What is Club Penguin up to these days?
Club Penguin was all the rage a few years ago, and if you’re my age, you probably spent a notable amount of time playing the game back in the day. Club Penguin was probably the most popular kid-friendly web-based multiplayer game available, and you may be surprised to hear that it still is. Club Penguin was acquired by Disney a few years ago, and they have only served to improve the original game.
For the uninitiated, Club Penguin is a penguin-themed social multiplayer game. You have your penguin complete different challenges and mini-games in exchange for coins, which can be spent on clothes for your penguin or on furniture for your igloo. This game is very popular with kids and families, since it is vigilantly moderated to ensure a safe and appropriate multiplayer experience. The game is updated quite frequently with new events, items, and missions. Their reputation definitely precedes them, and a lot of new users come to Club Penguin just because it’s Club Penguin.
Even though Club Penguin works pretty hard to keep the game fresh, it’s understandable if you’re bored of a game that has been out for over ten years now. If that’s the case, you should be happy to know that a lot of other great social-multiplayer games have been released over the years. Some of them are really similar to Club Penguin, while others just share a few key characteristics with the game. Enough of my blabbering, though. Here is a list of the top five games like Club Penguin.
2018 Update: Club Penguin is going to be shutting down in the spring of 2017. So it’s more important than ever to find new games like club penguin that you can play!
The gameplay of Roblox differs pretty dramatically from the gameplay of Club Penguin, but it shares the same kind of player community. Although the bulk of your time in Club Penguin will be spent waddling around a larger penguin island, user-created igloos are also a pretty large aspect of the overall game. Players dedicate most of their time earning coins to be put toward furniture, which they use to deck out their igloos. If you like that level of player involvement, you would probably really like Roblox.
Almost all of Roblox is user-generated. Communities are formed with the sole intention of building cities and other kinds of grand attractions. If it weren’t for this user community, it would be pretty dead. Luckily, although the game is even older than Club Penguin, it is just as popular as it was several years ago. You shouldn’t have any problem jumping into the game and finding a few people to hang out with, and build or play games. Roblox’ gameplay bears more than a passing resemblance to Minecraft, which is why it ranks so highly in my top 5 games like Minecraft.
The only reason why I decided not to rank Roblox higher was because, although it’s a really fun game, it’s not really all that similar to Club Penguin. Yes, both are multiplayer games that have a lot of user-created content to play through, but that’s pretty much where the resemblance stops. Roblox doesn’t have any story-based gameplay like Club Penguin does, and it doesn’t really hold any kind of site-wide events, either. Still, I think it’s worth mentioning.
Webkinz was probably one of Club Penguin’s tightest competitors during the late 2000s. At this time, web-based online multiplayer games were at their absolute peak, and no other family-oriented name could compete with them. Yeah, games like Neopets were popular, but they were primarily browser-based. Webkinz and Club Penguin implemented Flash, which was much more appealing at the time.
In case you didn’t know, Webkinz is a game that involved the purchase of stuffed animals. Once you bought a Webkinz toy, you could redeem the code that came with it on their website, and place your stuffed animal into the game. You could dress your pet, play games with them, and customize their rooms. The game was a cultural phenomena, and I remember seeing news stories about how shops couldn’t keep these toys on the shelves. Stores had big “Webkinz sold here” signs in their window to attract business. It was ridiculous. As the result of a few poor business decisions by the people behind the operation, the game is pretty much dead now. However, it’s much easier to get into now, and it retains some of the charm that it had before.
Although you can’t explore any kind of in-game world, Webkinz lets you play a variety of different mini-games to earn money, and some of the games aren’t too bad. (Most of them are puzzle games.) Especially as the game has lost popularity, the multiplayer aspect of the game is even less impressive than it was in the past. However, the room design elements are pretty robust, and I would honestly think of them as superior to Club Penguin’s. This one may not be for everyone, but if you love playing games on Club Penguin, you’ll like this one too.
