Jade Scarab Island, Reviews

PHB Review: Jade Scarab Island 🪲

Curbed by the curse? Check out our Jade Scarab Island Guide.

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.


Gameplay

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.


Verdict

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!

— 🚜 the Poptropica Help Bloggers 🪲 —

Jade Scarab Island, New Islands

Spilling the Secret: Jade Scarab is here! 🪲

Pop drop alert: Jade Scarab Island is here and available to all players! Head to the map to start digging in on this excavation vacation, which is the third and final of the Dream Island winners.

Looking for a helping hand in this adventure? Our Jade Scarab Island Guide is now up! Plus, you can ask for help and share your thoughts in the comments and on the PHC.

Word on the web is — this quest gives OG classic island vibes! We won’t spoil too much here, but feel free to share below, and stay tuned for the PHB’s review coming up!

A curse has befallen those looking for the Jade Scarab, can you get to the bottom of it?


In other news, just as with the last Dream Island release, Poptropica has an island-inspired contest underway: the Secret of the Jade Scarab Fan Challenge (ending this Thursday, April 28)!  To share your artifact art and win credits, you can use their submissions page.

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! 🪲💫

~🐠

Contests, Jade Scarab Island, Monthly Costume Contests, Steam Bundle

Arbiters of Fate & Artifacts to Create 🪲

Poptropica’s pressing on, and we’re guessing on with clues for the upcoming Steam islands. (Keep up with past hints here: 123456, 7.) 

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! 🪲

All are invited to design an Egyptian artifact, which can be completely original or a redesign of a preexisting one. Submit your entries to Poptropica by Thursday, April 28 at 8 p.m. PST for a chance to win big credit rewards. See the official blog for details »


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!

~🐠

Jade Scarab Island, Social Media, Steam Bundle

Ghostly Rap and Jade Scarab on Map 👻🐈

Hello Poptropicans! Two important posts from the Creators today, both pertaining to islands. Let’s pop in for a look!


As promised, here’s another hint for the upcoming 13 island releases on Steam: “I’m a sailor that’s neither living nor dead. I’ll transport you to the danger ahead. My role is restored; climb into my boat to collect your reward. Who am I?” (In case you missed it, check out yesterday’s hint here!)

This one can apply to multiple islands, considering the many sailor characters present among all the, well, islands. We’ve seen guesses ranging from Ghost Story Island (Valiant Lovejoy) to Skullduggery Island (sailing galore!).

But as Gentle Dolphin speculates, the one that seems fit most may be Mythology Island, with the hint possibly referring to Charon, the ferryman of the underworld (“neither living nor dead”) who takes you to Cerberus (“the danger ahead”).

While a remastered version of Mythology currently exists in the game, Charon’s River Styx minigame was one of the parts cut out from the controversial Haxe version. “My role is restored,” then, may be a hint for a return of the classic and popular Mythology Island.

Do you have any guesses as to which it could be? Fortunately, many future hints are promised, so we can continue guessing! We’ve seen Poptropicans on the lookout for space, carnivals, superheroes (and supervillains!), and many more. Stay tuned!


The other announcement is that Secret of the Jade Scarab Island is now on the map and will be available to all players “before you know it!” No current date is set, but it’s nice to see the long-awaited Dream Island winner at last, with our little kitty friend making another appearance! 😊

Castori honorem ~ Maryann/Smart Bubbles

Jade Scarab Island, Monthly Costume Contests

Cat’s in the Costume Cradle 🐱

Hey Poptropicans, pop in for a sneak peek and costume collection!

Secret of the Jade Scarab, the final Dream Island winner, is still in development, and the Pop Creators are treating us to another sneak peek. Earlier, we got two glimpses of a cat, and now, there’s a third:

We still don’t know much about this green-eyed kitty, but from the various sketched movements in the new pic, it seems like it might play an active role in the upcoming quest! The Creators also promised this island is “coming soon” and will be available “to all players.” Sweet!

Curious about what secrets lie within the Jade Scarab? Check out this PHB post for an inside look with the Dream Island creator!


In other news, the fan submission reel for February’s costume contest is now up on Pop’s YouTube channel! A winner has not been announced yet, but you can enjoy the collection of entries below:

Exciting stuff, right? We’re still looking forward to new islands and costumes in 2022, but we Pop players haven’t forgotten the old ones. Poptropica blue, and islands that got pruned, when you comin’ home?

~🐠