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Spike Hike: The end of an era!

Greetings Penguins!

Earlier this week, Spike Hike announced he would be leaving Disney.

It would be safe to say this shook the Club Penguin community. During this difficult period  of Flash CP – Project Super Secret, users needed stability and comfort. This is where Spike came in. Long-running General Manager of Disney apps (and of course, Club Penguin), he replaced Billybob and faced a massive swarm of attention due to this – whether praise or criticism.

Many believed Spike was “evil”, a replacement to Billybob which never quite settled too well with the games fanbase. Any issue or problem occurred on the game – Spike Hike was to blame. Whilst terribly unfair, Spike Hike continued the legacy left by the original CP founders. It was, and still is to this day, in very good hands. Even during the announcements of Project Super Secret, losing all our items and the new experience being mobile-only, Spike Hike was undoubtedly behind this. Solely? No. With the interests of everyone at heart? Absolutely.

Replacing a member of the community of which existed from the very beginning – and fast-tracked the games’ development since its early days was no easy feat. Spike took the role of a leader, someone to admire and look up to when times turned dark. Today’s meet up with the legendary purple-mohawk bearing penguin showed just how much of an impact this man had upon CP’s legacy. Sure, Billybob was the original manager, but absolutely nobody could argue Spike was significant and upmost the man to thank for CP’s continuous – if not somewhat declining – existence.

He lead us to PSS. For whatever reason, he now decides to leave this island and begin adventures anew. Is this because he was fired? Is this because of CP’s almost dramatic decline into barely-existence? I don’t believe so. Many of us feel the need to move on eventually. As did Rocketsnail. As did Screenhog. As did Happy77. As did Polo Field. As did Businesmoose. And so on. Many of us dislike too much comfort and decide that a new challenge is the most beneficial to our lives. As the overused cliche of 2013 says: You only live once.

We begin a new chapter very soon where we start again. Our current accounts are almost meaningless. Our new adventures await in the form of PSS. Mobile is undoubtedly the future (despite our battery life woes!), and CP on the desktop will continue to exist until Flash ceases to exist. What we can do now is simple: Look to the future. As a player since 2007, I can say – for the first time in many, many years – that I am excited for this new experience. I probably should’ve left this game years ago – just as my friends did. But something maintained my interested in this game and I believe PSS is just that.

Spike Hike, you were and are a truly great leader. Sure, the recent lack of communication was somewhat frustrating but we always knew the you – a long-lasting familiar face upon the CP scene – existed to keep us calm and motivated. You claimed that us, the fanbase, are actually the “new CEO of the game” but we need a familiar face to guide us – just as you did upon Billybob’s resignation.

With a new version of CP (in the form of PSS) rapidly on its’ way – what fans of the game need is familiarity and stability – something in which Spike Hike could’ve delivered during these admittedly difficult times for the game. If not, who will? The community! We exist regardless of the current manager and staff members. But we need someone to provide our faith too. Will this be Megg – a refreshingly young woman able to connect with the majority of players? Who knows. But please, give us something. We need as much support as possible during the transitional period.

A general manager leaving at this point is simply unsettling..

Until next time, Waddle on. And thanks, Spike Hike. For everything over these past few years. Here’s to your future! As well as ours.

-Jimbobson

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2013 in CP: Review!

Happy New Year Penguins!

Well, it’s official. 2013 is now over so I can write a yearly review without irritating penguins complaining about those bloggers who wrote their yearly reviews like 3 days before 1st January, as if they expected CP to do something amazing on 31st December or something. Anyway, let us begin!

Like every year, we have seen the usual monthly events and parties, fortnightly pins and 12 Penguin Styles catalogues. Combine these with plenty of new items, puffles and games and you’ll soon realise how busy this year has been. Despite the huge introduction of many, many new things, CP still has yet to show us the likes of Sever Jumping and CP Next – something which sounds very exciting and will possibly make 2014 the biggest year yet on the island. Time to look back at the good (and bad?) parts of this year.

