best year in CP’s history though nor was it the worst. It’s clear that the team’s focus is elsewhere – and we all know what on. Some standout parties that will live in CP’s memory are undoubtedly what made the drawbacks of this year almost forgettable. Lack of inspiring items and a sheer lack of decorated rooms is an issue which still shows in 2015 and it really questions whether the game has reached its’ limit in terms of what it can do to entertain its’ audience – which brings me onto 2016.
Thus far, we know that there will be a Prehistoric Party this month. Whilst it seems to be very similar to previous versions, 2016’s will also incorporate some items from Pixar’s recent film, ‘The Good Dinosaur’. I was never personally a fan of these Prehistoric parties as they are often lacking in story and the activities and often more annoying than fun. Let’s hope this year’s fixes these flaws.
The major event of 2016 however will be the eventual release of Project Super Secret / CPNext. This will be CP’s biggest update yet; taking the entire game to a brand new level – all in 3D! Whilst the release date has currently not been announced yet, we can expect the game to change dramatically this year; hopefully for the better.
Here’s to 2016!
Random CP Fact #54: Sneak peeks of the upcoming Project Super Secret are coming more frequently than ever due to its’ release date edging closer and closer. Below is a image Spike Hike posted on the CP blog; showing a 3D model of the island.
Until next time, Waddle on!
Note: You may notice the domain Jimbobson.com has expired. The URL is once again Jimbobson.wordpress.com. I may renew it in the new year but for now that’s the only way to get to this site. Apologies for any inconvenience!
The final month of the year has always ensured the festivity of the holidays was brought to the island. Whether called the Christmas Party, the Holiday Party or even the Merry Walrus Party; December has always promised to provide an eventful, festive experience.
After last years Walrus-shaped mishap, CP has ultimately opted on playing it safe. Returning to the more traditional ‘Holiday Party’ name, 2015’s edition is admittedly too similar to what we’ve seen in previous years. Whilst the original Christmas parties had different themes (white, snow covered blizzard Christmas in 2006 and the Classic Christmas of 2007), the Holiday Parties have always included pretty much the same elements, with only a couple of new features. Like past years, the Christmas-inspired events have never really had a plot as such, but is merely a celebration of the winter-themed event.
But at least there was no overly-cheesy Walrus this time around, right?
Activities / Quests
The absolute major downfall of this party was the fact there was nothing to do. Sure, players could donate to Coins for Change, hunt down Rockhopper and collect the daily items from the Christmas countdown calendar – but that was pretty much it. Members could adopt the Olaf and Blue Crystal Puffle then pick on their friends by freezing them (by transforming into the Frost Bite). The Magic Sleigh Ride we’ve seen countless times since 2009 also made its’ return which, whilst a fun time waster for new players, didn’t come with any new items for those who have played over two months (it actually returned during the 10th Anniversary..).
To conclude this section, the party fails where modern parties must succeed. The older parties from back in CP’s early history had a plot, a few simplistic free items and endless roleplaying opportunity thanks to a much better filter, which is ironic considering games are supposed to improve their features over time, not go backwards.
Perhaps where this party did shine was the plethora of items available. A total of 33 free items were available – a giant amount for any party. Of course, not all of these were for everyone and many were either returning (in the case of Puffles or mascot backgrounds) or re-coloured items. Nothing too spectacular, though the item advent calendar did grant everyone with a selection of furniture items and a Deluxe Gingerbread House (which non-members still cannot access for some odd reason). Certainly an improvement over Operation: Crustacean but falls flat when compared to the 10th Anniversary.
The Holiday/Christmas parties have always been richly decorated. From snowmen to christmas trees, these parties had everything you would expect – and more! Last year’s Merry Walrus Party was incredibly lacklustre in decorations and, if we’re being honest, lacklustre in pretty much every department.
Since the Holiday Parties have begun however, we’ve been treated to the dusk sky covered with stars and animated northern lights. Whilst still appealing, I do feel its losing its’ effectiveness. Just like the Halloween parties used to mix eclipses, storms and sometimes a combination of both; I feel the Holiday Parties should consist of something new. Perhaps snowfall?
Regardless, 2015 saw a big improvement in this section when compared to last year. Even the recently released Area 501 had its’ exterior and interior mildly decorated. If I was to suggest some improvements though, it would be more animation! Make those lights twinkle, make the ice sparkle, make the northern lights move in every room!
Pre-New Year Update: CP has recently added fireworks to the Ice Berg and Ski Hill as usual. However, this time they also added dance mats which is a great addition. It’s clear the team is finally paying attention to the community – subtleties really give a room a polished and professional appearance.
Out with the Walrus, in with the Pirate! Yep, everyone’s favourite Captain Rockhopper returned for this years Holiday Party – complete with a completely fixed Migrator!
Wait, but didn’t that get destro…oh, don’t mention it? Okay. Moving on..
Coins for Change
Those who attended last year’s Merry Walrus party may remember the whole fiasco regarding CP’s annual charity event. With the goal not reached, Merry Walrus apparently donated the rest of the coins – a cheap attempt of covering up the huge decrease of the game’s fanbase in recent years.
This year however, we apparently hit the 10 billion goal. In 9 days! Whether this was legit or not, we don’t know. Whilst I’d like to believe players donated over 10 billion coins, it could simply be that the coin counter was fixed to hide the fact CP isn’t getting any popular.
