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 🪲 —

Community Creations, Zomberry Island

Community Creations: April 2022

community-creations-logo

Hello once again everyone! Spotted Dragon here bringing you the April recap for Community Creations. April’s theme was Zomberry, so be sure to check out all the featured artists!

No clue what’s going on? Go see our intro post.

Top 5 Picks

Zomberry Rocks by Lucky Joker

Kicking things off with quite the creative entry! I love the unique medium of painting on a rock, reminiscent of painting eggs around Easter. It would be super fun to hide these around your yard! Plus, that clean line work and coloring is impeccable. Find his Instagram here.

Zomberry Comic by Tough Spinner

If any of you were able to play the Zomberry game in Roblox, this scene may look a bit familiar to you. I love how ambitious the comic is and how dynamic each panel is! Pairing sequential images with text can be quite the challenge, and this storyline reads very clearly. The action, emotion, and humor are all well captured! Find the artist in the comments and on Discord.

Joe Puddy A3 by OnyxOnline

Based on an expression sheet, this piece was made by taking a fan-suggested character and drawing them in predetermined poses on a grid. And I’ve got to say, Joe Puddy looks super intense with ol’ expression A3. About to go bananas blueberries, it looks like… 👀 Love the idea and the execution! Find their Tumblr here.

Joe was Always here by Thehypercutter

Another Joe Puddy feature! This one features the Poptropican post-epidemic, but still with splotched blueberry scars from the outbreak. Kinda gives him a lot of unique character! Very creative take. Find her Twitter here.

Zomberry Island Fan Art by Maddie

Last but certainly not least, we have this frightfully fruity painting. I love the traditional use of medium, as well as the application of color. Those purples look so cool! Definitely makes me nostalgic for Zomberry Island. And maybe a bit hungry for blueberries too? No? Just me? Anyway, fantastic work! Find her Instagram here.


Honorable Mentions

We had some berry cool submissions this month, huh? Keep up that craving for creating next time around too! 🍇🧟‍♂️


May: 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 May’s theme? May’s theme is…

 JADE SCARAB!

This theme should come as no surprise, since Jade Scarab Island was recently released for all players. If you haven’t played it yet, you might want to do so before participating this month! It’s time to celebrate this island through all your creative ideas.

You know the drill! Based on the adventure, create drawings, outfits, poetry, you name it!

  • Submit: Comment below with a link to whatever you’ve created, email it to the PHB team on our Contact page, OR share it with me (SydVC aka Spotted Dragon) on DeviantArtTwitterTumblr, or Discord.
  • Results: Next month, I will feature 5 submissions that stood out to me the most as well as some honorable mentions.
  • Limitations: Just make sure you relate to both the theme and Poptropica (and nothing NSFW or otherwise inappropriate).
  • Due Date: I will take any entries before the end of this month. Submit as many things as you’d like!

I will be sure to let you know I have seen your creation. While quality counts, I’m mainly looking for something to simply catch my eye, so don’t be afraid to join in!

So what are you waiting for? Go make something awesome!

~SD

PHB Series, The Villain Saga, Uncategorized

The Villain Saga – Episode 3, Part 3

(Table of contents) (See previous)

INT. FLOOR 13, OUTSIDE DR. JUPITER’S LAB

The elevator door opens, and the group enters. This floor is even darker than the rest of the prison, with little to no windows and a sparse amount of dim, yellow lights.

DIRECTOR D.

Cheery.

DR. HARE

Oh wow, it’s almost like this is a prison.

Continue reading “The Villain Saga – Episode 3, Part 3”
Creators, Social Media, Uncategorized

Seeking Your Questions for a Pop Interview with Former Storytelling Creator ✏️🎤

Henlo, Poptropicans! I’m happy to announce a special upcoming PHB post: an interview with former Pop Creator, Mitch Krpata!

While the PHB has covered and even hosted interviews with this senior story developer in the past, this time we’re reconnecting with ol’ Captain Crawfish to talk about the development process for Poptropica. And you’re invited to join!

In the comments of this post, bring your unanswered questions regarding the stories and characters of past islands, pertaining to content made before 2018 (when Mitch departed the team). This interview will not cover the current state of the game, and Mitch cannot speak for the current team. That being said, ask away!

Mitch Krpata wrote three of the four Poptropica graphic novels, among others.

Before I close off, here are Poptropica’s latest Instagram stories, including an animation of Monkey Wrench Island some rockin’ Zomberries by the PHB’s Lucky Joker (LJ)! (…ok I’ll take my leave now.)

Make sure to check out these artists, and don’t forget to submit your questions in the comments of this post! I’ll see you soon for the next Villain Saga episode and the completed interview!

Castori honorem ~ Maryann/Smart Bubbles

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! 🪲💫

~🐠