Arabian Nights Island, Reviews

PHB Review: Arabian Nights Island

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Hey Poptropicans! Slippery Raptor and Slanted Fish here.

Welcome to another PHB review! We last had Mystery of the Map (which was reviewed by HP & UiPE) but now, it’s time for Arabian Nights Island to be in the hot seat!

Warning: This review contains spoilers for the island.

Also: check out the PHB’s Arabian Nights Island Guide — with pictures!

Episode 1: How Bazaar

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Overall, this episode is pretty good. Let’s start with the soundtrack. The soundtrack was very fitting, giving off a feel for Arabian culture and the grandiosity of their civilization.

Meanwhile, the story focused on finding the Forty Thieves and putting a stop to their thievery. The hideout was done cleverly: it wasn’t the obvious cave, but something much more intriguing, with the “open sesame” scene at the end reminiscent of the beginning of Disney’s Aladdin.

Some of our favorite moments include hanging around the palace while the guards were gossiping and then surprising them with a smoke bomb, and watching one of the thieves struggle to steal the slow camel when trying to pull it into the hideout.

Moving onto the characters, they were creatively made to look like Arab people in the ancient times. In my opinion, the best one was the Sultan himself. The scenes, too, were really made well, especially the bazaar scene. This also presented a nice challenge— the cave maze and the trading. Smoke bombs added to the coolness factor, and the animations – the curling smoke effects which were used throughout the island in different colors – were pretty neat too.

Episode 2: Lair of Thieves

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This episode was pretty cool! Let’s start with the scenes, which were amazing. From the cells to the sanctum, everything was nice and detailed, particularly the treasure room.

The quest itself was just the right amount of challenging. PHB author Samwow5 pointed out in his review of this episode that he felt like he was a spy. A spy indeed! Sneaking around the thieves sure made us feel stealthy and cool. The crafting part was also a creative touch to the gameplay.

Seeing the prisoner and later the Vizier disappear in a cloud of smoke for calling upon the wrong lamps made for a dark yet excellent plot. The Vizier’s sacrifice tugged at our heartstrings, and we wonder whether the unfortunate characters were really killed off (it certainly seems so, which might be a Poptropica first) – though thanks to the Sultan’s time reversal at the end of the third episode, the Vizier lived (though probably not as a high palace official).

The characters were great, too. The Master of Coin (who looked like Binary Bard), master thief, and Brutus had amazing designs and details. Last but definitely not least, the soundtrack was awesome. The spine-tingling feeling of the music made the episode even better.

Episode 3: Careful What You Wish For

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Months before the release of this episode, PHB author Brave Tomato made a theory about the final episode — and she turned out to be right!

Scheherazade’s character had great depth, from being a simple merchant’s daughter to becoming a princess, which turned out pretty badly for her as her father, now a Sultan, barely paid her any attention. It didn’t end there: driven by her desire, she became the leader of the villainous Forty Thieves, and then, at the height of her criminal career, wished to be turned into a genie!

Out of the three episodes, this is our personal favorite. Why? Scenes were made very well and every inch of it is very detailed. The spot-the-difference game was pretty challenging. This episode also brought back the trading and crafting elements from the previous two episodes.

Samhal, too, was a comical character, with his mischievous wit coming into play at every corner. From making a woman who wished to be beautiful into a copy of himself, to turning the Master of Coin into a treasure chest because he wanted to hold all the wealth for himself, to having the recurring camel fall in love with a palace guard, it was hilarious to watch the story unfold.

The story was funny, but it also left behind a well-delivered cautionary tale against greed, especially as it wrapped up in the final, heartfelt scene with the Sultan and Scheherazade on the stone dais.

Plus, we loved the Aladdin references.

Thanks for reading our review of Arabian Nights Island! Overall, we’d rate it a 9.5/10.

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Let us know in the comments what you thought of Arabian Nights! 😀

Arabian Nights Island, Reviews

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

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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!

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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. 😀