In conclusion, CP ends 2015 in a satisfactory manner. Certainly an improvement over last year, 2015 has some stand-out moments that will undoubtedly live on for the history of the game. The 10th Anniversary was amazing and the Halloween party was certainly a solid effort. The Holiday Party, whilst unlikely to stand out in anyone’s memory as one of the best in the series, is still an above average party all things considered. Flawed, but not bad. Not bad at all.
Be sure to stay tuned for the 2015 in CP critical review. Basically, my flippers fall off by the end of it.
Random CP Fact #53: At a mod meet up on 30th December 2015, Megg confirmed that Project Super Secret WILL arrive in 2016.
Until next time, have a Happy New Year!
It’s been two years since the EPF last had something major to do. Operation: Puffle of 2013 was by no means as big as Operation: Blackout of 2012 (arguably the biggest and best event CP has ever had), but it still gave the EPF agents something to partake in and defeat the evil polar bear and his crab sidekick once again.
2015’s Operation, known as Operation: Crustacean (who’d have guessed!), was a pretty confusing affair, and one that barely seemed to distinguish itself from regular, non-EPF-related parties. It also brought some new Puffles to adopt, something that has become more controversial over the years. Regardless, let’s look at what this mission offered and question whether it is worthy to use the ‘Operation’ name.
Flawless foreshadowing from CP got many players – including myself – very excited for this event. For a brief synopsis, penguins were mysteriously being abducted throughout the island two weeks before the party kicked off. Once abducted, player’s were taken aboard a UFO spaceship and gifted with a Tin Foil hat for their troubles. A week before the party kicked off, a ‘Extreme Paint Festival’ mini-event occurred at the Dock as a decoy; hiding the Area 501 (a blatant pun on the conspiracy-ridden American landmark) rooms.
This was a mysterious affair. Obviously, aliens were involved somehow. But why were they abducting penguins? Surely the EPF was preparing an investigation..
When the party began, it became obvious that Herbert was somehow included. Claiming Klutzy had escaped onto the UFO, players were tricked into heading onto the UFO – only for Herbert to find Klutzy before stealing the UFO’s power supply (a purple meteor). Once he and Klutzy had fled, it was the player’s job to restore power to the giant spaceship.
Activities / Quests
Restoring the power of a humongous spacecraft sounds like a difficult job for an electrician. Luckily, it only involved entering several maze-puzzle rooms, finding 3 keys per room and ultimately restoring the power.
Whilst mazes can sometimes be fun, they’re a personal preference and differ between players. These weren’t exactly challenging, but rather more frustrating. The small beam of light around the player’s penguin meant that player’s had to waddle around and avoid the maze walls and find the keys – which were lit up and visible throughout. I would’ve enjoyed more variety here and not simply four maze rooms which were ultimately all very similar. Operation: Blackout had a variety of tasks and unique rooms to complete each task in. This felt more like repeating the same thing multiple times. Again, frustrating.
Ultimately, the quests here were pretty dull – something that especially damages a party of this sort. The original PSA missions were challenging and incorporated a solid storyline which makes the Operations (since Blackout) seem almost laughable by comparison. I have yet to see why the EPF was favoured over the PSA – and this is coming over 5 years after the PSA’s closure.
Okay so, surely the items were well designed, unique and witty? Well, no, not at all. 4 of the 5 items (for everyone) were backgrounds, and mediocre backgrounds at that. They’re basically slightly recoloured versions of each other. But the other item was pretty great right? Again, not very. The EPF Space Helmet (it sounds way better than it actually is) is basically a glorified space helmet in neon-blue colours to look futuristic and hi-tech. Great! Members also received the accompanying Space Suit to go with it.
A new Puffle was also discovered during the party – and I bet you can’t guess what kind it was! Technically, it’s a new Puffle Creature, or rather, several of them. Alien Puffles were discovered to be onboard the UFO (so these were responsible for abducting penguins?!).
The Puffles came in 4 different colours; Green, Orange, Yellow & Purple. Surprisingly, the Green Alien Puffle was adoptable for everyone, whereas the other 3 were Members only. Many non-members had issues adopting one though, as the maximum number of Puffles they can own is still capped at 2 (which as an annoying inconvenience for player’s like me – who have several different Puffles from my time as a Member).
Whilst new Puffles – especially Puffle creatures – have brought very little to the table other than a unique design, the Alien Puffles have at least a hint of originality to them. Sure, they don’t do any unique dances and can’t be interacted with on the same basis as original Puffles (simply due to CP’s sheer laziness), but they look pretty cute. At least until they open their mouthes..
Everyone’s favourite amateur agent was the mascot of choice for this event. Whilst Jet Pack Guy, Herbert and Klutzy featured as animated sprites, this section is purely for ‘actual’ mascots. I would’ve liked to see Jet Pack Guy become an actual mascot here, but after his annoyingly arrogant dialogue, I’m pretty glad we didn’t (more on that later).
Personally, I find Rookie quite annoying. I used to like him when he was first introduced, but has since become overly-idiotic and slapstick. The same has unfortunately happened to many mascots – their personality traits have become over-exaggerated to the extent that most are plain annoying.
It was evident as soon as the Extreme Paint Festival kicked off that this would take place in party-exclusive rooms. This also ensures that the remainder of the island is undecorated. The party-exclusive rooms consisted of Area 501, the UFO Hub, the UFO Observatory, the Engine Rooms and 4 of the maze rooms (and their respective entry rooms which are all basically the same).