The Good:

  • A LOT of new parties and events: Very few parties these year were returned except the of course the usual Halloween and Holiday Parties. The majority of the rest were new, including the Prehistoric Party, the Card Jitsu Snow Party and Operation Puffle. Exciting times!
  • My Penguin app: A true milestone in CP’s history right here. Puffle Launch didn’t come close to how awesome this app actually is. Initially starting off as a app to simply view your penguin and play games on your iPad quickly became an app that allowed users to access several rooms in the game – including their own igloos!
  • Complete redesign of the island with updated graphics: This was highly controversial at first; with many older penguins worrying that “Old CP” would officially be gone for good. After a while, it was clear that the new graphics were necessary to keep the game looking modern.
  • Puffles: Fans of Puffles had a great year this year. Typically the CP Team release a new Puffle approximately every year. However, 2013 brought us not 1, but 2 puffles! Both the legendary Rainbow and Golden puffles were discovered in 2013; unfortunately however both were for Members. But more on this later.
  • New Rooms/Games: We’ve all come to expect this by now. What would a year be without a new room or game? This year saw the introduction of the Club Penguin University (inspired by Monsters University) and the Puffle Hotel (Puffle Party). Alongside the new rooms we saw the release of a brand new game in May; the highly anticipated Card Jitsu Snow.
  • Weekly videos: These don’t really affect the island but are still nice. Weekly videos in the form of The Spoiler Alert and comedic Waddle On, hosted by members of the CP Team including Polo Field, Ninja and Megg certainly brightens the community.
  • Non-Members get an igloo: Although this doesn’t seem major, the Holiday Party saw non-members getting a free igloo (Sweet Swirl Igloo) for the first time ever. Prior to this, non-members were only able to live in their plain standard, small igloo. Even igloos available from codes (Pineapple Igloo) were members only.

The Bad:

Whilst nothing about 2013 on CP was particularly bad, these are a few of my least favourite additions.

  • Some parties: Although I did enjoy a fair few of the parties this past year, some were more irritating than fun. The first example here is the Prehistoric Party which had us playing the dreaded Dino Dig to obtain items. This game took far too long and wasn’t particularly exciting. Other examples include the Hollywood Party which was, in my opinion, the weakest event of 2013.
  • Duration of parties: I know I’ve said this before but the duration of the parties goes on for far too long when compared to the older days of 2006/7 when parties lasted a few days rather than 2 weeks. The longer the party goes on for the longer penguins get bored, typically anyway.
  • New Penguin graphics: By this I don’t mean the actual sprites in game. I instead mean the way penguins are shown in the Newspaper or how mascots are on their playercards. I realise CP wants the game to look fresh but, these sharper/slimmer/shinier penguins look kinda scary.
  • Disney Takeovers: Yeah I bet y’all knew this was coming. I’m not a Disney hater or anything; but placing 3 Disney-themed parties in 3 consecutive months was too much. It’s also clear that the team puts a lot more effort into the Disney-themed parties than they do for their classic parties. However, I did find that the Teen Beach Movie Summer Jam was perhaps the best party of the year as it truly had the feel of a classic Summer on CP.
  • Slow Loading: Still haunts the game to this day and has done since 2005 – though it currently seems to be a lot worse due to the higher amount of penguins. Yes it’s true that the CP Server is located in Las Vegas and I’m in England, but the lag is still annoying. Hopefully CP Next will fix this?

And so concludes a very brief review of 2013 in CP. I’ve quite enjoyed this year and look forward to what 2014 will bring. One thing is certain, if we do see the introduction of CP Next and the full online experience added to the iPad app (and iPhone/iPod and Android versions), 2014 could be one amazing year.

Random CP Fact #17: Club Penguin Co-Founder Rsnail (Lance Priebe) has stated that he may return to CP as he has a couple of new ideas for the game. 

Until next time, Waddle on!

– Jimbobson

My Penguin (Now Club Penguin) 1.3 Update released!

Greetings Penguins!

