24 September 2023

Indie Corner Games

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SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake true to the core

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake is another very successful adaptation. All the comic fun of the animated series oozes from every corner of this title.

One of the most consistent questions during my childhood days was… Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? I believe that many of you reading this article have also asked themselves this question several times, even if it was just while singing the opening song of SpongeBob SquarePants with Patchy the Pirate. The fun adventures of the little sponge debuted in the late 90s and continue to this day with the continuation of the animated series, film adaptations and even video games.

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake is another very successful adaptation. All the comic fun of the animated series oozes from every corner of this title. This time around, the inhabitants of the peculiar region of Bikini Bottom find themselves under a complex collision of different realities. While enjoying a walk with his friend Patrick, Spongebob encounters a mysterious figure named Kassandra, a merchant that sells somewhat obscure objects. In the recurring naivety of our friend, coins are exchanged for a container with soap that, when blown, makes it possible to create soap balloons and on each balloon, it is possible to make a wish. As it couldn’t be otherwise, Spongebob decides to grant the wishes of all his friends because, in fact, what are friends for if not to help make wishes come true? The problem is that when the balloons burst, the Universe is shaken in such a way that gates to other multiverses begin to appear, which suck everyone and while giving a new identity, transports them to recognizable locations from the series mixed with a new theme. The objective will therefore be to restore the entire universe and save all the inhabitants trapped in the different multiverses.

This adventure is not mechanically different from its predecessor, which for some reason didn’t grab me as much as this new adaptation. Being a 3D platformer where it’s very important to keep jumping precision, Spongebob is equipped with his traditional double jump and his spin-attack to control enemies. At certain times it is necessary to use new skills like the hook swing just like Spider-Man and the karate kick to open doors, or even quickly jump from enemy to enemy.

Each level presents itself in a very different way from the previous one, although quite linear, there is always some room for exploration, mainly to capture the secret items of each level. Unfortunately, all collectibles are just cosmetic and do not have any impact on gameplay, such as upgrades of any kind. It is thus possible to completely ignore its secondary content, and move on to completing the main mission of each world.

There are 5 different worlds, such as the Pirate Goo Lagoon where one of the objectives will be to recover all of Captain Flying Dutchman’s socks, or the “haunted” world of Halloween Rock Bottom. In each new world that Spongebob enters, it is assigned a specific custom and although it has no direct impact on the gameplay itself, it adds an extra charm. It is also possible to explore all the corners of the Bikini Bottom region, in a kind of “main room” where you can select the levels you want to venture into, even though at the beginning they are all closed.

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake on every level felt a lot more cohesive and eye-catching than its predecessor. All the fun and jokes are on point and I would even say they seem more aimed at old fans of the series. There are so many jokes and references that it was hard to stop smiling during my time in the game. It’s not revolutionary in any way but it stays true to its core and that’s something to be commended.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game for PS5 provided by THQ Nordic]