Halloween Reviews: Monster Carnival Island!

monstercarnival

YES! You guys…YES YES YES YES YES!!! THIS! This is my favorite island EVER. Twisted Thicket was tough to beat but this guy right here did it! WHOO! SPOILERS AHEAD!

The Legend…

BUT WAIT! We can’t talk about Monster Carnival Island without first talking about the LEGEND BEHIND IT. Seriously, that’s half the fun of this island.

monster

WHAAAAA?!?

So, early in Poptropica’s history, back when there were only two islands, THIS island showed up with the words “Coming soon!” on it.

Three guesses what happened next.

YEP! It didn’t come. In fact, it just disappeared off the map, with no explanation whatsoever. For years it remained a mystery….a mythical island whispered only among players. No one knew what it was about or whether it would return….

hauntedamusement

OOOOOOH….

In 2013, the Creators uploaded a mysterious note including ideas for a “Haunted Amusement Park Island”. Sound familiar? This was probably one of the first times Monster Carnival Island was formally mentioned. But rest assured, the creators would NOT stop teasing about it. A piece of paper found in a trash can on Mocktropica Island even says “MONSTER CARNIVAL NOPE” on it.

mysteryman

Quoth the raven…NEVERMORE

But at long last, in 2014, the island was finally unveiled, much to the excitement of fans. It was like a campfire horror story come to life. And that’s why this island is so special to a Poptropica fans.

The Plot

city

A quiet little town…just kidding.

While not as impressive as Ghost Story Island’s tragic tale, Monster Carnival Island is still REALLY good when it comes to plot. Matter of fact, Monster Carnival Island takes quite a few cues from Ghost Story Island. It starts off calm, but soon supernatural incidents begin to arise and a dark, tragic backstory is revealed.

birdboy

“You are deformed” (I am deformed) “And you are ugly” (And I am ugly….)

I have to say, Ringmaster Raven’s backstory is one of the saddest I’ve seen in Poptropica. He was ostracized and chased out of town just because he was deformed…and all this as a CHILD. No wonder he turned out the way he did.

crow

The scarecrow walks at midnight…

I also really like how well the island utilizes contrasting tones. The first half of the island seems normal and cheery but it quickly devolves into a horrific parody of the island you first saw. The island manages to pull off both tones really well.

Monster Carnival Island spins a tragic and frightening tale, but I really don’t have much to say beyond that. REALLY GOOD ISLAND.

The Monsters

HOLY JACK. THIS IS WHY I LOVE THIS ISLAND. The monsters in this island are PHENOMENAL. And we’ll be going through EACH AND EVERY one of them! OH YEAH!

1. Poster Monster

bugbearmonster

Boo!

So this one’s kind of like the “mascot” of the island, appearing on the posters and stuff. There are actually two of these guys who morphed from a father-son carny duo. They chase you around the fairground but otherwise don’t do much.

In terms of design, I like how they genuinely look like childhood monsters. They really seem like creatures a toddler would draw or imagine up. They seem like those furry mix-and-match monsters children would see under their beds or in their closets, and that really gives them a sort of childish charm.

2. Pool Monster

poolmonster

Something’s fishy….

THIS IS MY FAVORITE MONSTER IN THE WHOLE ISLAND. I just love this guy. Originally the carny who runs the duck fishing game, you first meet this guy when he crawls out of the inflatable duck pool (which is clearly bigger on the inside, TARDIS-style) to freak you out. And this monster is the most original fish monster I have ever seen.

For one thing, he’s bipedal WITHOUT being just a stereotypical fish-man. His facial structure is brilliantly bizarre, being fused (or possibly being PART OF) his dorsal fin and I love how cartoonishly freakish he looks. I love EVERY part of this monster’s design. Words cannot do this guy justice. Seriously, this is probably one of my favorite monster designs EVER. I have no idea how they could make him more perfect.

poolmonster2

QUACK!

Oh well, there you go.

3. Blob Monster

blob

IT’S THE BLOB THAT ATE EVERYTHING

So the chef lady who ran the fried dough store gets turned into this. I love the simplicity of her design. She’s just a giant chunk of jelly with food floating inside her, which is kind of bland, but her face is where her design really shines. It’s a simple face but there’s so much personality to her lazy half-closed eyes and her dopey expression. Once again, it’s pretty cartoonish but she’s all the more endearing because of it.

You don’t really have to interact with this monster much. When you click on her, she grins adorably and flails her spatula around but that’s pretty much all she does throughout the island. Still really cute.

4. Muscular Monster

fullsizerender

Welcome…TO THE GUNSHOW! BAM! 

The strongwoman who runs the Test Your Strength game gets turned into this and although the pool monster is my favorite monster design, this one comes a close second. Just LOOK AT HER! I expected the strongwoman to turn into some kind of giant muscular ogre or something but this is so much better.

