Graphic Novels, Reviews

HP and UiPE’s Mystery of the Map Island Review

Hi Gs & Heyyo Poptropicans!

HP and I played the recent Mystery of the Map Island together and decided to post a co-review of our thoughts. (NOTE: HP’s text is in red and UiPE’s text is in blue.)


Design and Feel

I think perhaps the best part of the island, as always, was the soundtrack. It just fit really well and probably was the best Jeff Heim has written. Honestly, to me, the best part of MotM is the overall “feel” of the island. This includes, as Andrew mentioned, the soundtrack, as well as the sound effects. For instance, the waterfall was a really nice depiction of that kind of setting.

More into the overall “feel” is the design. It’s really nice and fits the setting well. Very clean and fresh. I really enjoyed the artwork and the ambience as well.

And don’t get me started on the interactive map – pure bliss! Beautiful animation. I couldn’t say that better HP. Although, I would have preferred if Poptropica made the map more accessible to the player. Since you have to either go into your inventory or go all the way to the edge of the scene to go to a different scene. A simple icon/button at the bottom of the screen for the map would have been a nice touch. 

Story and Characters

It seems that the story has really been dumbed down a lot for the island, as in the graphic novel it was much more complex. Characters like Embed and most of the main cast are limited in screen time, and the character development isn’t great. The most developed character in my opinion is Octavian, because at least we see some of his personality. Mya and Oliver were bland and had no real character at all – of course, there is the graphic novel for this, but for someone just casually playing, it’s underwhelming. Story overall was frankly not the greatest. The island didn’t really develop much of any of the characters at all, which was one of the best parts of the comics. If Poptropica had added more of that character development.

But the reason for the underdeveloped characters is clear: island length. This island is short. It took me and UiPE roughly 45 minutes to complete, and that’s not much considering islands are generally supposed to take 1 – 2 hours to complete. Islands like Ghost Story dwarf this island. Reasoning behind the MotM being so underwhelming for me is, as just mentioned, how short it is. The creators could have easily fleshed out the characters much more (as they did in the comics) and improved the island not only in making it longer, but just improving all of the characters generally speaking, which was one my criticisms with the island anyways.

A simple cutscene here or there (with pictures!) would be nice! But just overall, the island’s story lacked. There was no story whatsoever when it came to the map. Your character didn’t even react to the new map – something like “There are more of them?” or “Where did he get this…” seems appropriate. So I ask the Creator’s this question: what happens when unassuming players finish the island? If they don’t know about the graphic novel, they’re going to be completely lost. There was no book store on Main Street like previous franchise islands. The lack of length and character development really was MotM’s biggest problem and it really should have taken much more from the comics to improve the island. I was intrigued at the end to learn more of the Poptropica map, but the characters didn’t really seem very interested, not even really a word about their curiosity.


Overall, I understand that Poptropica is done with Pearson and that they’re massive funding is gone; now, they can’t rely on longer islands anymore. But they have to become more resourceful – again, learn how to use cutscenes to explain stories, plus add more dialog in the right places.

The quality of the island is good, but too short. Short islands are not good. The story is too long to try to be put across in the way that they did. I give it a 2 out of 5. Not as good as it could have been, especially when it was easy to make it better. Music and art was good, story and character development was not. Please the fans!

Plus, they still haven’t made SUIs not glitchy and still clunky. :c

In conclusion, the general story of the island was pretty good, but it lacked much character development and length. Which could have benefited each other very well. The comics are frankly better than the island and the island should have shown much more of the what the character did right. The design and feel of the island (as well as the overall fun premise)  made for an interesting island.

Also, want to quickly mention the glitching. Honestly, it wasn’t that bad for MotM. I did crash once during the end chase scene, but besides that, not many problems with the techinical side of the island. Although the island has it’s flaws, it’s fairly good and I’m giving it a 3 out of 5. Could have been a much better island, but still was fairly good.


Anyways, what did you think about MotM Island? Feel free to comment your thoughts!

