|Developer(s)||New Horizon Interactive|
|Publisher(s)||New Horizon Interactive|
|Release date(s)||October 24, 2005|
|Platform(s)||Cross-platform (requires Flash Player 6)|
Club Penguin is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game for people of all ages developed by New Horizon Interactive and bought by Disney. Using cartoon penguin avatars, players can waddle around, converse, play minigames, and participate in other activities with one another in a snow-covered virtual world. Having completed beta-testing, Club Penguin was made available to the general public on October 24, 2005 and has since expanded into a large online community.
Club Penguin shares similarities with other popular online environments like RuneScape and Habbo Hotel. Though open to users of all ages, Club Penguin is primarily designed for children ages eight to fourteen and has qualified for the Better Business Bureau - Kid's Privacy Seal of Approval. Club Penguin was also awarded the "Editors Choice" award from Children's Technology Review Magazine.
Now there is also the option to participate in the weekly poll on the Club Penguin Home Page. The present question is "What would you like to see more of?" The possible answers with varying percentages are: Furniture, Clothes, Rooms, Games, Puffles and Parties. Past questions have included: "What do you most enjoy doing around Club Penguin?" and "What would you like to see out of the binoculars in the Cove?"
Though the game can be played for free, many of the features are not available unless a subscription is purchased.
Club Penguin provides a non-membership option. Although such play is free, it does not include all of the benefits of being a member. Non-members may still buy colors and player-card backgrounds and can go anywhere (except during member parties) as well as play games. Non-members may also receive and use items given out at parties that are thrown monthly for all players. Non-members are restricted to only two puffles, in the colors red or blue, and may not buy clothes or furniture, or access occasional brand new game areas.
Players may become members (by paying $5.95 every month, $29.95 for six months, or $57.95 USD for a year) and doing so grants them many benefits. They may buy clothing and furniture, own more than two puffles, enjoy early access to new parts of the game, buy furniture for their puffles, and have access to all puffle breeds. Members also have access to Members-only Parties hosted by Club Penguin. Members may also open their igloo to visits by other players. Payment methods include PayByCash, Pay Pal, SMS, credit card, money order and check. (SMS is only available in the UK.)
Club Penguin is divided into several rooms.
Each player is provided with an igloo for a home. Members have the option of opening their igloo so other penguins can access it via the map. Members may also decorate their igloos with items bought with money earned by playing mini-games.
Many game locations can be accessed by clicking on the Club Penguin map. Some places, such as the Attic, are reached by clicking its general area on the map then walking the penguin to the specific location. Other places, such as Rockhopper's Ship, The Migrator, are only available on certain days.
Club Penguin recently opened two new areas. The Forest opened on Friday, May 18, though initially only to those who found and followed a lost map. After construction of an access staircase was completed, the Cove opened on May 25 in conjunction with a member party; it opened to all players on May 29 when the party ended.
Club Penguin provides two options for inter-player communication. The Ultimate Safe Chat mode allows players to select predefined phrases from a list, similar to old text-adventure games. The other mode, Open Chat, allows players to enter custom messages, although these are subject to censorship. Each game instance (server) offers one particular type of chat — the majority allowing either, but some allow only Ultimate Safe Chat mode.
Players who use profanity are often punished by an automatic 24-hour ban, although not all vulgar language results in an immediate ban. After being caught using profane language on a second or third occasion, players may be banned for 72 hours. Players caught hacking Club Penguin are banned for a much longer time period. After 3 to 5 bans, a player is banned indefinitely from the game.  If someone tries to log in to Club Penguin as a famous player account (such as Rockhopper or Billybob), any password will result in a message that the account is banned with a "Forever" expiration.
All Club Penguin areas are monitored by large teams of Moderators who ensure players are not using profanity or acting abusively towards other players. Players' suggestions for new ideas or improvement of the game are reviewed by Moderators, who also help prevent hackers from interfering with the game or cheating. Moderators must be at least 18 years old, pass a criminal record check, and live in or near Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.
Every month, there is a party on Club Penguin. The party may be for a holiday such as April Fool's Day, Halloween or Christmas, or it may be random, as when no major holiday is celebrated or chosen in a particular month. A free, new article of clothing is made available with each non-member party. The first party on Club Penguin was the Beta Test Party at which beta testers received a party hat.
Players may use the coins they collect from playing minigames to purchase various items from shops.
There are 13 penguin colors, from which players can choose and use as often as they want. They are: Lime Green, Light Green, Dark Green, Orange, Peach, Red, Light Blue, Dark Blue, Brown, Black, Pink, Yellow and Purple. New colors are generally introduced at members-only parties.
Many backgrounds are available, with two to four new ones every month. Backgrounds can be viewed when anyone clicks on a player's penguin, and can be bought by non-members.
