Welcome to another Ramble Review! This guest post comes from MaryannTheConqueror, who will be rambling about Ghost Story Island.
Now for the first and only island that I remember actually making me teary-eyed! Ghost Story is one of the best examples of Poptropica testing their limits for what kinds of stories their audience will enjoy.
Other than a couple jokes and one of the character’s names being “Henry Flatbottom,” this island has a relatively subdued tone, with a dark and cool color scheme, contrasting to the bright and at times childish other islands.
It’s spooky, with the whole ghost theme and one of the few examples of voice acting in the game, but not desperate in its attempts to scare the player. It uses elements of gothic horror to create a sense of unease without excessive jumpscares or gore.
Ghost Story also shows Pop’s ability to handle more mature themes, without being “edgy” or going too far beyond what its target audience should be able to handle. The characters hang desperately to the past, while avoiding it at the same time, resulting in the ghost’s inability to leave the mortal realm.
While there are many stories within this story, they are all connected to each other, leading to a satisfying conclusion. And they say you should avoid mentions of death in children’s media!
As much as I can rave about Astro-Knights (coming up soon…), this island certainly deserves more attention. While I can talk about the creativity of other islands until I’m blue in the face, Ghost Story is best appreciated for showing the variety in the stories Poptropica can tell.
Sometimes we can have wacky fantasy, or thrilling crime solving, or just plain childlike fun, but we can also have calmer, slightly darker tales that may not be as flashy, but can leave just as deep of an impact. While Ghost Story takes inspiration from comedies such as Ghostbusters, it also has themes of grief, handling past mistakes, as well as the difficulty to not only forgive others, but ourselves.
Hope you enjoyed this guest post by MaryannTheConqueror. If you did, be sure to check out the PHB’s own review of Ghost Story, and stay tuned for more Ramble Reviews! And of course, join in on the fun on the PHC Discord.
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