-HPuterpop & • Ultimate iPad Expert •


48 thoughts on “HP and UiPE’s Mystery of the Map Island Review”

    1. it was just a demo, so the creators can read this and improve the island for non members
      ps are you two memberz?

      1. red lizard/happy berry/moody tuna /brian/poptropica rules!:

        Only members get to play the full island as of now, so yes, I think they are members if they got to play the island.

        Non-members can play the demo and later, maybe 3 weeks later, when the island is released to everyone, they can play the full island.

        Hope that clears it up!

    1. I didn’t know there was a demo… Hmm. I actually like demos because at least non-members (like yours truly) can get a feel of what the island is like and do SOMETHING while waiting a long time for the island to come out.. if that makes any sense.

      I actually want to become a member, but I don’t see a lot of benefits besides getting to do islands early and being the “guinea pigs”, I guess, before it’s released to the public. But I don’t go on the Store a lot, only about 2 times a year. I already have plenty of costumes.. I’m patient than most so I could just wait the long weeks until it’s finally announced!


  1. I did the Demo, and all I could acquire was the goblet and shovel. Someone help! Or post a walk through!

  2. Octavian said the map is a part of a larger map and something about the truth of poptropica. So will it be revealed in volume 2 Mystery of map graphic novel and will there be another island for it?

    1. Considering that Mystery of the Map is just the name of the first novel, its very possible that we’ll follow the adventures of Oliver, Mya, and Jorge in later islands. 🙂

  3. Hey, when are you going to make the Mystery of the map page ? 🙂 And I’m sad that mystery of the map island was short and didn’t turn out that interesting as the novel. 😦 It’s true the soundtrack and the design was awesome! But the plot wasn’t that interesting. 😦

  4. Yeah,I just beat the island (Number 286!) and I agree with you. I finished it in roughly the same time as you two did. The story is short and dumb ed down,the characters are bland,though the design and music were wonderful (though I felt many areas were pretty useless,like the Dodo area,which was there just to provide a challenge to get the lens).

    It wasn’t the ‘Super Easy Mode’ monstrosity that was Galactic Hot Dogs (seriously,after you got the medal,you instantly got removed from the island! At least this wasn’t so linear),but it’s still down there. In fact,the only reason that I finished it late was time zone problems (and the fact that I realized that I hadn’t taken a shower in 3 days).

    I also have a minor gripe with the map,which,by the way,is what the map feature in normal islands should’ve been. Your character walks in the paths on the map in red dots,reminiscent of games like Monkey Island. I hated waiting for Sticky Clown to get from the waterfall to the camp. Of course,that’s just minor. The major one is that there isn’t a bonus quest yet,even though it’s a ‘full’ island. Galactic Wieners Island also suffered from this.

    Also that balancing minigame.Screw that game.

    1. i think the children acted childish in the comics, so their attitudes were much better.

      1. I just hate shallow characters with no personality. I don’t want any Gary Stus or a Manic Pixie Dream Girl around here!

      2. @red lizard Huh? o.o They were much better in the comics and graphic novels. In the island they seemed kinda boring and not even interesting!

      1. Maybe after volume 2 comes,they will make another island for it too. 🙂

      2. After all even Octavian said the map is a part of a larger map and it will something like unlock the mystery/history of poptropica. So might be there will be another island for it after volume 2 comes? 🙂

      3. A Miner-
        That’s just a glitch. They started using the Player Map when they were doing episodes (I think) and they haven’t removed the Episode 1 part.

    2. Galactic Hot Dogs, you mean? I actually liked the comics so I was looking forward to the island. It disappointed me.. 😦 But it was okay and it was the first full island in a WHILEEEEEE..

  5. does anyone else than me and the uchihas care that adsuke is dying? we’ve comented on every thing, so now…

    1. The story’s just getting STARTED, Brian… x smirks x
      – Rasuke (WHO LET DINGO OUT?! WHO?! WHO?! WHO, WHO?!)

  6. Well, gee. So much for keeping it a ‘secret’. Awesome report, guys! Definitely going to Mystery of the Map Island NOW! Fun fact: Kryfo Nisi means Hidden Island in Greek.
    – Rasuke (PS AWESOME news on CS’ 2nd post. Check it out, Brian!)

