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Game Info:

Poptropica: Forgotten Islands
Developed by: Ubisoft
Published by: Ubisoft
Release Date: September 5, 2013 (iOS), October 14, 2014 (3DS)
Available on: 3DS, iOS
Genre: Platformer
Number of Players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Price: $2.99 (iOS),  $30 (3DS)(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Thank you Ubisoft for sending us this game to review!

Poptropica is a popular website for kids to explore and interact with other children across the world.  The journeys and character customization is now available offline on iOS and 3DS devices.  While the quests are never-ending, the goal in this game is to uncover and explore the forgotten islands to gather artifacts and learn about their past.  

Every island will have coins to collect.  With those coins you can purchase various outfits and customizations for your character.  You can mix and match looks until you find one that suits you.  Although I equipped my character with a sword, I never had to use it.  There is no violence in this game whatsoever.  No enemies to defeat, just thorny plants and giant mushrooms to avoid. 

As you collect artifacts on islands you will unlock upgrades for your blimp to bypass obstacles blocking you from exploring certain areas on the map.  For example, you will unlock the ability to blast away stone or gain the ability to fly through thunderstorms, or over whirlpools.

Poptropica: Forgotten Islands
Highlights:

Strong Points: Infinite quests
Weak Points: Repetitive maps and quests; confusing inventory system
Moral Warnings: None!

The gameplay is pretty simple and mostly consists of jumping around, talking to people, and collecting items for them.  After all six artifacts are found, you can fly around and complete random yet repetitive quests.  The quests consist of locating furniture, library books, machine parts, or barrels.  One glitched out quest had me collect dinosaur bones.  There were five or so bones to collect, yet the inventory maxes out at three items.  Despite the space limitation, I was able to collect all five bones and return them all to the archaeologist.  Some quests require you to combine items by swiping the stylus on the screen, but this was not one of those scenarios.   

Another big complaint is that many of the islands are practically identical in layout.  The only change is a statue or some other minor decoration placed in a random spot.  As an adult I got rather bored quickly and I’m not sure how long this title will entertain children.   

 

Poptropica: Forgotten Islands
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 60%
Gameplay - 8/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 6/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 100%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Poptropica: Forgotten Islands is a great game to introduce a young child to platformer style games, but Mario games are way more entertaining and offer a whole lot more variety.  The drastic price difference between the 3DS and iOS version is worth considering as well.  If you have an iPad or an iPhone I would recommend looking into those versions before paying an additional twenty-five dollars on the 3DS version.

The 3DS version does have 3D effects which are nice but not worth the premium price tag.  When you first start the game, you begin at Tow Islands with a quest to locate parts to repair a blimp.  Once the blimp is functional you can use it to fly around in an over view mode to explore other nearby islands and the rest of the world.  Both the over-world and platformer style levels utilize the 3D effects nicely.    

While you're exploring you'll hear tribal background music which is fitting for the game's setting.  While kids may not mind as much, I found the music a bit too repetitive.  The sound effects are decent though.

Perhaps this game is worth considering if your child enjoys the Poptropica website.  I just don’t recommend paying full price for a game that is available for 90% less on a different platform.  It’s not even that good of a game so I would recommend picking it up on sale if at all.  It is family friendly though, I’ll give it that.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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