Whilst none of the rooms were particularly badly decorated, none seemed to really stand out – other than the UFO Observatory which I believe could’ve been utilised a little more effectively. The UFO Hub wasn’t too bad either, it even housed a pool! It would’ve been nice if – after the UFO had its’ power restored, the UFO would travel the island and player’s could observe from the Observatory (obviously!).
An area I very rarely focus on is the music – as it very rarely has any major effect on the overall verdict of the event. In the case of Crustacean, I found it to be pleasant and contextually effective. The Observatory especially had a very calming and satisfying soundtrack which would be at home in a game like Super Mario Galaxy.
The Engine Room had a electronic upbeat feel that pumps just enough adrenaline to prepare the agents for the relatively easy and disappointing ‘challenges’ ahead.
Even the sound effects were great! Certainly a high point of this party.
Overall, I thought this operation had good intensions, but was pretty poorly executed. The storyline lacked in many areas, a shame considering the excellent foreshadowing before the party began. I think CP need to question themselves what exactly they want to do with the EPF. I personally see two options in terms of Operations; either have one major one a year (like Blackout) or a few minor ones per year (like Crustacean). The EPF-inspired events are enjoyed by many, unlike sponsored takeovers which apply to a select audience.
I hope this isn’t the end of Herbert and the EPF until next November (or even worse, November 2017!). I have a feeling we will be seeing more of this UFO, perhaps during the Holiday Party?
Speaking of the Holiday Party – it returns this year! Last year we had the fun of CP’s first ever Merry Walrus Party – an effort to prevent the exclusion of a particular religion or faith. It proved to be unpopular due to its’ minimalist decorations, pretty poor activities and a mascot that was so blatantly Santa Claus the party might has well of been called a Christmas Party (like all the Holiday parties..).
Let’s hope this year’s adaptation of the second-biggest annual event (after Halloween of course) proves to be a present worth remembering and not something more comparable to those uncomfortable wool socks with a ridiculous cliché sewn into them. You all know what I mean..
Random CP Fact #52: The Christmas Party 2008 was the last of its’ name (the first being the Christmas Party 2005). Since then, it has been named The Holiday Party (other than the Merry Walrus Party in 2014) in an effort to apply to a wider audience. Despite this, the parties still consisted of Christmas decorations and items – including Santa Hats and beards.
Until next time, Waddle on!
October on Club Penguin means two things – the Anniversary Party & the Halloween Party. Two of my favourite parties of the year which act as juxtapositions towards each other. One is a cheery event to celebrate the life of a game, whereas the latter is a spook fest full of all-things dead..and scary! With the Anniversary leading perfectly into this Halloween party – I had high expectations. So, let’s see how it turned out!
During the second week of the Anniversary party, the MascBots began to act very…strange. This served as the basis for the Halloween Party. Whilst years past saw us encounter ghosts and werewolves, this year’s version had players face the malfunctioned MascBots. However, it turns out the reasoning for said malfunction wasn’t the island’s favourite inventor Gary, but rather the evil polar bear we’ve all come to secretly love.
This year, CP decided to combine a scavenger hunt of years past with puzzles to really challenge the player. Well, I say challenge, the scavenger hunts were incredibly easy. The way the MascBots were stopped were due to fear – something apparently even robots can feel. Each mascot revealed their greatest fear and players had to find said object to scare the MascBots into pausing for a while – just enough time to deactivate them.
The scavenger hunts were easy. So easy that the original mascots themselves would actually either give you incredibly blatant hints or actually tell you where the item should be. For example, Gary’s fear – Decaf Coffee, was obviously found in the Coffee Shop. The deactivation of the MascBots is completed by connecting green wires to yellow wires. It’s a puzzle that involves rotating blocks, thus connecting them to each other. Overall, it’s a relatively simply puzzle; though deactivating the HerBot was the most challenging as you would expect.
The usual ‘come back every day to unlock and complete this quest’ returned once more. That’s unless you were playing the app! Those with access to the app could complete the entire party’s tasks in one day. Hurray!
The items for this years Halloween was a mixed bag. Members received all the ‘heads’ from the malfunctioned MascBots which was admittedly a good choice from CP and currently the closest we have to actual mascot items (bar the Herbert Disguise costume). Non-members however, got something a little less remarkable. Each scavenger hunt item was also the reward for deactivating each MascBot. For example, the Decaf coffee spoke earlier was also the hand item reward for deactivating the Gary MascBot. Very original.
Some of these items were also an odd choice. Dot’s fear – an ugly sweater was actually a hand item. I guess it makes sense that a sweater that ugly shouldn’t be a body item (and thus a wearable sweater – imagine how many players would get offended if they actually liked it!), but it’s still a pretty odd choice. Other than the Robot Antenna, every other item for Non-Members was a hand item. Very little variety here..
..Oh, and Members could adopt the Ghost Puffles once again. These are some of my favourite Puffles, so I wish they were for everyone this year. Ah well.
Gary of course! Whilst the other mascots had a pop-up in which they interacted with the player, they didn’t actually waddle around the island. A seemingly poor choice perhaps, but they were all present (bar Herbert & the Penguin Band) during the 10th Anniversary Party so I suppose this can be forgiven.
Halloween on CP has always been famous for its’ decorations. Ever since 2006 changed everything by introducing a dark sky, it’s remained an iconic feature since. Whilst some years have had eclipses whilst others have had storms, this year’s seemed to combine them both. A great example of Pathetic Fallacy here, kids! (Google it!).
