PHB Quickie: Twisted Thicket Island

Velkomin, Poptropican folk! (That’s Old Norse for ‘welcome’ 🤓)

It’s Lucky Joker popping in today with a truncated review of one of Poptropica’s recently withdrawn classic capers, Twisted Thicket Island — an early favorite of mine from 2012. Let’s flutter into it, shall we? (note: spoilers ahead)

Your initial task arriving on the island is to aide the construction crew in clearing the forest by ridding the “hindering creatures” occupying it in order to make room for their new developments.

In the end of it all though, it’s revealed that the developer, Burt Diamond, and the rest of the lumberjerks are in fact the villainous ones — not the inhabiting forest creatures. You realize the action of forcefully ejecting innocent beings from their sacred home is reprehensible, and that the critters were only acting hostile in self-defense. (What a concept, right?) And so of course, like the heroic Samaritan we are, we eventually save the day and the forest’s magic is restored in all its glory.

As an environmentalist and someone who deeply cares about animal welfare, I really like that Poptropica shed some light on this important real-life issue (even more so with the surprising plot twist).

And including Scandinavian folklore along with the bewitching landscape makes the whole adventure more enticing while still fostering the same core idea. The game-like stages are diverting and the final intervention sure is climactic. I find it satisfying when we end up utilizing the very powers of the creatures in peril to drive the pesky bullies away. Oh sweet poetic justice!

So with all that said, I give Twisted Thicket Island a rating of 4/5 rune stones! It’s the decent storytelling, fun and challenging obstacles, and stunning scenery that grant the island perfect score potential. However, I do feel that the gameplay was just a tad rushed and blandly straightforward compared to other islands. I would’ve appreciated a bit more depth and length, so to me a B grade seems reasonable. 🙂

And that concludes my analysis of Twisted Thicket Island! It’s fairy unfortunate it’s no longer playable on the official game, but thankfully we can still access the island here (courtesy of our resident glitcher, idk). I’m not trolling!

What are your opinions on this mystical quest? Share below in the comments!

Also, don’t forget to participate in our readers’ survey if you haven’t already. (It closes on the 18th.) Thank you for reading, and I’ll talk to you all soon.

Lucky Joker 🍀

PHB Review: Reality TV — Wild Safari Island

Clueless about your competitors?
Check out our Reality TV: Wild Safari Island Guide.

Hello, Poptropicans, and welcome to the jungle! 🌴

It’s been three years since Poptropica Original has gotten an island, and a year since Poptropica Worlds did. But we’re pleased to finally welcome Reality TV: Wild Safari to the Poptropica map, and to share our thoughts on this latest adventure that’s a sequel to the original Reality TV Island released in 2010. From people to places to plot, we’re going to cover it all. Let’s go!

Be warned: This review contains spoilers!


Storyline & Characters

As far as the story goes… well, there really wasn’t much on that front. You arrive on the set of the reality TV show and immediately get to jump into the games. Unlike the original Reality TV Island, there’s no build-up to get you there: no washed-up TV star to deliver pizza to, no dreaming about making it out of a rundown town—really, no story, conflict, or scandal about what has transpired between the last season from nine years ago to now.

But the TV set itself has some fun elements, too. There’s a base camp for the show crew that doubles as a common room, monkeys handling cameras, and even the iconic bonfire from the original RTV — and set in a wild safari that looks a little different from the previous season.

The challengers you compete with are really where the island shines most. In addition to a handful of familiar characters from various Poptropica islands (Ringmaster Raven, Scherazade, and Omegon among them), we also meet lots of new celebrity parodies with hilarious names.

Some of our favorites are Shett and Blinked, based on YouTube comedians Rhett and Link; Baby Googoo, based on singer Lady Gaga; and Mandy Screams, based on YouTube personality Miranda Sings. Read more about who’s who in our Reality TV: Wild Safari Island Guide trivia!

Gameplay

As far as gameplay, we basically have three mini-games to look at: Spear Throw, Deep Dive, and Cheetah Run, all of which make up the majority of the island experience.

Though placed in new settings, each of these challenges are actually quite familiar, sharing similarities to other island or ad mini-games. For example, the spear throw borrows mechanisms from Poptropolis Games’ archery event. A bit unoriginal, but fun nonetheless.