UPDATE: Even more rooms have been added to the app. The Dock, Snow Forts, Beach, Lighthouse (interior) and Beacon are all now available to access. You don’t even need to update the app – simply login and play!

I realise I haven’t posted in quite a while, University work and a social life can be hard to manage time wise. Nevertheless, this post will be regarding the new My Penguin update. Firstly, the app is now called Club Penguin (I bet this will cause some confusion). In 1.3, users can now access the Town and the buildings within it (Coffee Shop, Dance Club and Clothes Shop), with most containing new music. Users can also transport to another penguin’s location – much like Server Jumping which still hasn’t arrived.

A screenshot of the Town in Club Penguin 1.3 – note Spike Hike.

image

For those who were wondering, CP will slowly be adding more rooms over the next few months. Eventually, they want to use new technology dubbed CP Next to transport the iPad version to the online version, including the 3D penguin graphics. An iPhone and Android version are both in the works.

In other news: The Holiday Party begins next week so be sure to check that out. I can’t wait to see what will be different this year!

Random CP Fact #16: The Prehistoric Party first seen in January 2013 will be arriving again in January 2014. Spike Hike has stated that the party will include new features, though.

Until next time, Waddle on!

– Jimbobson

New Party Hat Available!

Greetings Penguins!

You may have read the title and become slightly confused. The 8th Anniversary Party isn’t until October, how can there be a party hat released already? Well, this party hat is unique due to the fact that it isn’t actually available anywhere on the island itself. Instead, it requires a code to be unlocked via unlocking items online. Where is this code you ask? It can only be found in Issue #15 of the Brazilian Club Penguin Magazine. Don’t worry though, for the code is not unique to each magazine and so will work for everyone. It can be found below.

ORGULHO5

The hat’s official name is the 5 Year Celebration Hat (not to be confused with the 5th Anniversary Party Hat) and, as the name suggests, celebrates 5 years since CP was released in Portuguese. Here is how the hat looks on Jim:

party hat brazil1

Remember that this code can be used once per penguin; meaning you can also use it on any other accounts you may own. Personally, I feel that CP is ruining the Party Hats as they were once special due to only being released during an anniversary party. Having one as an unlockable seems a little strange..

Random CP Fact #13: There are currently a total of 10 party hats with an 11th expected next month during CP’s 8th Anniversary party. The first was (obviously) the Beta Hat released in 2005, with the latest being the 5 Year Celebration Hat.

Until next time, Waddle on!

– Jimbobson

 

Frequently Asked Questions This Week

Greetings Penguins!

As I said previously, I will be doing FAQ posts often; answering any questions that penguins search for into their search engine and end up finding my site. These questions have been asked throughout this and previous months.

Q: Is CP Closing?

I’m unsure where this rumour came from in the first place. Perhaps it was that Toon Town was recently closed down? Anyways, CP has no plans to shut down. I doubt it ever will due to the massive fanbase and employees located around the world. CP is just too popular! (Note: That’s a good thing).

Q: CP Pineapple Igloo Code?

Not necessarily a question. More of a demand. Anyway, there is no code available that unlocks the Pineapple igloo. The only way it was obtained was buy unlocking all 20 of the items found on packs of Innocent Smoothies throughout the UK. Once you’d unlocked all items, you got a free Pineapple Igloo with it. Each code unlocked several items. It’s members only. Fun fact: Jimbobson 2 has the Pineapple Igloo.

Q: How to hack _______ item?

I find this a lot. Usually for something like the magazine items, the Red Lei or the Beta Hat. You should not hack as you are breaking CP’s rules and will at some point, be banned for hacking an item that is not currently available, especially one that is considered rare. As for HOW these people are hacking, say the Beta Hat, they are using third-party programmes. As for what they are, I’m not sure.

Q: How can non-members get yellow puffles (and other member items)?

Non-members can obtain members only items through unlocking them via the Treasure Book. However, as the book is getting updated soon with new ways to unlock, it could mean you have to have a membership code to do just that. As for the yellow (and other member puffles), simply by a Puffle plush (with hat) and you will unlock both the hat and the same coloured puffle (plus an item of your choice from the Treasure Book) online.

