Hiya, Silver Wolf here with a Pop 5 post!
Islands can be fun, easy, or hard, but there are some that just… stand out. The mood and scenery create the mesmerizing feeling of actually saving an island yourself and not just as your Poptropican in a game. These islands make it feel like you’re really part of the story, and I’m here to recognize them!
Before we start, though, here are examples of why some islands’ “immersiveness” was ruined: time pieces were missing (going from day to night), the island was difficult enough at parts that it made you keenly aware it was a game, it became repetitive, it was only immersive in certain areas, or the story was broken into pieces (such as episodic islands). There are some other reasons, but those eliminated a lot!
#5: Vampire’s Curse Island
This island expels creepiness from the very beginning, even if they are clichés. The lightning and rain in the background and *gasp* sound of thunder in a non-updated island is enough to get someone interested, but it goes further when you get to the medieval castle, where there’s also a blood red sky.
Plus, the first time you enter the castle it’s nearly pitch black, furthering its mood until you finally end with the infamous kiss… Yes, the kiss we all cringed at and thought was disgusting even though they were just pixels on a screen (yay for immersion!). Ultimately, the scenery and sound make it feel like you’re in the island, sadly even to the kiss.
#4: Mystery Train Island
From decor to language to outfits, Mystery Train practically yells that it’s in the 1890s, and it does it well, especially if you dress for the occasion! Not only that, but it really feels like you’re a clever detective that, by piecing together clues and talking to other Poptropicans, can find the culprit.
It truly makes you feel like the next Sherlock Holmes. After all, as seen on the Mystery Train Inspector card, “The game is afoot!” It is similar to Spy Island’s premise mystery-wise, but its scenery is really what ties it together and makes you feel like you’re truly living luxuriously in the 1890s.
#3: 24 Carrot Island
24 Carrot Island was immersive before its sound update, and it definitely became incredibly immersive after. The crying mayor, eerie music, background scenery, occasional crow call, and helplessness of the citizens just give it that feeling that something has gone terribly wrong — and you can help it.
Eventually, you get invested in the story; what happened, who did it, and how? Even inside the factory, seeing the mind-controlled people just adds to how immersive it is. You get lost in the story and feeling of it all until the very end when you earn your medal!
#2: Ghost Story Island
This was probably expected by many of you, as it’s popular for its unnerving tone, background, sounds, and plot. The whole ghost facade, the old and cobweb-ridden house, the sudden and creepy voice by Fiona, and the beautiful yet sad violin tune definitely all set the unsettling mood.
Well, all of that is true until (spoiler!) you find out it’s actually a love story, but even then, the plot only thickens and makes you want to know more until you forget you’re even playing a game. Yeah, this island is so immersive I’m not sure adding music and sound could even do much other than enhance its already stunning qualities.
#1: Steamworks Island
This will probably be my most unpopular decision, but let me explain first. This island really makes you feel like you’re supposed to. At least, that’s what it did for me. The majority of the island is desolate except for broken down machines and overgrown vines. You’re alone. No sound (I think that is actually good for this island). No dialogue with people until near the end.
I truly felt lonely when playing this island, and that’s the purpose; if you were all alone on an island with the only signs of life being monsters and a friendly robot, would you feel lonely? Yes, and that’s the point of immersion! You feel like you’re the person you’re playing. Sure, there are some other scary islands, but they don’t really ever make you get so absorbed that you feel scared long after, and that is the exact reason why I think Steamworks deserves the #1 spot. It does that, and its story is fascinating.
What do you think of this list? Which islands on Poptropica have immersed you into their world the best? Share your thoughts in the comments below.