Arabian Nights Island, Reviews

PHB Review: Arabian Nights, Ep. 2 – “Lair of Thieves”

arab2 review

Hey guys – it’s been a while since the PHB has done a review of an island/episode, but with the recent release of Arabian Nights, Ep. 2: Lair of Thieves, I thought I’d do one for this episode. So without further ado, here we go! (Warning: This review contains slight spoilers. If you’re looking for the PHB’s Arabian Nights Island Guide, our written walkthrough with pictures, click here!)

Let me just start by saying that this episode was perfectly glitch-free, at least for me – the new SUIs (sound-updated islands) have gotten some bad rep for being very glitchy in the past year or so, but this time, I didn’t have to restart the island a single time, and I managed to place at #10!

samwow5 #10 arab2

Sometimes when an island comes out, it doesn’t show up on my computer until about 30 minutes later. Amazingly, this time, it showed up on my screen before the Creators had even announced it on their blog. That was the one of the small happy moments of a glitch-free day on the island.

Unlike the recent Shrink Ray Island remake, this episode was so fun to play because it wasn’t glitchy at all for me. On parts where I thought it was glitching out, the glitches seemed to fix themselves. It’s a little hard to explain, but at one point, when I got stuck in a wall, all of a sudden I flew up and landed on the next platform. I’ve tried getting out of walls before and it never worked, but that happened when I wasn’t even holding the mouse. I think this was the least glitchy SUI I’ve ever played!

As far as the plot for this episode, I loved it – lurking around, trying to find the right lamp, dying the thieves’ garb black, and making the magic sand bombs, I felt like I was in a spy movie (my favorite type of film!). At the ending, I felt like I was Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade when he has to pick the right cup – the holy grail – and drinks from it, and survives – similarly in this episode, you have a lamp and you need to put it on a Golden Hand altar… I loved the resemblance, and it was quite a twist to see characters destroyed! Overall, this was a great island plot and I applaud the Creators for making this episode the way it was.

Now about the characters – they were very intriguing, and I really enjoyed the thieves’ characters. Their costumes were fantastic, and I especially loved Brutus’s and the master thief’s costumes. The only thing was, the black garb disguise we put on didn’t seem much like the thieves’ garb. Other than that, the Creators did a magnificent job on the costumes and characters.

Finally, let’s talk about the visuals and sounds – wow, the art on the stone pillars, floor, and the lamp scene just… well… blew my mind away. I have to argue that the visual art in this island is the best in the game so far. And the sound effects were spot-on, especially during the last lamp scene! I really loved the soundtrack as well, and at the part where Brutus chases you, the scene felt super intense because of the scary music playing – a great job from Jeff Heim, Poptropica’s music composer.

Overall score: 4.5/5

I really loved everything about this island. It had everything a quality island could ever want. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been thinking that the Creators are going for quantity over quality, but after all the negative reviews, I think the Creators really put a lot of work into making this island episode perfect, and I’m quite impressed.

But I do have a question – how does this episode advance the island’s story forward? I know, I sound crazy, but what did we really accomplish in this episode? Set off a special power and escape? I thought we were supposed to stop the thieves from causing trouble, and it doesn’t seem like we’ve gotten far on that front yet. That being said, though – I do look forward to the final episode in the Arabian Nights trilogy and seeing how the Creators can top this. 😀

PHB Parties, Website Updates

PHB’s Poptropica Christmas Party 2014: you’re invited!

The party’s now over – click here to see the PHB’s recap! 🙂

popchristmas edit

Hey everyone! As some of you may remember, the PHB had a Christmas party last year, and it was a blast – so we’re having another one this year! (Yay!) :mrgreen: Here are the event details:

  • WHO: Everyone is welcome to come – you’ll get to chat with Poptropicans and even PHB staff!
  • WHAT: Multiverse parties and lively chat on the Poptropica Help Chat (aka the PHC: join in at xat.com/thephc) – with a holiday twist. Bring your Santa hats, candy canes, and of course, your very merry Christmas spirit!
  • WHEN: December 20, 2014 (Saturday)9pm EST 8pm CST 7pm MST / 6pm PST (if you do not live in any of these time zones, use a time converter to find out what time it’ll be in your area!)
  • WHERE: The PHB chatroom, better known as the PHC – xat.com/thephc
  • WHY: To spread Christmas joy throughout the Poptropica community!

As noted above, the party takes place on the PHC (Poptropica Help Chat), and along with chatting on Xat, we’ll be sharing Multiverse codes so we can meet on Poptropica! To access the chat, click “Chat” in the navigational bar at the top of this blog or go to xat.com/thephc. The chat will be moderated, so it’s safe, and any rule-breaking will result in a kick or ban, so please don’t spoil the fun. 😛

If you have any questions, just ask! It’s going to be fun, so see you there. 😀

(Also – check out the making of the party graphic above!)