Q: How to get the Rainbow Lollipop on CP?

I am shocked at how much this directs people to Club Penguin Frontier. There are two kinds of Rainbow Lollipops in CP. The first is a hand item, it was available for everyone at the Fall Fair 2007, 2008 and in 2012. The second is a food item and the Rainbow Puffles favourite. They can both be found via Puffle Digging (which requires a Membership).

Q: What do I do after I’ve completed Card Jitsu Fire, Water and Snow?

Congratulations on completing all the Card Jitsus to date! As for what to do next, patience is the key Grasshopper. Card Jitsu Shadow could be among us very soon..

Q: Can you be friends with mascots?

Yes, simply click the add penguin button on their playercard. They should automatically be then added to your friends list.

Q: Is Foxotic copying other virtual worlds?

It is evident that many of the rooms in the game have been heavily inspired by others such as CP, Pandanda etc. Also for the record, Foxotic is not owned by any company associated with the games it has “copied”.

Hopefully this will clear up any questions any of you may have. Of course, I will be doing these kind of posts often (once enough questions have been asked). You can also ask questions via the Contact Us page or simply by commenting anywhere on the site. All questions will be answered. That is the Club Penguin Frontier guarantee! (as of just now until whenever).

Random CP Fact #12: There are a current total of 3 coloured inflatable ducks (body item). These colours are green, yellow and blue. The green is currently the rarest as it was released way back during the Summer Kick Off party in 2007. The yellow was released during the Summer Kick Off party 2006 (and again during the Water Party 2008). The blue is members only and was released in the Penguin Style August 2010 and September 2011 editions.

Until next time, Waddle on!

– Jimbobson

Teen Beach Summer Jam CRITICAL Review!

Greetings Penguins!

Time for yet another one of my infamous critical reviews. This time, I will be reviewing the Teen Beach Summer Jam (obviously) that is due to end tomorrow. We all remember when it was first announced as a classic mix between the Music Jam, Summer and Water parties of previous years. Well, CP wasn’t wrong. Although sceptical at first, I have found that this party has actually, despite the Teen Beach theme, got a feel of an original CP party – something I haven’t seen since for quite some time. Now time to review the individual features of this party!

Decorations: I was impressed with the decorations found during this month’s party. Most of the rooms on the island are decorated, which we don’t see much of any more really. There was even the introduction of two new rooms designed specifically for this party. This allows us to both surf and take to the roads. Overall, it’s pretty cool. Also, be sure to check out the Stadium/former Ice Rink. The water-themed interactive slide is very fun.

Items: This is where the Summer Jam really surprised me. As with other parties this year, there have been party-themed catalogues full of items for members. Not so much for non-members who got a couple, most of which required an awful time-consuming and annoying task (Dino Dig during the Prehistoric Party, taking ridiculous amount of photos during the Hollywood Party etc). Yes, there was a member themed catalogue but there was also 7 free items for everyone. Yes, 7 free items (including 2 new backgrounds featuring Mack and Brady). Most of which were completely new (not re-released or re-coloured, though the Campfire Marshmallow is very similar to the Marshmallow Stick of Camp Penguin 07). We also saw the release of a lei, named the Friends Forever Lei. We didn’t see the return of the Blue or Hawaiian Lei however, which I’m sure makes many older penguins happy.

Come back everyday: This has become a regular feature in modern CP parties. However, as these items are all nice, summer-themed and totally new, I don’t see any issues with coming back everyday. Especially as we don’t need to complete any tasks to receive the items. It truly has the feel of a classic, “old-CP” style party.

Mascots: This month we saw the return of everyone’s favourite penguin DJ, Cadence, complete with a new giveaway background. This was also the first appearance of her in-game wearing a T-shirt (which is now part of her style as, for some reason, penguin mascots cannot be naked in CP’s eyes). The main focus of the party was definitely the appearances of Mack and Brady – mascot penguins inspired by Disney’s Teen Beach Movie. They have an exclusive background if you manage to hunt either of them down and can also be added to your friends list.

