Whatever you say SpongeBob Square Pants remains one of Nickelodeon’s best-known cartoons. Taking advantage of the height of its popularity in the nineties, a game based on cartoons was launched for Playstation 2. Now 17 years later, the remake version is presented by Purple Lamp Studios and THQ Nordic as publisher.
For those who, like me, have never played their original, can manage to leave aside the glasses of nostalgia that this title can carry to the present day. However, and after some research to get some point of comparison between titles, as expected the graphics jump right out of view with its upgrade, both in terms of textures and in terms of vivid and vibrant colors, never leaving its cartoon side beside.
Battle for Bikini Bottom is a platformer game in a 3D world where the premise of collecting golden spatulas is the main course. For those who don’t remember SpongeBob works in a restaurant that serves hamburgers, hence the reference to them. These golden spatulas serve as keys to open new locations on the map, while the currency of exchange, in this case, is some kind of stars with various colors, similar to Spyro the Dragon, where each color corresponds to different amounts.
The adventure begins when the bad guy, Plankton decides to launch a “horde” of robots to try to conquer the city and the surrounding area. After making a mistake in the creation of these robots, Plankton has no control over the robots leaving them free to destroy everything that moves. This is where SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy come in, as playable characters and each with different skills. SpongeBob can transform itself into a ball to quickly cross certain places while having at his disposal an ability to launch a bowling ball and a guided rocket in the shape of a water bubble. Patrick manages to grab things and launch them at his enemies, while Sandy is the cowgirl, with her characteristic accent and her rope that allows her to swing at specific points and hover in the air.
It is possible to switch between characters within the various levels. However, the level will always start with SpongeBob, with the possibility of switching to a specific character for each level. Each level has different objectives and dangers which means different ways of approaching each situation. This exchange will always be carried out in a “Bus Stop” with convenient lights to leave no doubt for the players.
The game offers about 15 playable levels, in specific locations in the series. Like Goo Lagoon, Krusty Krab, and even Rock Bottom. With very simple gameplay and mechanics, it does not offer anything new to the genre, since it is an adaptation of its original it carries all that luggage. There is no penalty for losing all available lives or for falling off the map, as the character will return either to the place where he fell or to the previous checkpoint. Yes, this is a very cheerful title … Sometimes too cheerful. Each level has a different song and honestly, after a few minutes with the same super cheerful music in a loop, it can become frustrating.
The lack of delimitation of limits between levels reveals an idea of an open world, something that does not happen, although the levels are quite big.
This is a title aimed entirely at younger players, eager to enjoy a game from the world of SpongeBob. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer enough fun to beat the latest releases or even beat the fun you can get from watching cartoons. For veteran players and at these days, this title can bring a big bubble of oxygen full of nostalgia for one or two game sessions until you leave aside for being dull and little inventive.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game acquired by the reviewer.]