Whilst newly decorated rooms were few and far between, the mix of old and new was almost seamless. Herbert’s Lair was a very nice new room and served its’ purpose very well. Even old favourites returned such as the Slime Pool (in the underground pool). Overall, this was a very strong attempt by CP at providing us with an almost-island-wide-decorated party. As we have come to expect from this annual event.
Okay I’ll admit it. I enjoyed this party. It brought a solid storyline and some much needed love for Herbert and Klutzy. Whilst I loved the twist of last year’s Halloween party, I felt that Skip the Bellhop/Ghost lacked a proper motif for his actions. This year however, this wasn’t the case as we’ve all come to expect such actions from the evil polar bear and his crab sidekick. The great visuals, satisfactory items (for Members at least) and a very solid storyline (combined with a prologue and foreshadowing from a previous party all results in a Halloween to remember.
So now we’re in November and look forward to the next event. November was once known as the month of Ninjas, but they’ve recently made way for various EPF missions instead. This year will be no exception, as Operation Crustacean will hit the island. Little is known about the event currently, but we do know it will involve UFOs..
Random CP Fact #51: Many penguins are currently obtaining the Tinfoil Hat – a mysterious item that’s not available in any catalogue. How, you may ask? They’ve been abducted by aliens! At the times listed below, a random penguin from the respective room will be abducted. They will then be transported to a UFO ship for a few seconds before being returned to the room they were previously in. Once abducted, you will receive the Tinfoil Hat.
Note: The hour is irrelevant. The only thing that counts is the minutes past the hour.
Ski Hill: –:37
Ski Village: –:42
Snow Forts: –:02
Mine Shack: –:17
Skate Park: –:22
Until next time, Waddle on!
Today marks the end of the much anticipated 10th Anniversary party. A huge milestone in CP’s history deserves a huge party – a big statement when considering the Anniversary parties of previous years have fallen in the Halloween parties’ shadows. So, how did CP celebrate turning a decade old? Let’s begin this review!
Most Anniversary parties simply have one or two decorated rooms (the Coffee Shop and Book Room / CP Times office). The only exception to this was the 3rd Anniversary, which also saw the Town decorated. Since then, the birthday events have grown smaller and smaller each year which is ironic considering its’ aim was to celebrate the game growing older and thus bigger, though this wasn’t exactly the case as we all know. This anniversary was the first to actually sport an actual plot – other than to simply celebrate the game’s birthday. Gary created MascBots – robot versions of CP’s beloved mascots. However, the second week of the island-wide event saw the MascBots go haywire. What did we honestly expect from a Gary invention that was only version 2999?!
Like with all Anniversaries prior, we didn’t actually have to do much other than to collect a party hat and pretend to eat cake. However, there was a new Item Calendar which saw the return of 21 items from previous parties, and even a few extra bonus items for completing a few tasks that had returned too. The prime example here being that of Santa’s Sled (accessible from the Book Room during several Christmas parties).
Coming back every day to collect a new – or rather old – item may seem a tedious process but this time I found that it built up excitement rather than boredom. We could see every item on the calendar, but couldn’t collect them until they were unlocked. This meant that, upon logging in and clicking the calendar, player’s were greeted with the sight of extremely rare and sought after items – but more on those later. All in all, a fun and very simplistic party. Activities / quests were simply not necessary.
Ah, where to begin. As mentioned previously, there was a brilliant 21 item calendar full of returning items. The best part? There were two very, very rare items that haven’t returned since 2006 and 2007 respectively. These items of course are the Ice Skates and Blue Lei. No, not quite the Hawaiian (or Red) Lei, but still a very rare item. Other items of interest are the Yellow Inflatable Duck (from 2006 and 2008), the Brown Pirate Boots (2008) and Marshmallow Stick (2007). Add to this several other items from 2008 – 2014 and you have a plethora of items to collect. There was also two items that were previously Members-only items. These were the Cream Pie (Muppet’s World Tour 2014) and the Lantern (Halloween Party 2008). These means that if your penguin has always been a non-member, you received at least two free items – even if you’ve played since 2005. It also of course means that if you signed up after August 2006, you received at least one item. Awesome!
These items were not randomly selected however, they were instead chosen due to the party the rooms were decorated from. For example, the Blue Lei returned as the Beacon’s decorations were from the Summer Kick off Party 2007. Likewise with the Ice Skates returning due to the Ski Hill’s Sports Party 2006 decorations.
But, that’s not it! 21 items is a huge amount for any party – but let’s not forget the main item from this event – the party hat! The 10th Anniversary Party Hat is undoubtedly the most complex thus far, sporting a more interesting and ‘busy’ design (complete with animated sparklers!). Whilst this item was great for a Anniversary of this significance, I hope they return to the simplistic design next year.
Oh, and let’s not forget the Yellow, Pink and Blue Lightbulb head item’s that were available for everyone after delivering presents on Santa’s Sled (returning from the Holiday Party 2012). Let’s also not forget about the 8 autographed mascot backgrounds that were also available if you managed to meet said mascots (all backgrounds returned from various years). Overall, this party offered the richest selection of free items from any party – ever. Best of all, everything was available for everyone!
