There are a lot of free-to-play MMO video games people can play on their web browsers for no download and without powerful computers, but none have had as much impact on ’00s kids as Club Penguin. Club Penguin — or Club Penguin Online, now found at cponline.pw — was a child friendly, innocent, fun and immersive game owned by Disney. It allowed players to play as silly cartoon penguins living on the island “Club Penguin.”
On this island players and their penguin avatars played multiple minigames in order to collect coins, which were used to personalize outfits, buy decorations for the player’s igloo and get pets known as “puffles.” Puffles are cute, colorful balls of fur with faces and each different type of puffle has unique personality traits or special powers. They can be fed treats and taught tricks, in addition to participating in minigames.
However, in 2017, all of that ended when the website was terminated due to the game’s declining popularity, which left the charming innocence of Club Penguin Online a distant childhood memory for many. However, in what at first appeared to be some kind of April Fool’s joke, Club Penguin Online was back up and running on April 1st, 2020.
It seems the main purpose for bringing back Club Penguin Online is to help entertain those enduring quarantined life. To be honest, the ironically warm, penguin-themed game is a much needed break from news surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Like it was before it was taken down, the game features multiple servers (although they are currently being overloaded with players quickly registering penguins) and a working, in-game chat. Players move their penguin avatars around the island with the click of their mouse and, depending on the game they decide to play, need to use some keyboard buttons during minigames. The minigames can be anything from ice fishing to jumping on fruit to make refreshing smoothies. Either way, depending on how well the player does, they will receive coins as a reward.
In addition to minigames, another popular activity on Club Penguin Island is going on secret agent missions. In these missions, players initiate themselves as secret agents and must partake in some interesting stories with some actually complicated puzzles, some of which take an average of 45 minutes to complete. These puzzles — especially the fuse box puzzle on mission three — are infamous for their frustrating difficulty, but at least the rewards are worth it. Players can earn secret agent outfits, as well as special achievements to show just how cool their penguin can be (pun intended).
As great as reminiscing in simpler Club Penguin Online times may be, there have been some changes to the website that players should know. So, what’s different?
For starters, the new Club Penguin Online gives everyone “member” status, which basically makes all of its content free to play. Puffles that would have required paid membership to get can now be owned by anyone and everyone, as long as they have enough in-game coins. When the game debuted in 2005, in order to acquire certain puffle pets or outfits, players would have to make online purchases or even purchase plush dolls from toy stores that included codes — with their parent’s permission, of course.
Now, so long as a penguin account is registered, activated and verified via email, players can access most of the content they want. Some of the things are still exclusive due to being released in celebration of previous holidays or events, however. Plus, although everything is free, the game expect players to work hard for their coins if they want to have the latest in penguin fashion, the best puffle to fit their personality, or the most stylistic igloo furniture.
Club Penguin Online also promises to throw new penguin parties and events every week and to have a designated staff team working hard to make sure players feel safe within the community. The game supports three languages: English, Spanish and Portuguese. When playing with friends, however, it may be hard to find servers capable of holding entire groups as they claim to have over 6 million registered users in their friendly community.
Since this is an old game, players should not expect anything more than simplistic art and graphics, but with plenty of content including penguin themed puns, puzzle-solving, code-cracking, role-playing and missions, Club Penguin Online is all in all a complete MMO experience. The friendly atmosphere of Club Penguin Online could be just the the thing to fill time for those who are under quarantine or practicing social distancing — especially for players who don’t own a Nintendo Switch and are losing their friends to similarly chill simulations like Animal Crossing: New Horizons. At least they can experience the chill penguin society of Club Penguin Island. It is also highly recommended for families with kids, although old-school players are more than welcome to relive childhood memories.
Disney's Club Penguin Online is back, with 100 percent free membership for players old and new.