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A Look Back: January 2010 & The Cave Expedition

January 2010 was the start of a new decade for Club Penguin, so the game was going through changes and trying out new things. This was a strange period in the game, in between more classic Club Penguin and before the advertisement takeovers that would come in 2012 and change the game until it’s end.

I’m here to talk about the ambitious Cave Expedition Club Penguin held that month. Since plenty of time has past, almost 10 years to the day (January 22-29), I figured now would be the right time to take a look back on this unique event.

Background

The Mine is where this expedition took place. The Mine, along with all the other underground rooms, opened in a members only party on May 26, 2006 and everybody could access it three days later. The popular mini-game Cart Surfer opened in this room on June 6, 2006. The Mine usually didn’t have much going on and wasn’t decorated often for parties. A flood washed into the underground in 2007, but other than that, it was a pretty quiet, open room.

On January 8, 2010, a rockslide occured on the back wall. The week after a boulder could be moved revealing a cave.

Players were called to action in the Club Penguin Times to report on Friday, January 22 and start digging. It is also worth noting this is the last Club Penguin party/event to be released on a Friday, whereas the month later Club Penguin started to update on Thursdays.

The Expedition Begins

Players in the Mine were greeted by a new underground entrance which was never seen before. They could also pick up the Miners Helmet here.

The first room was the Cave Mine. To advance to the next room, players had to drill or shovel the dirt to reveal four pieces of the Amethyst Pin.

Afterwards, they could roll their mouse over the boulder to go to the next room. Also in the room, snowballs had to be thrown into the machine to keep the lights on, or else they power off.

The Hidden Lake was the next room, which had a nice design and an abandoned Aqua Grabber ship. Members could buy the Deep Sea Diving Suit for 50 coins here.

The next and last room was the Underwater room, which was members only. Players could get the Coral Reef Background here, too.

Closure

It was announced that on January 29th all three new cave rooms would be closed until further notice due to unsafe conditions. On that day it became blocked off, thus ending the event.

Re-Opening

Two months later on March 4, it was reported that puffles were going missing and suspected to be wandering into the caves. Rockhopper’s puffle Yarr was missing, as well as the yellow puffle in the Stage and the green puffle in the Night Club.

After a bit of construction, on Monday, March 15, Puffle Rescue was released in the Mine to save the puffles in the caves. The underground rooms also opened back up, in a rare case where rooms close and then re-open later. The Cave Mine permanently had the free Miners Helmet, and players could earn coins instead of amethyst pieces.

To get into the Underwater room, members had to follow bubbles created by the Giant Squid in the black puffle level of Puffle Rescue and lead to a secret area in the game which would automatically bring you to the room and collect the Moss Key Pin. After collecting the pin, players could access it permanently.

Aftermath

After the hype of the expedition and newly released mini-game Puffle Rescue, just like most things in Club Penguin, it died down substantially. The Cave Mine was mostly deserted, and the drilling was not a reliable way to get a lot of coins. The lights shutting off was also pretty annoying. It ended up being closed in November 2013, nearly four years later, and replaced by the Gold Mine.

The Hidden Lake stayed open until Club Penguin closed. It was a somewhat popular but quiet retreat. A ladder to the Forest was added in June 2010. It was also decorated sometimes, unlike the others.

The Underwater room also stayed open until Club Penguin’s closure. In April 2014, members who lost their membership could still be able to access the room afterwards, a new feature.

My Opinion

I always thought the Cave Expedition was a cool concept that took risks. However, the rooms should have been temporary. The cave rooms were very underutilized, and frankly didn’t really need to be permenant additions, in my opinion.