Hey Poptropicans, pop in for treasures, a contest, and some fan art!
The Baron has landed, and Jade and Goofy are the flavors of the season. 🪲🤪 Enjoy the memorabilia from the latest Dream Islands, Jade Scarab and Goofball, totaling 550 credits for the whole haul.
The trend continues over to the left with a jade-colored boxer wearing a goofy grin! Boxing Barb by Nervous Star, the latest costume contest winner, comes in three parts including gloves and shoes, all free for taking. Get them while you can — the Baron doesn’t stay long! 💥🥊
If you weren’t prepared to see a bunch of paws-itively purr-fect cat art this month… well this is your first and final warning. With a theme like Jade Scarab, it should be no surprise who the star of this month is! In this design, I love the subtle glow effects and the shine in the cat’s eyes and collar, seemingly hinting at the true secrets that this fearsome feline holds. Find her Tumblr here.
Uhhhh meow? by distorted-graffiti
Coincidentally, I’m currently working on a screencap redraw challenge of my own in my current art class, so this submission just happened to catch my eye! A wonderfully humorous scene from Jade Scarab Island, this redraw successfully captures the mood of the moment. Not to mention how cool it is to see the exact scene from in-game in someone else’s style! Find their Tumblr here.
Cat Keyby TillyMeowJings
What did I say about cats this month, eh? I love this unique take on the “Jade Scarab kitty” and the idea of feline idols in general. Lots of thought was put into this design, and the display of information is quite clear and, well, informative. Very creative! Find their Tumblr here.
Egyptian Excavatorby Magic Poptropican
Here we have a Jade Scarab inspired costume, which I love to see for some variety in the midst of all these illustrations! Jade Scarab is in fact not the only island in which Poptropicans can visit Egypt, nor the only island including some excavation, so I love this sort of mix-and-match of apt accessories. And a very colorful outfit at that! Find the artist in the comment section.
Kitty Goddess by sleepybiker
Lastly, of course, another awesome kitty feature. Who knew Bastet could be so powerful AND so adorable? We only see the goddess for a short moment in her true form, so it’s interesting to think about what she would be like when she’s not sneaking around in her more furry form. I love the humor in this portrayal of some very cat-like behavior. Quite the fursona, I must say. 👀😻 Find their DeviantArt here.
As always, these submissions were paws-itively purr-fect! Oh, I already used those puns, huh? Well anyway, they still apply! Keep up the awesome work!
June: How Do I Participate?
Community Creations is a cool series for anyone in the Poptropica community to join in on. To sum up what it’s about, it’s basically a chance to show off your artwork, creepy fan-fics, Pop clubhouses, costumes, and anything else that pops into your mind.
If we really like the piece you submit, we will feature it here on the PHB! As long as it relates to that month’s theme. So what is June’s theme? June’s theme is…
Since all this news is on our minds, why not relate it to this month’s theme? Despite the controversies, Ringmaster Raven remains a fan-favorite character, after all. So this month, anything carnival related applies! That could mean anything related to Monster Carnival Island for sure, but also extends to anything under the carnival umbrella like clowns, balloons, carousels, and more!
I also wanted to leave it a bit more open ended since this June is Pride Month, and so you could totally incorporate some sort of campy aspects of pride into the world of carnivals if you get creative enough.
You you you! Yes you, adventurer! Have you played Jade Scarab Island yet? The PHB team has had some time to dig in and digest, and now we’re here to share our thoughts with you about this final Dream Island, which released in late April. Beware: spoilers lie ahead!
Storyline & Characters
Soon after Jade Scarab Island was announced as a winner of the Dream Island contest last year, the PHB shared an inside look from Girl Power, the Poptropican who designed the island. Looking back at her original ideas, it’s interesting to compare them to the real thing.
Girl Power’s submission contains extra details not found in the game, particularly in regard to names. This includes: Claira the curator, King Khnurn’s tomb (“reborn sun” in Egyptian), and the village of Iteru (“river” in Egyptian) — in Poptropica, they were all nameless.
However, the game is faithful to some of her other ideas, like the merchant and Howard Diggory. Other ideas are modified — instead of errands of fishing and translating, we’re boosting a camel business and locating a missing excavator. We’re not opposed to the Pop Creators taking creative liberties, but for an island that felt a bit short in playtime, it could have benefitted from more fleshing out of details.
Still, there were lots of fun characters and dialogue. We especially loved the player’s self-aware blimp remark, the busy businessman who rejects your flirting, and of course, the adorable little cat (although that goddess transformation came out of nowhere and left too soon!). 🐱
The reveal and defeat of the villain, the digsite foreman, felt abrupt and anticlimactic. He’s surly throughout the island, so it’s not much of a surprise when he swoops in to attack. However, his identity (though not expression) was part of Girl Power’s plan — she had named the foreman Awantagi (“deceitful person” in Egyptian). We don’t get much time to face him, either: a quick cutscene and it’s all over. Overall, the story is intriguing, but we just wish we could engage with it longer.
