Club Penguin died last night after more than 10 years as a popular browser game. Today, it’s been reborn on mobile devices as Club Penguin Island, but many people already would prefer that it just stayed buried.
Club Penguin Island is an iOS and Android version of Club Penguin that loses much of what was endearing about the Flash-based original. There’s a heavy emphasis on story, with a mandatory tutorial walking players through some clunky controls and a much blander setting.
In our experience, Club Penguin Island is plagued with an unstable server — not atypical on launch day — and some tepid gameplay. It wasn’t just us; reports of constant crashes are on social media, too.
.@clubpenguin I would like to report an issue with Club Penguin Island - most of the time whenever you try logging in, the app crashes.— DJFang (@CpthebestCP) March 30, 2017
I haven't been able to try Club Penguin Island for more than 3 minutes without the app crashing— Bellis perennis (@daso_codrine) March 30, 2017
None of this should matter for Club Penguin, though, whose charm was in being a sandbox for people young and older to just chill out, make a virtual pizza, and chat up friends and strangers.
Much of this is in Club Penguin Island, but you wouldn’t know it if you were playing the game for free. There’s a $4.99 monthly membership, which the game reminds you of constantly. Although you can keep on playing without signing up, the majority of the content is blocked off.
Lolololololol don't try to download Club Penguin Island, guys. It's 20% of a gig and only for remaining paying members. So much for that..— TheStarrOfWonderland (@IleneStarr) March 30, 2017
Can't even complete the tutorial on club penguin island w/out buying a membership, smh— Yasmin (@YasminB_1) March 30, 2017
Club Penguin fans caught onto these glaring issues quickly. Maybe they’re biased, as they’re still mourning the browser game’s death — but the overwhelming consensus is that Club Penguin Island is a pretty poor replacement.
so, I tried club penguin island and it is TRASH. #bringbackclubpenguin— Dakota from Panera (@DecodeMcBuckets) March 30, 2017
club penguin island disgusts me— lauren (@19laurenn) March 30, 2017
Your mileage may vary, but either way, we’ll always have the memories.