Bouncing recently onto console and PC comes SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake. Developed by Vienna-based Purple Lamp (Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated) along with publishers THQ Nordic, your favourite and sometimes annoying yellow sponge is back for a new adventure.
Who Lives in a Pineapple Under the Sea?
After blowing “magical” bubbles from an innocent-looking bottle of soap that had been purchased from a mermaid fortune teller, SpongeBob, along with his faithful companion Patrick, find out that they are in fact mermaid tears belonging to King Neptune. Cue craziness as buildings and characters are sucked into a portal. Can SpongeBob get all of his friends back and restore Bikini Bottom back to normal?
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake is a single-player 3D platformer where you play as the formidable SpongeBob. With 7 newly formed wish worlds to explore, it is down to you and Patrick (who is now a blown-up balloon version of his former self) to enter each portal and get to the goal at the end.
As far as platformers go, the mechanics are fairly standard with the key movements being to jump, spin attack and glide your way through the linear courses. As you progress through each level you pick up a few extra moves such as the Fish hook swing as well as optional collectables.
Picking up cosmic jelly and gold doubloons allows you to unlock various costumes that have been featured in the Nickelodeon series while the worlds that you adventure in such as the Wild West Jellyfish Fields and Halloween Rock Bottom are also recognisable from the show.
While traversing through each world, you will come up against platforms that move and break quickly as well as puzzles to solve using your various short and long-range attacks. Gliding can be at times tricky however this is more down to camera angles and spotting your shadow to identify where you are going to land.
Combat is a fairly simple affair whereby you constantly spin attack and jump-slam your way through enemies. At times the area you are in becomes enveloped by a force field that prevents you from leaving, therefore you must eliminate all of the enemies before you can carry on. There is a diverse amount of enemies to battle with each requiring slightly different approaches at times. Should you lose a life, depicted on the screen by the number of underpants in bubbles, then there always seems to be a bountiful amount within the area to help replenish them as well as Patrick who, on occasion, drops a pair off to you.
Boss battles test your skill of dodging charges, obstacles and weapon fire, all of which give plenty of warning as to where the danger lies. The sequences are methodical, but exciting, due to the variation in what is happening on the screen while the constant flow of the gameplay keeps you on the thumbsticks and buttons at all times.
Graphics & Audio
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake is bright and colourful, giving a faithful representation of the characters and world that fans of SpongeBob will enjoy. At times the camera can be a bit squiffy, however, this is nothing new when it comes to a 3D platformer.
The pace of the animations, along with the slapstick comedy, brings to life the world of SpongeBob and it does feel as though you are watching an episode while you play.
Whenever a game is based on a TV show, I always worry that they have used different voice actors which I find can make the game less immersive. Thankfully with SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake, all of the characters are voiced by the recognisable original cast.
With the game fully narrated throughout the cut scenes and gameplay, this only leaves the soundtrack to chat about. The composers of Battle for Bikini Bottom are back with new music that brings the story to life. With different styles of music reflecting each of the levels, combined with dozens of songs from the series, it is sure to put a smile on your face.
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake has around 8 hours of gameplay when going through the main campaign, although if you were to try and collect everything you can you are probably looking for nearly double that time!
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake is a fun-to-play 3D platformer that gives a solid representation of the TV show. While I enjoy having a good family-friendly game to let the children play, there is no ground-breaking game mechanics as such, however, there is a lot of enjoyment to be had while trying to rescue all of your friends and restore Bikini Bottom. It is a shame that there is no co-op option given that SpongeBob and Patrick are an iconic duo, as this would be a perfect game for it.
I give SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake the Thumb Culture K
rabby Patty Gold Award!
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.