Overall: As stated previously, I’ve actually enjoyed this month’s party. The duration (2 weeks) still feels slightly long in my opinion, but I suppose CP want all the team’s hard work to be showcased for a longer amount of time. As we say goodbye to summer once again, we also say goodbye to Disney-themed parties for the year. That’s right! The rest of the parties this year will be ORIGINAL (as stated by Spike Hike). Let us welcome September which promises the return of our beloved Captain Rockhopper and the Medieval Party 2013, though these are not necessarily going to occur at the same time of the month.

Random CP Fact #10: The first penguin ever created on Club Penguin was Nickname1. It was used to test the naming system and was created by rsnail himself.

Until next time, Waddle on!

– Jimbobson

The Night of a Thousand Leis!

UPDATE: Neither the Blue or Hawaiian Lei made an appearance at the Summer Jam. However, a new lei called the Friends Forever Lei was released, though looks much different to the other leis both on the player card and in-game. 

Aloha Penguins!

After the rumours suggesting the return of the rare Blue Lei at the Summer Jam surfaced, many penguins became excited, whilst others, became upset. However, there was recently an outbreak of Hawaiian, or Red (as it’s better known) Leis on the island. It turns out this exceptionally rare item (from Winter Lua in January 06) was actually given out to penguins who attended Tato Maxx’s (a Spanish blogger) anniversary party.

Many penguins are now suggesting that both Leis will be returning tomorrow at the Summer Jam. A CP Support staff member explained how the Summer Jam will be a great party for people who like leis – hinting that either the Red or Blue lei will probably be returning. If this is the case, I’m sure older, more rarer penguins who own either of these items will be angry. However, CP has always stated that all items will someday return, unless they were either Pins (Stage pins such as the ruby from Ruby and the Ruby are the exception) or Party Hats (CPIP Red Hard Hat included as it is an item given for testing).  Here is an image of both the leis:

leis1

Personally, I would love it if both leis came back. As a proud owner of a Blue Lei, I realise just how many penguins envy it and would love to have one. As for the Hawaiian Lei, it has always been my favourite neck item (it looks amazing). I would also love to see a brand new coloured lei. One thing is for sure, the Summer Jam has turned into the most exciting party of the year. I guess we will simply have to wait until tomorrow to find out what items do return, if any.

Random CP Fact #07: The Hawaiian (or red) Lei used to be the second rarest item in CP, beaten only by the legendary Beta (Party) Hat. This was until it was re-released for penguins who attended a staff members’ anniversary party, however.

Until next time, Waddle on!

– Jimbobson

Blue Lei set to return?

Greetings Penguins!

I’ve recently heard a lot of rumours regarding the Blue Lei returning at this Thursday’s Teen Beach Movie Summer Jam. First there were supposed images of CP Support confirming its’ return, images in which I considered fake (due to the probability of CP Support of all people confirming an items’ return).

For those who don’t know, the Blue Lei is very, very rare neck item that was first released at the Summer Kick Off party in 2006. It then returned a year later at the 2007 Summer Kick Off party (which is when I got the item). As the item was last released 6 years ago, it as an item that many penguins have desired (though admittedly not as much as the Hawaiian Lei – also known as the Red Lei released during the Winter Lua in January 2006). Anyway, here’s a pic of Jimbobson’s Blue Lei:

lei1

Up until today I thought that CP would instead release a new coloured lei to please both older and younger players. However, the latest Game On advertisement suggested otherwise. Take a look at this screenshot from the advert:

blue lei2

They’re all wearing BLUE LEIS!!!! So I think this a blatant subliminal message from CP that the item will indeed be returning this Thursday. Hopefully, it will be the ‘cool beach item’ and not a Members only – as that would be very annoying. (Don’t think CP would re-release rare non-member items only for members? See Puffle Digging for details).

