PHB Review: Ghost Story Island 👻

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Boo! Slip here. I am your host for today, your… ghost host!

The witching hour is almost here – so what will we do? Last year, we did an omnibus of Poptropica’s scariest moments. Well, scary islands and characters are good Halloween clichés: why not review one of Poptropica’s best and creepiest islands? How about Ghost Story Island? Sure!

This review contains spoilers, so if you haven’t played the island yet, close your eyes and hum throughout the review! However, since you’re still reading this, let’s go!

Announced back in November 2011 (wow, it’s been five years!), Ghost Story Island was peculiarly released after Halloween, despite its spooky themes. In December, a pre-island quest called Spook Central was released and involved hunting ghosts throughout different Poptropica islands and eventually earning the exclusive Ghost Hunter suit!

Are you ready for the review? Oh yeah, we’ll be omitting the Soundtrack section since this is a non-SUI island. We’ll begin shortly—if you dare. No turning back!

Storyline & Characters

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Hemlock Harbor is a town with a secret. Restless spirits are said to haunt its shores, but no one knows who they are, what they want — or how to get rid of them. Can you hunt the ghosts of Hemlock Harbor and uncover the mystery that will set them free?

This island, I think, has one of the best storylines. Why? First, it tackles on a tricky topic for kids like ghosts, apparitions, and other scary stuff. Just the trailer is creepy enough to make you want to hide under the bed.

 

As we explore Hemlock Harbor a bit more, we discover the secret behind all these apparitions — it’s one big connect-the-dots game and it’s up to us to weave the story together. Then comes the boldness of the storyline: a story of love, betrayal, and forgiveness — a type of story that goes beyond the typical fluff of kids’ tales.

What I really liked the most was the plot twist in the end, so I suggest that you try playing the island again to find out what it is! Kudos to Poptropica for doing such a great job in making the storyline of the island. I like this island so much that I think it’s worth revisiting once in a while.

Here on the PHB, we love Ghost Story so much that this island won the Best Storyline award in the 2015 Poppies. Awesome.

As for the characters, what amazes is that almost every character makes an appearance and no one gets left out of the story. There is great character development between the ghosts and as well as the magistrate, Henry Flatbottom, as key characters in the story.

My favorite character would be the superstitious guy in front of the bakery. I find it fascinating that some people still believe in superstitions in the modern era.

Gameplay

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The island has a serious amount of gameplay, with lots of neat features, some of which are unique and can’t be found on other Poptropica islands!

One feature I really enjoyed were the cutscenes, like the scene inside the inn where the couple scares you. It’s one great tool to make the island better and interactive.

I also liked the mechanism used while maneuvering vehicles within Poptropica, similar to the ones in Wild West and Cryptids. The boat in the gif above is one of the examples of this.

Now for the distinct features of this island! One would be the first-person mazes found in the cemetery. It’s one of the best features of the island and I like how it adds to the eerie atmosphere.

Last but never the least, is the violin mini-game in the island. It’s actually amazing to hear music and sounds in classic Poptropica, and this island has become a good recipient of it. Check out our PHB Special about Fiona’s violin song!

Visuals

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Ghost Story received a decent amount of animation — some of which are seen on the banners above. The best thing that I liked in this island was the fog effect seen throughout the Main Street and the cemetery. I also like the ghost glasses being sold by the vendor on Main Street! Poptropica really put in some cool details on this island!

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Another thing to point out in this island was the numerous rooms—so many that I’ve already lost count. With all those rooms, Poptropica filled each one to the brim with detail. What’s more amazing is that while some of the rooms seem repetitive, they’re actually different, such as inside the prison.

Even the concept art made before the island came into being is amazing! It simply shows that Poptropica really gave their best making this island, because their art quality never disappoints!

Verdict

Judging on a scale from 1 to 10, Ghost Story Island gets a… 9.4/10!

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Ghost Story Island is undoubtedly one of Poptropica’s best islands. Being released almost five years ago, it still stands out among classic Poptropica islands.

I see it as one of the underrated islands because it doesn’t get that much attention, and according to the map, it’s not that popular. If so, I hope this review enlightens and encourages you to play the island and explore it for once! You’d be missing out if you didn’t.

Well, that concludes this review! Hope you enjoyed this gif-filled post as much as I do!

Don’t forget, tomorrow is Halloween, and we’ll be announcing the winners of our 8th Annual Autumnal-Halloween Contest! Watch out for that, everyone! Stay awesome.

fiona

To Fiona, the woman in the window.
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17 thoughts on “PHB Review: Ghost Story Island 👻

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