What even IS this thing? She’s like some chimerical mix between a lion, an ape and a zebra. I love how unbalanced her body is. It’s as if all the muscles in her body are focused in her upper body, so much so that her back legs are completely useless and she’s too lopsided to move forward. And sure enough, she never moves from that one spot. She just lashes out with her muscular claws where she is.

There are lots of things I love about her design. The tiger-esque stripes on her upper arms, her little vestigial zebra legs, her useless little wings, everything about her is just fantastic.

5. Puppet Monster

fullsizerender-1

Who are you calling “dummy”, DUMMY?!?

Oh geez. This guy is TERRIFYING. Before his transformation, this floating puppet monster was the guy who ran the Tunnel of Love ride. Since then, he had taken up residence in the Haunted Lab, popping out of doors and freaking you out.

This guy is genuinely creepy. Not just because of his habit of jump-scaring people in a really dark room full of foreboding music but also because of his face. It’s just…frozen like that. And the way he moves just makes him creepier. His movements are jerky and unnatural, which plants this guy firmly in the uncanny valley. And when you shine a flashlight at him, he FLIPS. OUT. GOOD GROP. It’s really disturbing to see that puppet flail about like a dying fish.

Granted, this guy doesn’t do anything besides make your Poptropican scream but that does little to change how unsettling it is. The puppet is probably one of the creepiest monsters in Poptropica. Grop.

6. Brain Monster

brainmonster

*insert brain pun here*

Obviously, the little braniac running the “Guess Your Weight” station turned into the giant brain monster. As far as brain monsters go, I LOVE this design. A brain with a spine for a snake-like body is something I rarely see, even though the potential is RIGHT THERE. I also like that he keeps the nerd glasses. It’s a small detail but it really shows that he still keeps his little “insufferable genius” personality.

But of course, my favorite part of the design is still the freaky blue tendrils growing all over him. I love that the tendrils squirm about like worms, almost like they’re parasitic worms eating away at his brain.

Cool tip by the way, if you ever get stuck during this island, try talking to this guy! He often drops subtle hints on where you should go next.

7. Goblin Monster

gremlin

ROCK ON

Last but not least, the carny running the ferris wheel gets turned into a tiny green goblin in a leather jacket. I really like goblins, so as can be expected, I really like this guy’s design. It’s a really classic goblin design although I feel like he tends to invoke a GREMLIN more than a GOBLIN. But we won’t get into the specifics.

The design on this guy is pretty neat. I like the little devil tail and its bat-like ears and pointy horns. But what gives this guy his personality is his outfit. Everything from his sunglasses and his hairstyle to his earrings bring out a sense of mischieviousness.

My favorite part though, is probably his pupils. I don’t have  a picture, but if you’ve played the island before, you should know that his pupils come in the form of spinning stars. It’s a really neat feature that makes this monster stand out.

cages

Don’t feed the animals! No seriously. 

Well that’s all the monsters I’m reviewing for now, but there are TONS of other brilliant background monsters in this island that I’m not going to go into. Maybe some other day.

Scariness Rating

wheel

Something evil’s lurking from the dark…

This island has a delightfully creepy atmosphere to it. I especially love how the entire carnival is just twisted into a messed up creep-fest. Clown faces become demonic, giggling creatures, the horses on the merry-go-round contort and move backwards, the cat in the trash can becomes disheveled and monstrous…details like that really give the entire carnival an unsettling feel. Add the creepy carnival music and you’ve got a recipe for a seriously freaky island.

forest

Something wicked this way comes….

The whole plot is kinda creepy too. I mean, all the townsfolk just up and disappear with no explanation whatsoever. It’s not much better when you find out what Ringmaster Raven’s plans are. To transform them into monsters and brainwash them into becoming his weird carny family. Good grop that’s disturbing.

ravenmachine

Nevermore

 

Speaking of which, I’d like to bring up…..whatever the heck that giant raven machine is. It seems to be a kind of giant ray that transforms people into monsters but it looks so unnatural and moves in such a bizarre, glitchy way it’s almost as if it’s half-alive.

And of course, how can I talk about scary without once again bringing up THE PUPPET.

fullsizerender-1

OH GROP HE’S BACK

GOOD GROP JUST LOOK AT THAT THING. Like I’ve said before, he’s just plain disturbing. The jerky, artificial way he moves and the way he flails when you shine a light at him is just….UGH.

Overall

PLOT SCALE:

3-out-of-3

MONSTROSITY SCALE:

 

SCARINESS SCALE:

3-out-of-3

Well guys, this is my last Halloween island review! I’ve had fun with these and I really wanna do something like this again next year. Til next Halloween! MWAHAHAHAHA!!!!

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