In conclusion, I think the return of the Blue Lei will be something many younger players will be looking forward too. I suppose it’s not all bad, it just means us rarer penguins now have to find another neck item to display our rarity! 😉

Random CP Fact #06: Rsnail, CP’s Co-Founder had initially planned for the game to be released in 2010. Billybob decided that they should fast-track CP by working on it full time (as opposed to just a few hours a week by Rsnail himself).

Until next time, Waddle on!

– Jimbobson

 

CP: Running out of ideas or running out of money?

Greetings Penguins!

It is no secret that CP has grown massively since the early days, with international offices and new team members. Obviously, running CP and paying the staff requires a fair amount of money that was once provided by memberships and plush puffles alone. However, now the game is much bigger and being owned by Disney was possibly the best financial move CP has ever made.

As players grow up and turn to new games, it is down to the younger generation to fund and populate the game. The only issue now is that CP isn’t the only virtual world, plus with the introduction of mobile applications on Apple’s  iOS and Google’s Android; CP has much more competition than it used to.

The recent introduction of Disney-themed takeovers and sponsored parties may seem unoriginal and somewhat annoying to us older fans, but it does generate money which is what CP needs (it is a business after all). It’s also true that these parties have generated a lot of traffic on the website, showing just how popular they are among players. Therefore, we cannot complain about these new parties. The constant returning of original CP events (I’m looking at you, Music Jam) year upon year got somewhat boring.

Note: CP is not nearing bankruptcy or anything, this post was simply highlighting how players (and therefore memberships) have declined in recent years and how these sponsored parties have helped increase this once again.

Random CP Fact #05: There was a camping themed party called Camp Penguin in August 2007 in which the Marshmallow on a Stick item was released. Both the party and the item have never returned since.

Until next time, Waddle on!

– Jimbobson

 

Star Wars Takeover CRITICAL REVIEW

Greetings Penguins!

It’s that time again – time for one of my critical reviews. This time I will be reviewing the latest CP party, the Star Wars Takeover. Although it is true that this party is yet another one of the Disney advertisement parties, it is far from bad. In fact, this may be my favourite takeover party yet (Marvel Superhero Takeover aside). Anyway, let me begin.

Items: There are a lot of Star Wars themed items available at this party. The only issue is, that none of them are actually original. Instead, they are simply costumes used in the movie but adapted for penguins. Not very original in my opinion, though still quite fun. Non-members get several items too – with the majority been hats, pins and backgrounds (why no lightsabers?!).

Decorations: Like a few parties this year, CP Island isn’t really decorated. Instead, all the action (and decoration) takes place in space. I especially like the Death Star interior which looks pretty great. Overall, the decorations are quite impressive though it’d be nice to see more decorations on the island itself.

Come back _____ for more items: This has become somewhat of an expectation for modern CP parties. Although it can sometimes be quite annoying, it does make the party less boring. Especially when you can explore new planets and obtain new items when you do return to the game (rather than just buying items from a party-themed catalogue).

Mini-games: The mini games during this party are also pretty fun. First, there’s defeating the Stormtroopers on Tatooine which is a good game in itself. You simply have to shoot Stormtroopers – how cool is that!? Next up, there is the traditional moving blocks to insert the key into the lock (this was used for some Field Op tasks). Finally, on Yavin 4 you defeat TIE Fighters by flying an X-Wing ship. Overall, plenty of stuff to do!

Overall: As stated previously, this has been one of the better Disney takeovers we’ve had on CP. It is clear that the team have spent quite a lot of time developing this party and in my opinion, their work has paid off. As with all parties though, this one isn’t perfect. I would’ve liked more interesting items for everyone and the ability to battle as non-members. Ah well, I guess you can’t win them all. Let us all look forward to next month’s party – Teen Beach Movie Summer Jam Takeover!

Random CP Fact #04: If a penguin breaks the rules, they are now issued with a warning instead of an instant ban. However, failure to ignore this warning will result in the banning of your penguin for a number of hours.

Until next time, Let the force be with you.

– Jimbobson