3. Moshi Monsters
Like Webkinz, Moshi Monsters is a virtual pet game. It’s a really light-hearted game, and I love the art style. You select a monster when you sign-up, who you walk around the game world and play a variety of different missions and games with. When you complete these missions, you earn different prizes. A lot of the missions in Moshi Monsters remind me a lot of the secret agent missions in Club Penguin. They’re more story-based, they’re often completed alone, and they’re a big draw to the overall game.
However, I have to say that Moshi Monster often feels too single-player. It’s hard to make friends in this game, because the only way that you’re able to communicate with other users is by sending them “mail”, which is much more restricted than standard Club Penguin chatting. A lot of the time, you’re more concerned with completing the mission that you’re working on than you are interested in making friends. If socializing is your favorite part of Club Penguin, you may want to look for a different game.
Still, Moshi Monsters is a really cute game, and the lack of social features means that it’s one of the safest games on this list. Club Penguin chatting is generally pretty safe, but it is possible for things to turn inappropriate, evading chat filters. You never have to worry about that with Moshi Monsters, and you can rest assured knowing that you’ll be playing much more than you’ll be having to deal with trolls.
Poptropica is a game that has also managed to maintain a high level of popularity over the years. From the author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, you can expect an experience that is approachable, quirky, and that doesn’t take itself too seriously. In Poptropica, you create an avatar, which you’re able to customize over the course of your time in the game. You’re able to travel to different islands, where you’re tasked with solving various mysteries.
Like Moshi Monsters, Poptropica doesn’t place a lot of priority on making itself a social experience. Although there are areas where you can chat and play games with others, greater attention is placed on the stories that exist on each island. Of course, progress through these missions are often attained when you’re playing by yourself. If you enjoy the secret agent missions in Club Penguin, you’ll absolutely adore the missions in Poptropica. They have the same kind of sense of humor, and solutions to different puzzles can often be just as challenging.
Poptropica also has the ability to pull in users across a wide variety of ages. It’s just as appealing to children as it is to teenagers, which I think is a quality that you can’t really find in Club Penguin. Although Club Penguin is definitely neat to all ages, it’s not really something that I think a 14-year-old could find themselves addicted to over the course of a weekend. Poptropica packs a much broader appeal, which I think has been the key to its success thus far.
1. Animal Jam
And finally, Animal Jam. This game is by far more similar to Club Penguin than every other item on this list. When I wrote the top five games like Animal Jam a little while ago, Club Penguin found itself at the top. These games are strikingly similar in terms of core gameplay mechanics and presentation. Don’t expect a clone, though. Although Animal Jam seems to be very heavily inspired by Club Penguin, it brings its own cool little features to the table.
To begin with, Animal Jam gives you a Moshi Monsters-like ability to choose your own animal when you first sign up. You’re not limited to just being a penguin in this one. You walk your animal around an island, where you complete different missions, puzzles, and games to earn prizes. Being partially developed by National Geographic, the overall tone of Animal Jam is much different from Disney’s. Animal Jam’s games and activities often have an educational spin on them, which is probably a huge plus if you’re a parent looking for a Club Penguin alternative. Not to mention, Animal Jam’s user community is much more close-knit. The game isn’t quite as popular as Club Penguin, so you don’t have to worry about many griefers. Finally, membership in Animal Jam is much more inexpensive than membership in Club Penguin. That isn’t to say that membership is essential, however. You should be just fine being a player, where you’re bogged down by far less restrictions than free players on Club Penguin.
All in all, Animal Jam is pretty much just Club Penguin, themed in a different way. Gameplay carries out in really similar ways, and Animal Jam will very familiar to someone who may have played Club Penguin in the past. (This also means that, if you’re transitioning from one to the other, it’s not as jarring. This is also a bonus for players who are younger, and aren’t really old enough to get the hang of entirely new menus and interfaces.) If you love Club Penguin, and if you want to try out a game that’s heavily inspired by it, you should look into this one.