    1. *lets pretend nothing happened* la la la, dont mind me!

      1. Rasuke: -_-. Whatever.
        Sasuke: x face palm x Too late, buddy.
        Itachi: x nowhere to be found x
        Sakura: x thinking x WHY DOES ADSUKE GET TO LIVE?!?!
        Alternative Soul Of Sakura That Doesn’t Exist: CHA! I’M GOING TO BLUDGEON ADSUKE TO DEATH!!!
        Naruto: Hey…where’s that guy with long hair into a ponytail?
        Sasuke: My brother?
        Naruto: Yea. Where is he?
        Sasuke: To heck if I know. x elbowing Rasuke and smirking x
        Rasuke: Oooh…HAHA! x falls to the ground laughing x
        Sasuke: x falls to the ground laughing x
        Naruto: x totally clueless x

      2. Who’s Rasuke? And Sasuke? And Itachi and Sakura and Alternate Soul of Sakura That Doesn’t Exist and Naruto? Is this related to Poptropica? xD

        :puts on serious tone: If not, this should be in the Off-Topica section of the blog. I command you – :puts on normal voice: Okay, I can’t really command you but anyway he he he yeah.

      3. Rasuke: -_- You can’t command us, FRAUD.
        Sasuke: Ye-wait, what?
        Rasuke: The username is ‘Hermoine Granger’; but she is a character in Harry Potter. She is the BRIGHTEST girl for her age like Sakura.
        Sakura: Hee hee!
        Sasuke: ADSUKE is bright, too. Also; I thought you HATED Harry Potter.
        Rasuke: I do. I Just hate Hermoine Granger the least.
        Sasuke: I like Voldemort.
        Rasuke: x gasps x YOU SHOULDN’T SAY HIS NAME, YOU BAKA!!!
        Sasuke: Why not? It’s not like he even exi–
        Voldemort: x appears dramatically from spiraling grey storm clouds x Foolish mortal; I DO EXIST!!!
        Rasuke: AAAHHHHHHH–
        Sasuke: Wait…how can he exist? He isn’t REAL!
        Rasuke: If we are, he is. Technically; we are cartoons too.
        Sasuke: Oooohhh…
        Robin: TITANS! GOOOO!
        Kronos: MWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA! Yes go…wait. You don’t work for me! I SHALL DESTROY EVERYTHING YOU LOVE, FRAUDS!!! ~ zap ~
        Robin: MY HAIR GEL!!!
        Star Fire: MY HAIR!
        Beast Boy: MY PIE!
        Cyborg: MY PIZZA!
        Symphony: EMINEM! That’s it! x huge headphones appear. Stuffs Kronos into the cotton of the headphones x Done. x plays a note in the guitar and everything is restored x
        Sasuke: x Chidori on Volde–…He Who Shall Not Be Named x
        Rasuke: x face palm x

  7. This is great! I kind of wanted a BTS Overview + Theory, but I guess it’s too late now.

    This would be fun for a lot of the islands!

    I’m trying to start a Poptropica Blog.. don’t know how that’s going to go.. ^.^

    I’m such a newbie, but another question: Can I use pictures from this blog or any other blog if I give credit? I can’t screenshot on my computer, so.. yeah. Well, I know some blogs have different policies, but at least for the PHB, can I use pictures? Thanks.

    1. You’re a great writer, I’m sure you’ll do great. 😀 If you want to help out and not obligated to make screenshots, consider checking out and editing on the Poptropica Wiki. 🙂

      Otherwise, you’re completely free to use photos from the site if you give credit.

      1. I won’t admit to being a GREAT writer, so I’m not sure you should be that confident in my writing skills.. Yes, that does sound like a good idea. I helped out on the Professor Hammerhead article in the Poptropica Wiki I think.. Thanks for everything ⭐

What's popping, Poptropicans?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s