That being said, a unique gameplay element that Wild Safari brings to the table is the option to change the difficulty level. This isn’t always an option for us, and is actually quite useful to those players who may struggle with certain gameplay challenges. In fact, selecting your difficulty level has been built seamlessly into the island’s dialogue, aiding in our immersion to the whole experience. You can also win about 5–60 credits for playing all the games, depending on the level you selected and your performance!

One other thing that’s different from the original RTV is that no matter the end results, you’ll win the island medallion. You could come in dead last and TV show host Jim Probably will still give it to you with the assurance that “it’s a Poptropica thing.” While it’s nice not to have the frustration of being voted off the show when you’re down to the final round, as can happen in the original, this new setup feels too easy — after all, you’re literally receiving a participation trophy (or medallion, as it were).

Visuals

As usual, Poptropica’s scenery is beautiful. The safari setting meets our visual expectations, despite there not being a whole lot of scenery to begin with. Perhaps this island isn’t as breathtaking as others, but we’ve got no clear complaints about the aesthetics. Plus, how can we resist some cute animals?

The interactable elements at our base camp are pretty fun, too. From spooking a camera-woman to, well, spooking a zebra, there are many clickable objects and easter eggs to discover. In particular, we enjoyed the small tribute to old Reality TV hero Bucky Lucas on the beach shore, and the monkeys managing cameras and celebrating winners with drums.

Little additions to an island such as these bring a bit of life to the experience, even though they may not have a huge impact on the gameplay.

Verdict

Considering all of these elements that the island has to offer, our final rating for Reality TV: Wild Safari Island is…

Does this Reality TV experience live up to its predecessor? Maybe not… Was it still enjoyable? Sure thing! Sequels often fall short of expectations, and are commonly labeled as unoriginal. Then again, Greek Sea Odyssey Island successfully brought new Mythology features to the table, and we think the Creators could have delivered better story here, too. Wild Safari simply lacked the substance found in the original.

Still, the island had its charming components. The safari had excellent humor, visuals, references, and dialogue to say the least. Even the mini-games were pretty fun! And that’s why this island gets a 2 out of 5 baby hippos from us.


Thanks for reading our review of Reality TV: Wild Safari Island! How does this adventure compare to the preceding Reality TV Island? Do you agree with our verdict? Share your opinions in the comments below!

– 🦛 the PHB team 🦛 –

PHB Review: Greek Sea Odyssey Island

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Haven’t completed your epic journey yet? Check out our Greek Sea Odyssey Island Guide!

Hello, Poptropicans!

With the recent release of Poptropica Worlds’ third island adventure, Greek Sea Odyssey, we wanted to share what we thought of it and, in the comments, open the discussion to all of you as well. So here it is: our comprehensive review of Greek Sea Odyssey Island! We’ll cover story, mechanics, visuals, and more. Let’s set sail!

Be warned: This review contains spoilers!

Storyline & Characters

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Let’s begin with a quick overview of the island: You arrive in Athens to discover that the tyrannical god, Zeus, won’t leave the citizens alone as they try to develop the world’s first democracy right here in ancient Greece. Athena, the goddess of wisdom, embarks you on a journey by sending you on a sea voyage, alongside Theseus, to collect three sacred items to topple Zeus.

Undoubtedly, we collect all three of the sacred items and get to encounter many cool Greek mythological figures along the way, like Daedalus as Disastrous Daddy, Dionysius as Drunken Party Ruiner, and Hippolyta as I’ve-Had-Enough Matriarch — all new to Poptropica! Though each character (and creatures like the Cyclops and Gryphon) brought something unique to the adventure, the most interesting character was probably Icarus, who was given a modern spin as emo teenager mixed with his mythological roots of hardcore harp, all while sulking at his petty father.

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Meeting lots of new characters was a plus. The premise was also interesting, and well executed: a sea odyssey in search of powerful items inspired by several Greek tales. And, it took a different turn from what we were expecting (we had speculated a remake for Mythology Island from Poptropica Original)—but a good one.

Gameplay

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Greek Sea Odyssey seemed a little short, with less challenging tasks in comparison to islands from Poptropica Original, a lament voiced by many players in the community. (An example of a less challenging task would be the rock-paper-scissors game with Cyclops, who’s daft enough to have only one move! But maybe that’s just his character. One part that could’ve been difficult, the Gryphon chase, allows you to skip over the challenge if you fall too many times and just choose to “go ahead” in the game.)