At times, the game can run rather slowly, and some players have reported getting locked in scenes. Hopefully the Creators can iron out these glitches soon, but in the meantime if you find yourself stuck somehow, you can restart the island from the map.
When things work, though, exploring Jade Scarab does feel like a classic OG island, with less hand-holding than most of the other new islands. Scanning the desert by flying with the falcon definitely gave us nostalgic vibes for similar mechanics on old islands like Wild West and Cryptids! 🦅
Perhaps the most challenging part of Jade Scarab is the merkhet puzzle. Even with the instructions and animated demonstration, players have been confused about the task at hand. (Our guide can help!) Its uniqueness makes this part interesting, but it also leaves us without much frame of reference for what we’re supposed to do.
Still, other parts struck a decent balance between fun and frustrating. Whether we were making charcoal rubbings or chasing a cat, it was exciting to make discoveries, and rewarding to figure things out.
Audio & Visuals
We love the looks and listens for Jade Scarab, but at the same time, they don’t feel new. Many of the soundtracks are from Arabian Nights Island, including this “Genie Dance” tune. (Hear more on our Pop Music page!)
The desert marketplace and tomb setting feels similar to Arabian Nights, while the ancient Egyptian aesthetics were also a feature of Nabooti Island. Technically, Jade Scarab is a new story with new art, but it doesn’t really break barriers in the Poptropica canon. 🚜
That being said, there are still many cool details to enjoy, like the mix of ancient and modern culture (including traffic honks!), hijab-wearing bystanders, and even Rumpelstiltskin on a ring float.
With its fun but short storyline, classic island vibes, and neat but derivative stylings, Jade Scarab Island feels like a good-but-not-great addition to the map. Out of five we’d give this Egyptian expedition…
3.5 out of 5 Bastet idols. Though this excavation vacation comes with its share of enjoyable discoveries, it ultimately comes up short in its potential to dig deeper. Let’s hope Poptropica breaks that curse soon!
There’s so much more to unpack — head over to the trivia section of our Jade Scarab Island Guide to see what other details you may have missed!
With that, all three Dream Islands from the 2020 contest are done and dusted! Which one was your fave: Fairytale, Goofball, or Jade Scarab? 🏝 Next up, we’re looking forward to the return of some old islands to Steam—and maybe bigger adventures on Poptropica, too? 👉👈
Thanks for reading our review of Jade Scarab Island! Do you agree with our verdict? Share your opinions in the comments below!
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a fresh fit for this Egyptian experience, Adventure Outfitters has a refreshed rotation of returning styles, including a Skull Mask and Sunny Sport! See more on the Creators’ Blog »
Now that all three fan-imagined Dream Islands have been released, which is your favorite — Fairytale, Goofball, or Jade Scarab? What did you think of the latest one? We’d love to hear your thoughts! 🪲💫
The eighth hint appears to be the most enigmatic one yet: “Restore the puzzle to its natural state or face the consequences of a dire fate.”
This latest riddle is surprisingly vague after a week of fairly guessable clues, but let’s give it a try. While this could apply to lots of islands, the Pop Creators suggest focusing on the hint’s last words: “dire fate.” ⚠️
If we’re following the AS3 islands theory, outside of islands guessed from previous hints, there are still quite a few candidates. Perhaps it’s Virus Hunter, where you must restore Patient Zero to homeostasis before a virus spreads; or Monster Carnival, where you have to save the town from Ringmaster Raven’s hypnotic spell. Or could it even be Mocktropica — a dire fate not for human life, but a computer game?
Still others have speculated Time Tangled (fixing the timeline of history), which fits the clue well, but already exists in-game. It wouldn’t exactly be a “returning” island if it came to Steam, but it’s an AS3/SUI.
However, the vague clue leaves options open for older AS2 islands as well. Among the best of Pop classics, we might consider Zomberry, where we have to find the source of the zombie outbreak or risk succumbing to it; Super Villain, where we enter villains’ dreams and extract the source of their evil; Twisted Thicket, where we risk the destruction of a forest; Steamworks, where we crack puzzles that lead us to restoring humanity; Spy, where we rescue spies and prevent hair loss… and so many more! With so many possibilities, who knows? 🤔
While we wait for islands both old and new, the Pop Creators are hosting a new challenge based on the upcoming Dream Island winner: the Secret of the Jade Scarab Fan Challenge! 🪲
At the same time, the monthly costume contest has kicked off. Design an outfit for a chance to get it in the game! April’s contest runs until Monday, April 25 at 8 p.m. PST. More details on the official blog »
Rounding off this post are the latest fan art features from Pop’s Instagram stories, including doodles of the many different emotional sides of the Black Widow from the PHB’s MaryannTheConqueror. Enjoy!
That wraps up this big bunch of small stories! Thanks for popping by!