Not only did this party feature MascBots as tour guides for respective rooms, but the actual mascots themselves returned to celebrate the landmark event. Unfortunately, not every mascot made a appearance however. The Penguin Band saw themselves without an invite and Herbert was busy creating the Herbot. Sasquatch didn’t make an appearance either, which would’ve been nice since he seems to have been forgotten about since the Puffle Party 2015.
This is another area in which the 10th Anniversary truly shone – in a way which no other party in history has shone before. Whilst only two brand new decorated rooms sounds lacklustre at best, this party’s focus was of course about the history of the game. Most rooms on the island were decorated the exact same way they had been during a respective party. For example, the Book Room was decorated how it was during the Halloween Party 2008, complete with the Secret Chamber special party room of the same year. Pretty much every major room had been decorated, complete with either a Tour bot or a MascBot, which was contextually placed in rooms that were decorated from a party focusing a certain mascot. For example, the Rockhopper MascBot could be found at the Forest, which featured the 2010 Island Adventure Party decorations.
This ensured the party had a lot of variety and randomness – something in which in this context is completely welcome. Some examples included the Christmas Party of 2006 at the Ice Rink, the Puffle Party 2010 at the Snow Forts, the April Fools Party 2008 at the Iceberg and even Camp Penguin of 2007 at the Dock. All in all, an incredibly richly decorated party, with a unique blend of classic and modern artwork. A perfect way to celebrate 10 years!
If I WAS to be critical however, I could’ve complained at the lack of room rotation. Imagine if each room changed on the second week to that of a completely different party. Whilst that would’ve certainly been interesting, it could’ve been confusing. Especially for the Tour and MascBots. Regardless, I’m happy with what we got.
Here’s an extra section I figured I would add exclusively for this party (or indeed any other parties in which show elements of this in the future). You may wonder what I mean by ‘foreshadowing’. Well, put simply, I mean in the plot sense. For example, something happens in a party that then leads the way for the next party. For example, a blizzard occurred during the Christmas Party 2006. The snow was then stored (and kept cool thanks to Gary’s AC 3000) in the Lodge Attic, only to be used two months later for the Festival of Snow in February 2007. Another example was when a crab broke a window in the Underground Pool / Cave way back in July 2007 – leading to the Water Party.
In this case, Gary’s MascBots began to malfunction during the second week of the event. This means that the malfunctioned bots will begin to cause havoc at the Halloween Party (2015 obviously!), turning them into almost zombified versions of themselves. A really nice plot device that I found worked especially well here. Kudos CP! Let’s have more of this in the future, please..
Ultimately, this party was everything we expected / wanted and more. Celebrating CP turning a decade old by looking back at the previous ten years and providing entertainment accordingly. I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing rooms I haven’t seen in a very long time and even experiencing some for the first time (the Ice Rink in particular). Combine this with the interesting narrative focusing upon Gary’s MascBots and we had a pretty great party – my favourite since Operation Blackout.
Will the Halloween Party 2015 top this? Well, at the time of writing it’s already begun and I’ve already completed all the tasks (via the app – no waiting necessary!). All I can say at this point is..No, nO…NO…ZZT *BZORT error 420 reSTART in PROGRESS…C0NTACT ManuFACTUR3R
Random CP Fact #50: The current pin – the Anniversary Balloons – is the first pin to ever be hidden in the Town. The team had often stated they would never do this in the past due to the sheer popularity of the room.
Until next time, Waddle on!
Okay so what’s a Descendants exactly? Oh, a Disney thing? Right okay then. With absolutely no knowledge of the film whatsoever, this one was new to me. It’s not animated, but it focuses on the offspring of infamous Disney villains. A fairly cool sounding concept that surely sounds like it’d be pretty fun on CP right? RIGHT?!
Well, truth be told there isn’t a lot of it. Many have dubbed it as an overblown mini-party, which is exactly what it is. With the focus undoubtedly on October’s two major events; the 10th anniversary and the Halloween party 2015, the team can be forgiven for giving us such a small and rather insignificant party. Regardless, there are three decorated rooms and a fair few items to collect, so let’s look at what else this party brings.
Log in and pick up the items! No literally, that’s it. For a party that pretty much encourages players to be ‘bad in a good way’ (wha?), there’s no way to actually be bad. Activities are somewhat needed at this party. Maybe have players throwing tomatoes or something rotten around the school? Grafitti? Pranks? Instead, we got nothing.
This was certainly the highlight of the minuscule event – ironic considering this is the area most ‘big’ parties tend to need so much more improvement on (at least from a non-member’s perspective). Everyone received a plethora of hand items whilst Members got their usual wigs and body costumes. Whilst many hand items of the past have been so small they might as well not exist, these were fairly nice. From a dog stuffie to a wand, the Descendants party surely gave us some pretty fun items to play with. For sure though, my (and many other players’) favourite item was by far the Dude (Dog) Stuffie.
None! Moving on..
Whilst three decorated rooms sounds lacklustre and almost insulting – especially for a sponsored party, exceptions can be made due to two major factors:
1) The team is very busy constructing the Halloween Party (2015) and what looks to be the biggest Anniversary party ever.
2) The ‘Talk Like a Pirate Day’ mini-event was also going on. This basically means we got two very different parties at once.
Regardless, the three decorated rooms are altered nicely. Not overly complex but not 2006-era simplistic either. The Iceberg also got a major redesign that was undoubtedly the highlight of the party – at least in terms of design (and role play opportunities).