On the one hand, it’s kind of nice to have the difficulty toned down, since challenging puzzles could get frustrating on Poptropica Original. On the other hand, the challenge aspect now feels almost too dialed back, leaving us with not much to test our wits or maneuvering abilities. Even in the ending, it wasn’t too hard to skip over some orbs, and once we got to the top, Zeus relinquished his throne without another duel—not even with words (well, there was a little exchange, but nothing dependent on the player).

For the amount of time it took to wait for this new island release (over 7 months since 24 Carrot Island, and 4 months if we’re counting Dr. Hare’s Revenge), we were expecting to have a greater adventure to go onand for it to end with a more climactic boss battle than it did.

There’s also been some funny business at the final showdown with Zeus. When players were struck by one of the electric orbs, it was like a never-ending death strike that took you all the way down to the bottom, forcing you to start over. We’re not sure if this is a glitch or not, but it’s not exactly a fun challenge either way.

On a more positive note, the audio experience of the adventure, engineered by Creator Kyle Fox, was well-crafted. Not only was there ambient music that matched moods at various scenes, but even down in the Minotaur’s labyrinth as we plodded through sludge to get to the Cyclops, we could hear the effects of our footsteps sloshing their way through. Now that’s attention to detail!

Visuals

The different scenes in this island are absolutely captivating. From the details in the Minotaur’s labyrinth to the stunning background scenery, you can tell that a lot of thought and work went into every visual. The Athena statue in the Parthenon was especially breathtaking! Check out some of the designs in the gallery below.

Whether you noticed them or not, there were numerous cultural references and interactive bits throughout the island. Some of these include Wonder Woman’s cameo in Themiscyra, The Bolt sword from Legendary Swords in the labyrinth, the unicorn in the bushes, and probably the most notable, the Sound of Silence song reference from Snakehead. Many Poptropicans found these quite enjoyable — we did too!

Verdict

All things considered—from the unique storyline mashing many Greek legends, to well-crafted characters, to not-so-challenging puzzles, to gorgeous Grecian scenes with witty references—our final rating for Greek Sea Odyssey is…

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The wait for this island was excruciating for many players, especially since we barely saw any sneak peeks for what was to come (too little, to be honest).

We were pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn’t simply a remake of the popular Mythology Island on Poptropica Original, but rather a whole new story with lots of new faces along the way. Greek Sea Odyssey turned out to be a wonderful ride, albeit on the short end compared to other Poptropica islands (though about the same length as other Worlds islands, so this may be a pattern that sticks around). The challenges could have been amped up a notch or two as well. On the whole, though, there’s lots to love.

With its interweaving of Greek legends, fun details, excellent audio/visuals, and more, we’ve decided to award Greek Sea Odyssey 4/5 Grecian urns. Here’s to more odysseys in the near future for Poptropica!


Thanks for reading our review of Greek Sea Odyssey Island! How do you think this adventure compared to its sort-of prequel, Mythology Island? Do you agree with our verdict? Share your opinions in the comments below!

– the PHB team –

Book Review: Poptropica’s “The End of Time”

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Hey Poptropicans! In this post, we’re going to take a good look at Poptropica: The End of Time, the fourth and final book in the Poptropica graphic novel series, which released September 12, 2017. It’s going to be a long post, but a good one!

You can get the book on Amazon, which ships worldwide (plus, it’s currently 25% off!). If you haven’t already, you’ll also want to check out the first 3 books in the series: Mystery of the Map (which also has an island in the game, reviewed here), The Lost Expedition (review here), and The Secret Society (review here). And now, onto the review!

A Spoiler-Free Overview

Good book reviews tend not to give away the entire story, so for this segment, we’ll be sticking to a (relatively) spoiler-free discussion of events. However, because this is a Poptropica fan blog and we tend to discuss as much Poptropica as we can, the rest of the review is going to have to give away some pertinent details (but we won’t ruin the whole reading experience for you). So here’s an overview of the book from us:

Following the events of The Secret Society, the trio – Mya, Jorge, and Oliver – are more lost than ever in their quest to find their way home. And Octavian is still in the picture, but as the way forward looks bleaker, it seems that all of them are wondering the same thing: What if their lives had been different? With flashbacks to events in each of their lives, the plot culminates as the Nexus is discovered. Known as the “heart of Poptropica,” its very existence (finally) explains Poptropica’s relation with the timeline of history on Earth as we know it as well as the presence of seemingly bizarre twists of our reality.