Pins display in the top left-hand corner of a player's lookup card. A special Christmas Tree Pin was made available for 50 coins in a late 2006 issue of the Penguin Times newspaper.
Flags are similar to pins though are only available to members; they also appear in the top left-hand corner of a player's lookup card.
Clothes are for members only, except for the items given out for free at parties and on the pirate ship.
Furniture is for members only and can be used to design and decorate a player's igloo.
Members' igloos can be upgraded into many different styles. Some igloo styles are themed for recent parties, such as the Bamboo Hut or Log Cabin. Igloo upgrades range from 1000 to 5100 coins depending on the style. In May 2007, a disco tile was added to the igloo upgrades.
Players can receive free items in addition to clothing during events.
He also brought back the 2nd non-member puffle, the red puffle, from his island.
Free items from parties often enable a special dance move. For example, dancing while wearing (only) a propeller cap will cause a player to hover; doing the same while wearing an ice cream apron results in the player's scooping ice cream.
Secret Agent status is available to all players, whether members or not, who have played for at least 30 days and have not been banned. These agents are encouraged to inform players of upcoming events and guide new members around the game. They are also asked to help keep Club Penguin safe and report anyone who is being disruptive or using offensive language; however, agents are not official moderators.
'G' is a fictional inventor of the Penguin Secret Agency, the fictitious secret service in the game. He plays a leading role in all three 'secret missions', similar to that of Q in the James Bond films.
The Agent Headquarters (HQ) is a Club Penguin location accessible only to Secret Agents, who can teleport there by clicking the Spy Phone in their player card inventory and then clicking "Visit HQ", or by entering the right-most dressing room in the Sport Shop. The Headquarters has 24 TV screens that show images of most of the accessible places on Club Penguin, each of which is only a click away. In addition to the cove and forest TV screens, there has been one screen left blank. To the right of the TVs is a board containing a message, changed every two to four weeks, with hints and tips about activities on Club Penguin. In the bottom right corner are a book and a folder. The folder includes missions for Secret Agents; the agent handbook is titled "The F.I.S.H." (Factual Informative Spy Handbook).
Secret agents are able to perform randomly occurring "Top Secret Missions." Successful completion of such missions yields items for the player card inventory. Three current missions, which require secret agents to use their imagination and logic, include:
On successfully completing a mission, secret agents will have earned a Puffle Medal, a Burning Log Medal, or a Magnet medal, depending on the mission. Agents who deliver puffle pictures to Aunt Arctic (Case of the Missing Puffles) receive a letter from her. Those who make a fishing rod (G's Secret Mission) receive a letter from G. Agents who restore the lights in the disco (Case of the Missing Coins) receive a letter from the dancing penguin.
A new mission will be coming this summer.
This project began January 26, 2007 with the intent of helping newcomers find their way around Club Penguin. To become a tour guide, a penguin must be at least 45 days old and have had no more than one ban (or sufficiently good behavior after more bans). Being a member is not required. To apply, one goes to the Tour Booth in the Ski Village and takes a quiz. The eight-question quiz tests one's knowledge such as where things are located, puffle facts, game play, and so forth. Answering seven out of the eight questions correctly wins a tour guide hat. Only those who have passed the test and have the hat are official tour guides.
Club Penguin has a weekly newspaper delivered every Thursday. It contains a number of things happening around Club Penguin and features games, comics, and more. The Boiler Room under the Night Club in the Town contains an archive of newspapers from the last six weeks.
Each newspaper edition includes a list of dates that summarize when the next pin will be hidden, upcoming parties and other Club Penguin events.
Aunt Arctic is a fictional character featured in the newspaper as a reporter with a role similar to that of real-life agony aunts, giving advice (in this case, regarding game queries and etiquette). The Club Penguin team responds to players' questions using Aunt Arctic as a pen name, and such questions can be submitted using an in-game form.
Puffles are small, fluffy creatures that players may have as pets. They are available from the Pet Shop in blue, green, pink, black, purple, and red. Non-members have access to the blue and red puffles and may have no more than two; members may adopt up to twelve puffles. Hackers of the site can have as many puffles as they want; available in blue, green, pink, black, purple, red, and yellow; but if hackers get caught, they will get banned for a long time. Puffles have health, rest, and energy bars to dictate their status.
There are 7 different breeds of puffles, each with a different personality.
Various minigames are available for play within Club Penguin.
