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!
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. 😀