Club Penguin Island – First Impressions

It’s time to come clean.  We’ve known each other for a while now and eventually you’re going to figure out my deep dark secret.  Okay, here goes.  I have an unhealthy obsession with penguins.  There!  I said it!  So you can imagine my excitement at a new game called Club Penguin Island.  An island club for penguins?  Yes, sign me up!  Right now.  I’ll take the profit sharing contract please.  That way I still have time during the year to go to Corgi Island.  As I dove into this game, I found that this past couple of weeks has seen the closure of the original Club Penguin which a lot of people are pretty upset about.  Losing a game you love is very hard, especially one that has been around for a long time, so I get it.  But knowing nothing about the old Club Penguin, I decided to jump into this new one, full of Penguin loving hopes and dreams.  Let’s take a look at what I thought of my first hours on Club Penguin Island.


My first hour on Club Penguin Island was actually pretty terrible.  I will not sugar coat it.  Thanks to a game breaking glitch, I was not able to log on and then, once past that, I was not able to progress past the first mission.  It was very upsetting, given that I really just wanted to try out this new game.  After updating my iOS, I was one update behind, the game began to run much better, but still, the idea that the game had so many issues right off the bat was not a good start to my impressions.  I say all this, not to gripe, but to make you aware that IF you download the game, make sure your OS is up to date and also go into it expecting that there will be frequent crashes as the devs work on stabilizing the game.


The tough start out of the way, I finally was able to play a bit of the game.  Club Penguin Island is all about exploring and completing missions in order to level up and find new ways to customize your character.  For a little game on my phone, I actually found that I could really bling out my character with personalization quite quickly.  This was a great feeling as it seemed that I looked very different than all the other penguins running around.


But with the good of being able to customize to my heart’s content comes what may be the biggest drawback of the game.  This is the thing I have seen the most negativity around and I think it comes with good reason.  The game requires a monthly subscription to be able to do just about anything.  In fact, you can’t even complete the tutorial without signing up for the free trial of the tutorial.  There’s a couple of things wrong with this.  The first is that you don’t really get a chance to try the game before signing on.  With many free games that eventually charge for things like the next chapter or more content, you at least get a feel for the game, making sure you want to invest in it.  Here, you have all of a minute of gameplay before the game essentially says “Sign up or get out.”  Luckily, the fact that there is a trial period does give you a chance to make sure you will enjoy the game and if not, you can always unsubscribe before you get charged for the first time.


But despite this big pain in the neck, once you get past the glitches and the membership piece, the game is actually pretty fun.  The island is vibrant and entertaining and there are all sorts of fun things to play around with.  I enjoyed going on an underwater adventure as well as taking part in a jam session with others on the beach.


There are also daily missions for both yourself and the community, which is a great way to keep you goal minded as you play within this virtual playground, which renders very nicely on the phone screen.  The quests seem to refresh every day, giving you a good reason to log in every 24 hours to see what sort of fun you can unlock next.  I was also surprised to find that I actually thought the quests were pretty engaging.  One had me searching for treasure, completing a map, and then following arrows to the where it was buried.  All of this was fairly intuitive and I liked that it required a little bit of thought to figure out the puzzles.


The heart of this game is really the customization of your character.  Being able to create the penguin of your dreams and show your inner style plays a big part in everything, because every level opens up new fabrics to create your outfit with.  It also opens up new patterns for everything from hair style to shoes.  I immediately felt like I had a lot of options and there are even some great Disney themed outfits you can purchase as well!


The true test will be to see if Club Penguin Island releases enough content to make a monthly subscription worth it.  Already, I feel that the amount of things I can actually do is fairly limited but I’m really hoping that changes as I continue to explore.  Despite ALL the issues I have with this game, and as you can see, there are many, I am really starting to enjoy the game.  I like exploring and I like constantly changing my outfits.  I also really like the quests and it’s even fun to just bounce around in the party area and chat with folks.  For all the things it does wrong, it does many more right.  It’s far from perfect, but if you’re looking for an adorable Disney themed social experience, this just might be worth a try!


So what do you guys think of the new game?  I really want to hear from those who played the old one.  How does this one stack up?  And if you’re new to it, how are you enjoying your first Club Penguin experience?  Let me know in the comments!  By the way, feel free to friend me!  As you saw above, my character name is Kookamungakat.  Add me and let’s have a penguin filled adventure!

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