With the Nexus, it becomes possible to change fate itself. But who will go for it, and what’s at stake? As each character reflects on their own stories, we’re taken through both heartwarming and heart-wrenching times, and we ourselves may wonder what the cost of rewriting our own histories might be. With deep themes on the power of choice and treasuring the life we have, The End of Time is a brilliant conclusion to the Poptropica series that fans of all ages can resonate with.

Now the following segments are going to have some spoilers, so if possible, we recommend that you read the book first so we don’t ruin too many surprises.

Storyline

The story picks up where we last left off in The Secret Society, the previous book in the series. Having brought about a cataclysm in the only place they knew to be safe, the trio – Jorge, Mya, and Oliver – are more concerned than ever about whether they’ll actually find a way out of Poptropica safely and return home. However, what makes The End of Time stand out from the rest of the Poptropica books are the flashbacks: we get glimpses into the lives of our main characters before this whole mess happened. (Plus, we learn the surnames of each of the kids!)

Octavian is our first flashback – and yes, he’s still alive. Octavian, as we know, was a member of the Secret Society that protected Poptropica. And now we see what turned him to rebellion: he meets a lady, Paulla, in 79 A.D. Pompeii, just before the infamous volcanic eruption that buried the Roman town. He would have saved her, of course, if it weren’t for the Secret Society’s #1 rule: History must be preserved at all costs. That’s why he’s been messing with the timeline: he’ll do anything to be reunited with his lover.

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Meanwhile, Mya blames Oliver for the mess they are in, since he was the one to pull the plug on the Aegis earlier. In the next couple of flashbacks, we see that their sibling rivalry goes way back – in fact, we see how they became siblings in the first place. Mya’s mother had passed away, leaving Mya Wong with her dad, and Oliver’s father had walked out on their family, leaving Oliver Hartman with his mom. The two single parents somehow met, and eventually Kevin (Mya’s dad) married Sandy (Oliver’s mom). While Oliver was ecstatic to have his family expand, Mya is very clear to him about her feelings at the wedding, telling him: “…You are not my brother.”

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Back to present day, the trio finds Jonas (the right-hand man of the Secret Society operation with Spencer Albright) still alive, albeit barely able to walk. But Jonas has a plan, thanks to a secret project Spencer started, which actually explains how Poptropica is connected to the real world as we know it (and where the kids came from). With the help of a secret submarine, they begin to make their way to the Nexus, or the heart of Poptropica – a land of limitless time crystals.

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Oh, and Octavian has snuck his way on board the submarine – but before we deal with him, we’re taken to another flashback, starring Jorge Flores. The younger Jorge would love to play with his friends, but his mother’s overprotectiveness hasn’t exactly helped his street cred. Stuck with having just his mom for company, the two of them head to A-1 Balloon Tours, which, if you remember from Mystery of the Map, is where this all began. In a last-minute weight limit revelation, Jorge is directed to a balloon away from his mother, where he meets Oliver and Mya for the first time.

Now back to Octavian and the gang – now faced with having to spend time together on a submarine on autopilot, Octavian spills his heart about his desire to save Paulla, at the cost of everything else that his interference with the timeline entailed, including dragging the trio of kids into Poptropica, which, it turns out, he couldn’t care less about. And then they arrive at the Nexus.

This is where things get the most interesting. An unexpected guest shows up: Spencer Albright, the head of the Secret Society who was formerly erased from history by Octavian. Isn’t he supposed to be dead?! Well, as Spencer explains, he is gone from one time stream – but lives on in many others. As it turns out, he was wrong about something too: Poptropica doesn’t have just one history that needs protecting; instead, there are infinitely many possible time streams, and each one is as real as the next.

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Of course, this begs the question the other characters have been wondering: can they change just one thing about their lives that they wish was different? The answer is yes – and each of them take turns touching the main crystal that allows them glimpses of their lives altered. Octavian, not too surprisingly, leaps at the chance, and is soon taken into the alternate time stream he prefers. Mya and the rest are tempted, too… but in the end, the trio decides, each individually but with the help of each other’s insights, that changing the things they wish so badly were different in their lives is not worth losing what they all have together.

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With the portal of timeline travel right in front of them, the trio can finally head home – together – but before they do, Spencer puts Jonas in charge of the Secret Society, handing over his time crystal necklace for future adventures in protecting Poptropica. The kids each get one, too, promising to come back if Poptropica ever needs their help. And with that, they jump back into the time stream that lands them right back into their A-1 Balloon Tour. Though their balloon has had a crash landing, it seems no time at all has passed in their world, and everyone – including the parents – are glad they’re back.