It’s hard to say whether I liked this party or not in all honesty. I wasn’t very passionate about the Descendants, meaning my opinion could be somewhat biased. I do imagine that the fans of the Disney Channel original film would be even more disappointed however, due to the sheer minimalistic approach compared to the much larger-scale of other sponsored parties. However, all can be forgiven when we look forward to the 10th Anniversary / Halloween Party.
So, with the 10th Anniversary kicking off in a few days time and lasting the entire month (only the Coffee Shop will be decorated when the Halloween Party starts), we certainly have something pretty amazing to look forward too in the form of the biggest Anniversary party ever – as well as a huge milestone in CP’s decade-long life. Then, after all that’s over, we have the Halloween Party 2015 to look forward too. These are always amazing events, with the richest decorations and plots ensuring October is always up there for being the best and certainly the biggest month of the year. I can’t wait!
Random CP Fact #49: The Halloween party in 2008 saw a storm destroy part of the Dojo. When the party ended, Sensei, the Dojo Courtyard, Card Jitsu and of course – Ninjas were all introduced to the game. Whilst that year’s spooky event introduced a storm (complete with animated lightning), it wasn’t the first to take place at night. That award goes to the Halloween Party 2006.
Until next time, Waddle on!
2 reviews on the same day, what a treat! Everyone say a prayer for my poor finge…flippers! Anyways, this review won’t be that critical as it’s only a mini-event, and a pretty decent one at that. So let’s get this one underway!
This mini-event is purely to celebrate talk like a pirate day, one of the many days for pointless things. Regardless, the event we find on CP isn’t pointless. I’d even go as far to say that it’s more satisfying than The Descendants Party. A single decorated room which various pirate-themed objects and even a free item. Simplicity at its’ best, it allows for roleplaying opportunities and that’s about it. And that’s perfectly fine.
None! Simply log in and appreciate the simplistically pirate-themed room, collect the item if you haven’t already then either stay for some roleplaying or log out. It’s that simple!
This is the bit I most appreciated. Over the years, there has been a plethora of pirate-themed items – what with Rockhopper being a major mascot in the game. However, CP surprised most by re-re-releasing the Red Pirate Bandana. Not sure what’s so special about it? Well, it first released in December 2008 in a Rockhopper’s rare items catalogue. It then returned in June 2007, which is when Jimbobson first picked it up (one of his first head items after the Flower Headdress from the Summer Kick Off Party). It’s so old even my backup account, Jimbobson 2, doesn’t have it! A really nice touch from CP, I’m glad it’s back for a limited time.
Since Rockhopper is wadding around, players can of course receive a autographed background by meeting him. Oddly enough, the background he currently gives away is his 2013 Holiday background. A very weird choice by CP that was likely done by mistake, but here’s your chance to receive an almost 2-year old background if you haven’t already!
Rockhopper, of course! He has somehow returned to the island. This is the major complaint for this mini-event, the fact the Migrator didn’t return. Megg claims he used his small rowboat to get here, but we all know it’s just a rather poor attempt to cover up such a blatant plot-hole. I don’t think CP expected us to catch on..
Simplistic, yet effective. Contextually relevant. Not much in terms of animation, but still no complaints can be made what with it being a mini-event. Some floating barrels of cream soda would’ve been a good addition, but lets not get too critical here.
Overall a very nice mini-event that certainly has a added hint of old-CP. Nothing revolutionary or particularly interesting here, but that’s to be expected. I personally enjoyed it, as I have with most the mini-parties. Here’s to many more!
Random CP Fact #48: Rockhopper has given away a total of 8 autographed backgrounds, one behind Gary. There was a 9th that was available by receiving a code in real-life from Rockhopper (some guy in a Rockhopper costume at least) at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida from April – May 2009. Simply put, it’s very rare.
Until next time, Waddle on!
Well, the past few weeks have gone insanely quick. Anyone agree? I completely forgot The Descendants Party started this week, and thus ended up missing a pin in the process (oops!). Regardless, let’s look back at August’s main attraction: the Fashion Festival.
As the name suggests, this party was based around fashion. And a festival. Different categories and sub-categories (challenges) were present across 3 stages at the party. These were ‘Silly Fashion’, ‘Fashion for the Great Outdoors’ and a third one located at the Snow Forts which didn’t have a name, for some reason. Each sub-category changed every three days, thus creating plenty of opportunities for players to dress-up and show off how well they could capture the essence of such favourites as ‘Robo Ninja’, ‘Magical Butterfly’ or ‘Hollywood High School’.
Once players were happy with their outfit, they could submit it and other players would vote for their favourites (more on that later). Overall, it was a party that managed to keep players logging in whilst successfully incorporating interactivity, and, to an extent, roleplaying.
So the idea here is to wear a combination of items to form an outfit which is relevant to a certain category. For example, ‘Prehistoric Prom’ saw plenty of items from the Prehistoric parties combined with this month’s Penguin Style. ‘Robo Ninja’ saw plenty of Protobot and Stormtroopers wearing ninja gear. Once happy with an outfit, player’s then submit their design and other players can then vote. To submit an outfit however, first players had to vote 10 times to receive an entry ticket. This could be done unlimited times, so multiple entries per category were certainly not uncommon.
The voting system was simple, somewhat fair yet flawed. A great idea and executed finely by the team, only to be ruined by the players. The voting screen showed two players’ penguins, either two Members or two Non-Members (as indicated by a Member badge or indeed a lack of). Simply clicking on whichever design you preferred would result in one vote for said penguin. After clicking, both the penguin’s name and the number of likes they had already received were shown. No biased votes here folks!