~SW5~

Shrink Ray Island

Sound-updated Shrink Ray Island (SUI) is out for members (with demo for all)!

Frustration alert! The new Shrink Ray SUI has a lot of glitches. 😦

shrinkray sui members banner

Hey everyone! The Creators just announced the re-release of Shrink Ray as a SUI (sound updated island) – made even more fun with new music, sound effects, and a bigger screen! Right now, only members can play the new version of Shrink Ray Island. No word yet on when it’ll release for all, but non-members can play a demo right until the point where you’re hit with the shrink ray.

shrink ray shoot

Also, now that it’s a SUI, Shrink Ray has joined all the colored islands at the front of the Map, so you don’t have to scroll through all those pages to play. If you need a walkthrough, check out our Shrink Ray Island Guide, complete with pictures!

Unfortunately, as I warned you guys above, the new SUI is pretty glitchy. So far, I’ve had to restart 3 times and have spent 4 hours on it – I even missed dinner! But if you do make it to the end, remember to check your finish ranking on the World Champions Map!

Anyway, I did enjoy the new music on this island – I just wish it hadn’t been so glitch-heavy. 😛

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Poptropica’s Tumblr, robot ad follower, and comic writer interview!

Hey everyone! First off, before the post, I’m sorry I haven’t been active really at all – life has been a bit rough, so bear with me in this tough time! Anyway, Poptropica recently tweeted that they now have an Official Tumblr page!

From looking at their Tumblr, I see some really cool stuff! I see the creators re-blog a lot of stuff on Tumblr, like how they also retweet a lot of stuff over on Twitter. I just hope the creators don’t re-blog any inappropriate language that people post on Tumblr, as they did on Twitter.

Big Hero 6 ad: Baymax Follower

To get the Baymax Follower (from the movie Big Hero 6, which was released into theaters today), just watch the video ad on any Main Street, and boom – you get the cool prize!

baymax

LOL! Is it just me or does the Baymax Follower kind of look like the Michelin Man or the Stay Puft Marshmallow ManxD Tell me what you think in the comments.

Interview with Poptropica comic writer Paul Gilligan

Remember Slippery Raptor’s post about an interview with Poptropica’s comic artist, Kory Meritt, conducted by L’Idea Magazine? (He confirmed the release of the upcoming Poptropica graphic novel!)

Well, the magazine did another interview with another Poptropica employee – Paul Gilligan, the writer of the Poptropica comics. Although he didn’t give away any important details like Kory did, Paul said some pretty interesting stuff – check out this little tidbit:

L’IDEA MAGAZINE: In June of this year you debuted with another comic strip, Poptropica. Could you tell us how it came about and what is the storyline?

PAUL GILLIGAN: Poptropica is a popular website where players can create avatars and travel through a plethora of interesting islands.  The website’s creator, Jeff Kinney (of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” fame) wanted a comic strip to go with it, and so he hired me to do the writing.  There were pre-existing templates for the two main characters of Oliver and Jorge.  I fleshed them out and gave them the motivation that they’re searching for a way out of Poptropica by traveling from island to island, kinda like that show “Quantum Leap”, like each time they hop to the next island it will be the one that leads them home.

A Poptropica strip

L’IDEA MAGAZINE: In Poptropica you share the credits with Kory Merritt. How do you operate in the creation of the strip with him? 

PAUL GILLIGAN: I do the writing, accompanied by thumbnails if necessary, and Kory pencils out the strips and runs them by me.  I bring up any alterations that might be necessary for clarity, etc, and then he inks and colors the work.  It’s been a fairly seamless collaboration thus far; Kory’s a great artist and super easy to work with.

Wow! I never thought of jumping island-to-island as something like Quantum Leap! Anyway, that’s it for this long post. Have a great day!

~SW5~

Arabian Nights Island

Arabian Nights trailer & release date for members!

Hey everyone! The Creators just announced that Arabian Nights, Ep.1: How Bazaar, is coming out next Thursday, October 2 for members! An awesome trailer video was recently released as well:

Wow. Those Forty Thieves are not to be messed with. (But being the plucky Poptropicans we are, that’s exactly what we’re going to do, isn’t it?)

Remember how I said Arabian Nights Island shouldn’t have been made? Well, it turns out, I can’t wait for the island! With all the sneak peeks we have shown you here on the PHB, I hope you are ready for Arabian Nights Island and can’t wait for it too! The PHB will have a guide up as soon as possible after the episode comes out, so stay tuned. And here are some recent Daily Pop pics for the island:

Oh my gosh, the island just looks so great – that trailer gave me the chills because I want to play that island so bad! Wouldn’t you agree? :mrgreen:

~SW5~