Character Development

All the main characters really get a chance to shine in The End of Time, and not only do they learn something about themselves and their lives, their journey also brings them closer to the one(s) they love.

Everyone can’t help but wonder how things could have been different in their lives, but no one wants things to change as badly as Mya. Ever since her mother’s death, Mya can’t help but think that she was robbed of the life she was supposed to have. When Octavian gives his spiel about losing Paulla, both in the submarine and at the Nexus, it’s Mya who’s leaning the closest – Mya actually feels for Octavian in those moments.

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Octavian, of course, doesn’t hesitate to jump into the time stream where he will be with Paulla, once the opportunity presents himself. It makes sense, since it was his one and only goal in life to be reunited with her. Despite his villainous track record with the kids, he still has his humanizing moments when he explains that everything he did, he did for Paulla, even at the cost of almost killing the kids (and erasing Spencer from one time stream) for being in the way of his mission to get her back. Even to the end, he still holds resentment against Spencer for trying to stop him.

Although it’s kind of nice to see Octavian get his happy ending, he never really shows remorse towards the kids. But perhaps, like real life, we just have to accept that some people simply won’t be sorry, and the best we can do is part ways with them. And it also shows a dimensionality to his character: we can’t consider Octavian purely a villain, because his intentions were good, but at the same time, he cared so much about one person that he neglected to care about many others.

The choice to alter their lives, however, is not so clear for the three kids. For easygoing Oliver, he loves his new family – but he still misses his biological father. But a glimpse into a possible future with him reveals something he hadn’t expected: in Oliver’s words, “My dad’s kind of a jerk.” The friendship-starved Jorge has a similar revelation when it’s his turn at the omniscient crystal: the “friends” he knew turn out to be kind of jerks, too.

And it’s when Jorge realizes that he’s met his best friends right here, in Poptropica, that Mya finally gets on board with everything her life has become. She may not have her mother anymore in this time stream, but if she did, she wouldn’t have met Oliver and Jorge. It’s a conflicting choice, having to choose one version of events over another – but in the end, Mya decides that the life she has with Oliver and Jorge is what things have turned out to be in this particular time stream, and she’s able to find satisfaction in that. We might wonder if we would have had the courage to say the same about our own lives.

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So in the end, all our main characters are able to find what they’re looking for. For Octavian, he remains his Paulla-centered self, never truly feeling the effects of all the damage he caused along the way. For the kids, they gain a newfound appreciation for what life has thrown at them, in both good times and bad. Even though there are things they thought they wanted to change, all three of them have come full circle to realize that their struggles have played important roles in each of their lives.

Fun References

Just like in the previous books, The End of Time contains various references to popular culture, which are always fun to find. We’ll bring up the ones we found interesting, but there may be more surprises in the book!

In a flashback to a past Christmas, Mya is given a box set of a Philip Pullman trilogy called “His Dark Materials.” Of the fantasy novels, Northern Lights and The Subtle Knife are seen on p. 19 and The Amber Spy Glass is on p. 24. (Side note: Northern Lights was published as The Golden Compass in North America, and has a film version as well.) What’s even more interesting is that Mitch Krpata, the author of The End of Time, shared in an interview with the PHB that he absolutely loves the “His Dark Materials” trilogy and even named his daughter after the main character, Lyra. So, it’s a nice plug for one of his favorite book series!

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Although it could perhaps be assumed based on the locations of Poptropica HQ and the people who made this graphic novel happen, we can see that “home” for our trio of kiddos (Mya, Jorge, Oliver) is the United States. On p. 21, as Mya goes through a sequence of events, her surroundings hint at a rather American lifestyle and traditions such as the 4th of July (American flag included) and Halloween (with other kids dressed up as Harry Potter and The Joker). (Curiously, there’s even a church scene.)

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On p. 41, Oliver’s mother’s phone contacts include Jack Chabert (pen name of Max Brallier, author of the first Poptropica graphic novel and Galactic Hot Dogs, whose icon is F.R.E.D. from GHD), Jess Brallier (Poptropica’s former president, whose icon is Zeus), C. Kochman (likely Charles Kochman, a publisher at Abrams who is credited at the back of the book, whose icon is a Poptropican with black hair and beard), Chad B. (likely Chad Beckerman, also from Abrams and credited at the back, whose icon is a Poptropican with glasses, spiky gray hair and stubble), Oliver Sr. (Oliver’s finger covers his picture), and Jeff Kinney (whose icon is Greg Heffley from Diary of a Wimpy Kid).