However, the issue arose with how much voting players actually had to do. 10 votes for a single ticket seemed a little much. Especially when there were three categories to submit for at a given time. Entering each one once would require 30 votes! Thus, many simply clicked on any penguin, regardless of their outfit, to quickly receive a submit ticket. This meant that naked penguins could receive 12 votes whereas a penguin fully decorated in contextual fashion would receive less (as a very rough example). Ultimately, good work by CP, but sadly let down by its’ own fanbase.
There were 2, both of which were backgrounds. One was only available if you met Dot, the sole mascot at the event. Whilst this sounds mediocre, the idea of the party was to use the items you already had, rather than obtaining new ones. Regardless, I’d of liked to have seen some trophies or some other items of relevance as rewards for taking part.
Dot! For the first time ever, Dot was available to meet as mascot. She of course had a new background, which was exactly the same as her playercard. She even sported a currently unavailable-to-the-public Lavender colour (known as Dot Lavender). Even as a male, I still prefer that to the Aqua colour which won the Colour Vote of 2009.
You may have expected Cadence to make an appearance here but this wasn’t to be. I feel she has appeared a little too much over the years anyway.
If there was one word to some up the decorations for this party it would be purple. A sunset/twilight/dusk setting saw the island flooded in vibrant purples and reds. A nice change to once again see the sky a different shade, and probably the closest we will be getting to a day/night cycle anytime soon.
6 rooms were decorated fully, not including the rooms in which only the sky was the thing that had changed. Whilst this number isn’t the largest amount ever, it was satisfactory due to the fact that the decorated rooms were the only places you’d really be wanting to visit during the party anyway – with the Forest, Snow Forts and Dock being the major focal points.
Unfortunately this party was badly plagued with bugs to begin with. At first, voting wasn’t even working properly, resulting in the majority of players not being able to submit anything for others to be unable to vote on anyway. Confusing? You bet. There was also the slight issue of voting not working properly on the app, which was simply annoying and inconvenient. Thankfully, most of the issues were fixed before the party’s end.
Ok, so I actually rather liked this party. I took part in most of the categories and received a modest amount of votes. I enjoyed the player interactivity which is always a bonus for a party taking part on an online game full of creative people. Some categories seemed a little gender-based or indeed Member-based. ‘Magic Butterfly’ being a prime example of both. Non-members never received many butterfly themed items at all. Don’t even get me started on ‘Rainbow Mermaid’..Anyways, I would’ve liked some sort of reward for taking part, other than a background. Maybe a medal or a trophy or something?
Also, did anyone else notice just how many items there has been throughout CP history? It all seems a little too overwhelming in my opinion. I used to know every single item and the party or event it came from. Nowadays? I get confused. And that’s coming from a player since 2007. Maybe I’m just getting old..
So now we look towards Septembe…oh yes we’re already there. The Descendants party is currently live so expect a review on that coming soon. Also, expect a review regarding the Talk Like a Pirate Day mini-event soon!
Random CP Fact #47: In 2009, there was a Colour vote which allowed players to vote on the next colour available to penguins. The choices were: Aqua, Maroon and Lavender. Aqua won which caused some controversy (due to how similar it was to Light Blue). Many suspect that big-time-blogger-at-the-time Mimo777 caused Aqua’s victory, as he promised a party hosted by himself if his choice won.
Until next time, Waddle on!
After a very quiet month of June from everyone’s favourite winter wonderland virtual world, many including myself were excited to see what the team had been working on for July’s party. We knew it would be a takeover, focusing on the recently released Inside Out film by Disney Pixar. Add to this the inclusion of a popular CP original mascot and a fairly solid storyline and we have what looks, on paper, to be a major party of 2015. So, let’s see how it stacked up..
Poor old Rockhopper had lost his memories, meaning Gary had to once again build a machine (the Minderizer 3000) that would save the day (with our help of course!). How did he lose memories I hear you ask? By eating cursed cheese from a dodgy island, of course! Entering Rockhopper’s mind and completing tasks for each of his emotions (inspired by those from the film) in order to recover his memories is certainly hard work. Or was it? If anything, it seemed a little too easy. But more on that later.
To recover the beloved Captain’s memories, players had to first venture inside Rockhopper’s mind – which was luckily accessible from the Dock (the only decorated room on the island..). Once inside, each of the emotions would provide players with tasks to complete, all of which were remarkably similar – leaving a bad taste of repetition on the beaks of many penguins. The typical ‘go to X room and find X’ applies here. Whilst more challenging than the infamous Frozen party’s tedious snowflake collecting task, finding the different memory ‘orbs’ was easy for most. Once found, players had to then complete an ‘Ice Jam’ style game which again, provided very very little satisfaction in terms of challenging the player’s mind (ha, mind).
Overall, this party had us completing the same tasks for each of the 5 emotions (Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear). As you can expect, this got tiresome. Very quickly. Whilst many may have enjoyed something different from the usual ‘come back tomorrow for another item!’ task, if you will, I personally found it underwhelming. The added dialogue from each of the emotions also seemed slightly cheesy, though I understand why it was done.
Plenty of items inspired by the film. Who’d of guessed? The usual suspects appear here once again. Wigs, dresses, other outfits and a selection of hand items for non-members. Whilst none were particularly bad, none are either memorable either. The only reason anyone will recognise where they came from when searching through a plethora of pages within their inventory will be because of the characters in the film – not the memory of a truly enjoyable party. I realise I’ve said it before, but I dislike wigs and clothes in which make penguin’s appear too human (the uncanny valley, anyone?). Hair on penguins just looks odd..