Single-player games, which generally earn the player more coins, include these:
|Name||Description||Minigame Found In|
|Astro Barrier||An classic-like arcade game that involves the main character as a ship and must shoot all the targets.||Dance Lounge|
|Ballistic Biscuit||The player must go water-skiing and jump over all the obstacles in the water for points.||The Dock|
|Bean Counters||The player must help unload a truck of coffee beans, without carrying too many beans or catching anything else besides beans.||Coffee Shop|
|Cart Surfer||The player must preform tricks inside a mine cart while avoiding turns and obstacles.||Mine|
|Catchin' Waves||The player must preform tricks on a surfboard to judges, avoid obstacles in Survival Mode, or just practice in Freestyle with/without a red puffle.||Cove|
|Ice Fishing||The player must catch fish, avoiding the other obstacles in the water, which may cut the player's line.||Ski Lodge|
|Jet Pack Adventure||The player must use a jetpack to fly in the air without hitting obstacles or run out of fuel.||The Lighthouse Beacon|
|Puffle Round-Up||The player must use his/her mouse to round up all the puffles on the screen into a pen.||Pet Shop|
|Pizzatron 3000||The player must make pizzas with specific different toppings every time.||Pizza Parlor|
Multi-player minigames in Club Penguin reward players with up to roughly 20 coins per game. These Include:
|Name||Description||Minigame Found In|
|Find Four||Basically has the same rules as the game Connect Four: The players must place down pieces in different rows, trying to get four pieces in a row.||Ski Lodge, Ski Attic|
|Mancala||The two players compete in a Mancala competition.||The Bookroom Library|
|Sled Racing||Two penguins must race on sleds down a hill full of obstacles to avoid||Ski Mountain|
Though most games earn the player coins (1/10th of the final score in most),some games do not. These include:
|Name||Description||Minigame Found In|
|Ice Hockey||The player must hit a puck by walking over it into the one of the two goals||Ice Rink|
|Snowball Fights||The player must throw snowballs at one of the two Snow Forts (the other team)||Snow Forts (although penguins can throw snowballs anywhere)|
Snowball Fights are special because numerous 'armies' have been formed to add fun to the game. Players in Club Penguin may recruit other players to form new armies or to add to their armies. An example of an army is the Army of Club Penguin. Staff of Club Penguin are not affiliated with that army.
Rockhopper's message in a bottle was recovered and turned into a book titled Rockhopper and the Stowaway, which was officially introduced as the first book in the Book Room library collection. Three more books were added later, titled Frankie's First Show, The Spice of Life and Truth or Dare. On April 27, 2007, the Book Room Writing Contest's winning stories were added to the Book Room as one big book titled Penguin Stories.
These famous penguins are unavailible to non-moderators:
The Band is a small group of four Penguins who often come to big parties in Club Penguin. They play the accordion, drum, acoustic guitar, and bass. When Club Penguin was first launched, The Band did not have Frankie, the guitar player, and the accordian player played the piano. The band was all blue. They always provided the music in the night club until the speakers were installed (exception shown on St.Patricks day) There was once a scavenger hunt where players had to find the band's instruments, with a new background as the reward.
Rockhopper is a fictional pirate character who arrives at Club Penguin aboard a pirate ship named The Migrator. Introduced on October 14, 2006, he arrives in the game approximately every two months. During a Rockhopper visit, all players (including non-members) may explore his ship, which offers exclusive 'rare' items for purchase, and a fictional diary of the character's adventures. When among game players, Rockhopper appears as most others except that he wears pirate clothes unavailable to others.
A "message in a bottle" had been seen floating about, visible through the telescope located in the Lighthouse Beacon. On March 1, 2007, the bottle ended up on the right section of water on the Beach. It appeared to be some pages torn out of Rockhopper's journal, and ripped around the edges due to a rough journey. The words and pictures were later published in a book which tells about a stowaway on Rockhopper's ship called Bambadee and how he overcame his fears and made friends. Rockhopper apparently returned him to the island but amazingly, was not noticed by other penguins. The story also tells of Bambadee's friendship bracelets, which can be received by clicking on a picture of one after reading the story.
Billybob does the website's blog and announces upcoming special events
Some times, script errors known as glitches occur at Club Penguin. These errors, in general, last a short time on the game's environment, since they are usually fixed by employees once detected.
Sometimes, such as on April Fools Day, glitches are made on purpose to entertain players.
Penguin Chat 3 was an old version of Club Penguin that opened to the public on March 31, 2005; it went offline on October 28, 2005  and included some items that are not in the current version. Two examples are ninjas and snowcats. A ninja can be seen when clicking on the "n" of the night club in the main image on the Club Penguin official site.
On August 1st 2007, Club Penguin announced that Club Penguin is partnering up with The Walt Disney Company. New Horizon Interactive claimed that players will not notice a difference. Disney offered a deal of 350 Million Dollars. The headquarters will still remain in Kelowna, British Columbia and are planning to make Club Penguin into different languages. There will be no ads on their website. Disney is already advertising on disney.com and other sites.
According to the Walt Disney Company, an additional $350 million could be added to the initital $350 million offering (for a potential total of $700 million) if the Club Penguin founders can reach profit targets through 2009 with its more than 700,000 paid subscribers and 12 million registered users.
On August 2nd, 2007, Club Penguin got all over the official Dinsey website on the front page, and got it's first commercial.