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The cereal Oliver eats (also p. 41) is called Sugar Bombs, which is a cereal found in the Fallout video game series.

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While none of the Poptropica islands we know from the game actually appears by name or scenery in the graphic novels, p. 81 does include a reference to Crisis Caverns Island, as Jorge panics about the possibility of encountering a “giant worm or mole person!”

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At the discovery of the Nexus (p. 84), the characters contemplate worlds of alternate realities, many of which refer to our real world, except of course the events are slightly different. We see the Soviets land on the moon first, Pepsi reign as the #1 cola drink, and Hillary Clinton inaugurated as US President.

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Other alternate worlds (or time streams), Jonas explains, may be wildly different from our own, and that’s where we get the more unique islands and characters like Binary Bard from Astro-Knights Island.

Conclusion: 5/5 time crystals

All things considered, The End of Time feels like a solid conclusion to the Poptropica graphic novel series. In fact, it may even be the best book of the series. Of course, you’ll want to have the other books to make the most sense out of it, but even on its own, it tells a striking story about facing up to your past and living in your present.

We learned a bit about how Poptropica works in The Secret Society – islands float up from time to time, stopping by on “the highway of history” – but The End of Time expands on this and fills in the gaps. In this book, we find out more about the nature of Poptropica, especially in relation to our real world; we learn about the Nexus, which is the one spot where these islands surface, and where we can jump from one time stream to infinitely many others, sometimes with bizarre creations. It makes our understanding of Poptropica a whole lot richer, and it would be awesome to see this brought to the game as well. And islands for the latter three books in the series would be amazing, too.

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Perhaps the greatest theme for this book was the whole idea of what Spencer called “finding meaning in struggle.” Because we all struggle, and we don’t usually have the time crystals to escape it. But we can wallow in our struggles for the longest time like Mya, or kick everyone out of our way in our quest to regain our own strength like Octavian – or we can learn to live with the fact that things are not always as we hope, as the kids eventually did. One way or another – whether through a perplexed acceptance or a hope in a divine hand – each of us can find the silver lining to our dark storm clouds.

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This story is full of adventure and has its fair share of bittersweet moments, culminating into a fine ending for a fine book series that any Poptropica fan can enjoy. In case you haven’t already, you should catch up with the first three books in the series as well. Whether you’re looking for thought-provoking themes or just a fun read, you can find them with the Poptropica series.

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Thanks for sticking with us in this long post – this may even have ended up taking up more words than the book itself (oops). Anyway, be sure to pick up your copy of The End of Time, and share your thoughts and criticisms in the comments below!

📘📕📗📙

PHB Review: The New New 24 Carrot Island (Worlds)

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Haven’t ousted the Hare yet? Check out our 24 Carrot Island Guide (for Worlds).

Hey there, Poptropicans!

As you may have heard, a remastered version of the classic 24 Carrot Island was released on Poptropica Worlds not too long ago, making it the second island adventure on Worlds. And we’ve got to say, it’s a whole lot better than Crisis Caverns.

Here’s a short animation the Creators recently put out to highlight the new 24 Carrot:

24 Carrot Island was originally released in 2008 as the fourth island, then re-released as a SUI (sound-updated island) in 2013. Now, in 2017, it’s back for the third time, making it the New New 24 Carrot! It’s undergone some modifications, which we’ll be covering in this review. Warning: Spoilers ahead. (We suggest playing the island before reading on!)

With that out of the way, let’s get into the review of the New New!

Storyline & Characters

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Since this is a remastered island, the plot of the adventure mostly keeps to the original story, with a few twists added into the mix.

The premise is this: You land on the island, and the mayor tells you that all the carrots have disappeared, causing financial disaster to the whole town. And guess what? You have to be the one who finds them! Yaay! 😀

So, as long as the thirsty carrot lovers cry over their precious vegetable gone missing, your investigation begins! If you’ve already played 24 Carrot on Poptropica Original, you know how it goes – but the Worlds versions comes with new surprises. Namely:

  • While the Movie Theater used to be a common room, it’s now been turned into a new space called the Carrot Museum, which displays various carrot trivia. (You can find it all on our 24 Carrot Guide.) It seems that such museums are going to be a staple feature of Worlds islands, as Crisis Caverns had its Visitor’s Center for similar displays as well.
  • The Carrot Museum is host to a new character named Rhonda, a carrot-crazy lady dressed in a big carrot suit. Possibly more nightmarish than the infamous Jersey Devil of Cryptids Island.
  • Various characters have new lines. The additional dialogue makes for a richer experience overall!
  • Some graphics have been improved. We’ll talk more about this in the Visuals section down below.
  • Remember how the lady in the diner gives you free milk in the original? Well, screw that, because she now wants tips! 😛
  • The diner doesn’t have a hair colorizer. Much sad. We want the Colorizer back!
  • Whiskers the cat is now trapped inside of a newly-added barn space, caged there as bait for catching Dr. Hare (why Dr. Hare would fall for cats, we have no idea).
  • A new character, a man named Maynard, is behind Whiskers’s disappearance. He’s an ex-minion of Dr. Hare’s who escaped from the factory.
  • To get the factory blueprints, you have to give Maynard a metal part that can be found just outside the factory.
  • There’s no Carrot Transporter in this reboot.
  • The Smelter Room is gone. Instead, when you fall, you end up at a part of the vents where you can pick up a pair of Drone Ears.
  • The final destruction of Dr. Hare’s rabbot looks quite different. We’ll get to that in the Gameplay section of this review.

We really like this mix of old and new. It feels familiar, yet it’s not the exact same package as before. It feels like just the right touch of nostalgia, yet also with various improvements made to contribute to a richer story with relatable, comical characters. The additions of Rhonda and Maynard make the experience more interesting, and it’s also great to see the original cast of characters turned into Worlds avatars.

Gameplay

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This island is full of platforming and obstacle-dodging. From the flapping trapdoors of the pipe entrance to the boxes spitting out of factory machines, all the classic maneuvering mechanics are there. Again, those who’ve played the original version might find it familiar – and as a plus, there weren’t too many glitches to speak of.

The biggest difference is probably the new mini-game at the end of the island, the final showdown with Dr. Hare. In the original version, you moved the rabbot to hit four meteors, which would destroy the machine. In Poptropica Worlds, the rabbot sends mind-control droids down to earth, and you have to shoot at all twenty of them using a carrot cannon conveniently perched over the factory.

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Gameplay-wise, this change provides a bit of an extra challenge from the original. And story-wise, this change is significant. In the original, there isn’t quite enough to tell us what exactly motivates Dr. Hare to steal all the carrots and then run off to space, but in the Worlds version, we’re told that Dr. Hare wants to mind-control the entire planet from space. Now there’s a big motive!

Visuals (Art Direction)

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Once again, the Poptropica artists prove their skill in crafting a stunning visual environment. It’s simply one of the best parts of Poptropica, and in this island remake, they’ve upped the ante and made things better than ever. Now, trees sway ominously in the background, the signpost weakly flashes “Rot Land,” and even the gas guy has a spiffy new cap. Little details here and there all help to immerse you into the story.

The lighting and shading is all well placed, and the color scheme really creates a dreary, but not completely hopeless mood. Just take a look at this sampling of snapshots below:

Check out those yellow and brown hues! Of course, the mood shifts drastically at the end of the island when all is made right again, and the bright blues really make you feel like you’ve turned the whole place around with your hard work. It’s all quite beautiful.

Keep up the good work, Poptropica artists and animators!

Verdict

From the re-interpreted story that mixes a perfect dose of nostalgia and novelty, to the combination of familiar and new gameplay elements, and of course, the well-placed artistic details to supplement the story, it’s clear that this remastered version of 24 Carrot is a wonderful and welcome addition to Poptropica Worlds.

Compared to the first Worlds island, Crisis Caverns, this island is definitely an improvement. Minor drawbacks are a few glitches and quite a bit of back-and-forth movement, but it’s still a step in the right direction. Our verdict: 4/5 carrot boxes.

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Thanks for reading our review! We’re excited for what’s next in Poptropica Worlds, but we’re sure the kids from the factory – Shy Sky, Sleepy Bird, Magic Socks, and Crazy Comet – are just happy to be away from the crazy old Hare.

24 Carrot Diner: The Gang’s All Back! by SlantedFish on DeviantArt

Which version of 24 Carrot Island do you like best, the one on Poptropica Original or Worlds? Share your thoughts in the comments!

– the PHB team –

P.S. For the perspective of just one player, who lent his insights to this review, check out Purple Claw’s review originally posted on Clawtropica.