Personally, I would’ve liked to receive each of the emotions’ hats they were wearing (basically the same as Rockhopper’s but the Puffle had the same expression as that of each emotion). It was a party about Rockhopper, after all. The Captain did of course give us some ‘booty’, a small collection of Member-only items that had all been seen at previous parties. Yay!
Rockhopper, obviously! Well, kind of. Not really? He was sat at the Dock for the duration of the party. Gary did waddle around the island, however. No new backgrounds though.
After last month’s Festival of Snow came without much warning, you’d expect a party as hyped as this one had decorations that even the Halloween parties would envy, right? Wrong! As stated previously, the Dock was the only decorated room on the island. Rockhopper’s mind was another, consisting of 7 decorated rooms (Headquarters, Dream Productions, Food Island, Imaginationland, Loot Island and the Subconscious). Each room sure looked rather pretty, but offered very little in terms of interactivity which is a huge shame. I also found that the Orbs didn’t necessarily fit in with each room. An anger-based orb in Loot Island? Why not Joy? Whyyy?
Little decoration is never fun. Never. The rooms in which are decorated are slightly above average at best, certainly not inspiring or anything too mind-blowing (ha, there it is again).
Here’s a new one I bet none of y’all were expecting. What do I mean? Well, when we got to see memory flashbacks that would correlate to each emotion, one stood out as being almost insulting to us older players. When completing Joy’s task, we are shown Rockhopper first discovering Yarr. However, Rockhopper is wearing his current selection of items – including his pirates jacket in which he didn’t wear back in 2006. Most wouldn’t of noticed this, but I found it annoying.
Okay, so CP had a month off. To produce this?! This seemed like an overblown mini-party as opposed to one that was as overhyped as this was. I personally much preferred last month’s Festival of Snow – featuring island-wide decorations, memorable items and player interactivity (players designed the ice sculptures..). This party seemed a little…rushed. Sure, there was a storyline, but it was too farfetched – a huge statement considering the context of the game. CP also managed to avoid returning the Migrator once again. The build-up notes sent by Rockhopper (available to read via the CP Times weeks before the party started) didn’t do the party any justice either. Sure, it provided context and a seemingly decent storyline, but it turned out to be a huge letdown – at least for me.
Give me an old fashioned Rockhopper visit, featuring Yarr and the Migrator over this any day. Who knows when we’ll next see our favourite penguin pirate. For now however, we turn our attentions to August’s party – the Fashion Festival. Let’s hope it’s not as gender-biased as it sounds.
Now, where’s that cursed cheese? I need to erase a certain film-inspired party from my own memory..
Random CP Fact #46: August 2015’s Penguin Style catalogue is the biggest ever. Featuring a plethora of old and new items, for Members and Non-Members.
Until next time, Waddle on!
Despite the month of June consisting of no official parties as such, today we had an unexpected update. Rather than CP’s usual Thursday/Wednesday tradition, CP instead updated today; 30th June. Why? Possibly so they could say that June did in fact hold a party (which would prevent this years year book from looking unusually empty). Regardless, despite it being a fairly small-scale event, it hit many spots in which modern parties fail too. Which says a lot, for a game in which is always supposed to be progressing.
For those who remember the original Festival of Snow way back in February 2007 (even that was before my time!), then the 2015 version is pretty much the same bar new artwork. Basically, the idea is that players submit their own artwork and a select few become an actual snow sculpture on the island; including a credit to your penguin’s name and an image of the original artwork. It’s a great artwork and involves the players; but unfortunately only two of these festival of snows have existed throughout the island’s history.
Unlike The Fair and Music Jam however, this years’ Festival of Snow remains virtually identical to the one found in 07 as I’ve stated previously. This means that the originality of 2007 really shines through here, complete with island-wide decor and even free item boxes. Yay!
None! Except waddle around and examine the sculptures, original art work and collect the free items. Ah, the simplicity of the old days.
Both the rare Ice Crown and Snowflake Shirt make their return at this event. First released during the original 2007 version, this makes sense. Whilst it may anger the rarest of penguins (if they’re not already angry due to the poor July clothing and igloo catalogues), many new penguins will be thrilled by these original ice-themed items. Even Jimbobson didn’t own these two original iced gems!
None, but that’s okay because pretty much every event in the old days never had a mascot either, except the odd visit from Rockhopper of course.
Island-wide, simplistic and original. The only issue I would pick out here is the lack of interior room decor, but that never happened during the original so it’d be very very critical to expect it during this year’s version.
When I first heard that CP was doing another festival of snow, I didn’t expect it to be as big as the last one. Even if it was, I didn’t expect island-wide decor and especially didn’t expect items – never mind rare items returning. Overall, I enjoyed this event and that’s something I haven’t said and thoroughly meant it in quite a while. Even the music is a joy to listen to. For those old enough to obtain the items during the original event, you may want to calm your rage by looking forward to next month’s party: An Inside Out Takeover! Including Rockhopper! This should be a good one….
Random CP Fact #46: The Ice Crown was first released in February 2007 and hasn’t returned since..until now. The Snowflake T-Shirt however was released in both the Series 2 & 5 Treasure Books.
Until next time, Waddle on!