Welcome back to “Pop Places IRL,” Poptropicans! Miss the series? I know I did! This time around, we’ll be traveling to Arabian Nights Island! Like this series? Be sure to check out other Pop Places IRL posts.
As you might already know, Arabian Nights was the winning idea from Poptropica’s “Create Your Dream Island” contest back in 2013. The pitch? “On Arabian Nights Island, Poptropicans go on a quest across the desert to rescue a sultan’s genie from the Forty Thieves.” And it turned out to be quite the tale!
The adventure, like Disney’s “Aladdin,” takes place in Arabia (hence the name). This Middle Eastern peninsula is certainly a distinct location, and it definitely shines through in the island! Don’t believe me? Let’s take a closer look.
Right away on our Poptropicans’ adventure, we are greeted with “Episode 1: How Bazaar.” The title itself is a pun, playing off the term “bazaar” to sound like “how bizarre.” A bazaar, if you were unaware, is a type of Middle Eastern marketplace, which (not coincidentally) is a prominent location on the island.
Pretty cool, right? The colorful fabrics, clothing, and items for sale certainly catch the eye. But perhaps even more impressive, we have the palace to visit!
I personally find the architecture of the Middle East to be a particularly remarkable characteristic of the area, but maybe that’s just my inner art history nerd coming out? Either way, the design in Poptropica seems to match up pretty well to its inspiration, so let’s take a look on the inside as well!
Poptropica’s palace atrium (left) is busier than our reference photo (right), but it sure does add interest to the adventure! I think that the game really did stay true to its inspiration, even with their color/detail additions. What do you think?
Stepping further away from the bustling market, however, we could also take a look at the less populated areas of the island. Even if a huge Lair of Thieves is tough to find IRL, there are definitely still cave systems we could investigate. And, like in Poptropica, maybe we can find some salt and other minerals to trade!
Why don’t we take a camel and keep traveling away from the market, further into the desert next? And now we happen upon an oasis!
Even in this largely desert landscape, it’s cool to see the pops of color that show up. The Poptropica Creators really took advantage of their inspiration when designing this island, huh?
But what do you guys think? Have you ever been to the Middle East? Does the comparison match up to your expectations? What other islands do you want to see in this series? Be sure to leave a comment with your thoughts below!
Farewell, fellow travelers, and good night!