SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake Review: F.U.N. for All

There have been plenty of SpongeBob video games over the years, but they don’t always manage to capture what makes the show so charming. Thankfully, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake avoids many pitfalls having solid platforming gameplay and impressive production value that’s evident in its humorous script. As such, it’s the best SpongeBob game yet and a real treat for current fans or those that have nostalgia for its heyday.

At its core, The Cosmic Shake is a pretty standard platformer. Playing as SpongeBob, the player can attack enemies close and afar with a bubble wand, use a pizza box to glide between platforms, and collect plenty of jelly in order to restore balance to the universe. While it starts off a bit simplistic, the game does an excellent job of doling out new abilities, which makes the traversal quite more engaging. The grappling hook and homing kick contribute greatly to its standard platforming repertoire and make maneuvering through the colorful worlds a real joy.

Bikini Bottom serves as a hub world since the main missions all take place in alternate realities that all have generic but enjoyable themes. Seeing Mr. Krabs try to hide his identity as a wanted criminal in the Western world is an early delight, and so is Squidward acting as a hot-shot movie director. Not all are a total success, as the medieval level later in the game drags a bit, but most of the seven worlds are charming despite their straightforward nature.

Its presentation is the secret Krabby Patty sauce here, as Tom Kenny, Clancy Brown, Bill Fagerbakke, and the rest of the great voice cast return for the video game. The story has fun with the alternate versions and while the dialogue isn’t consistently hilarious, there are enough clever lines and moments that show how much thought went into it all. The back-and-forth between SpongeBob and Patrick is also a constant delight throughout thanks to the starfish being transformed into a balloon that essentially serves as a Navi-like guiding figure that isn’t as annoying.

Even loading screens feature the signature “a few moments later” time cards and the gross “realistic” close-ups of characters even appear in a few spots throughout the game. There are also some great unlockable outfits referencing some classic episodes, which yield more reasons to explore its levels and hunt for rewards. Developer Purple Lamp clearly understood the appeal of the series and did a great job making it feel like the show with all these small nods.

The Cosmic Shake also does a good job of threading the needle in terms of difficulty as SpongeBob is a franchise that will attract both adults with nostalgia and young kids. Checkpoints are plentiful and the game builds up in terms of difficulty. While the later levels and boss fights are trickier, the checkpointing and infinite lives mean that players will eventually figure out the patterns and succeed even if they have some trouble. The final boss fight is also its finest moment in terms of gameplay, so it builds and peaks quite well.

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake is exactly the type of licensed game we need more of. It’s loyal in tone to the show, while also being a good platformer that tells a worthwhile story within its universe. Its solid fundamentals that are cleverly built upon over time make it a worthy experience for most, but with a suite of well-designed references, SpongeBob fans will have an even better time, provided they don’t rip their pants purchasing it.

SCORE: 7.5/10

As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 7.5 equates to “Good.” A successful piece of entertainment that is worth checking out, but it may not appeal to everyone.

Disclosure: The publisher provided a PS4 copy for our SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake review. Reviewed on version 1.01.


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