Whilst the character debuted all the way back in 1999, there has been no end to the love of SpongeBob SquarePants. We’re still getting new seasons of the show, new movies, and, with SpongeBob SquarePants: Cosmic Shake, a new video game to dive into too. Is it any good? Well, I certainly think it’ll appeal to its target audience, though the adventure might feel a bit too simple for some players.

Check out some screenshots down below:

SpongeBob Square Pants: Cosmic Shake brings another anarchic misadventure for the titular hero and his best pal Patrick, with the duo opening up a vortex to a myriad of wild dimensions known as Wishworlds after a mishap with wish-granting Mermaid’s Tears. I know that sounds utterly anarchic, but hey, what else would you expect? It’s up to SpongeBob and Patrick to venture through these dimensions in order to seal them off and save Bikini Bottom.

It’s a silly but fun tale that brings with it the same sense of humour players might have enjoyed for years across the TV show – something that’s further strengthened by the fact that the original writers were on board to put the story together. You’ve got the full original voice cast too, meaning you don’t have to listen to soundalikes but instead get an authentic SpongeBob adventure. If you’re a fan of SpongeBob, you’ll love the storytelling here, and you know what? I think newbies to the franchise will enjoy the humour too.

“It gets all of the basics right, with the controls feeling responsive and the general level design enjoyable.”

At its core, SpongeBob SquarePants: Cosmic Shake offers everything you’d expect from a 3D platformer. Fun platforming segments that’ll see you using varying abilities to get around? Check. Plenty of varied and whimsical worlds to explore that are full of quirky sights? Check. Enemies to beat up in a multitude of ways? Check. Plenty of abilities to unlock to keep traversal feeling fresh? Check.

It gets all of the basics right, with the controls feeling responsive and the general level design enjoyable. There’s even a good selection of boss battles, with some recognisable faces showing up to offer more diverse and challenging encounters. There’s PLENTY of fun to be had simply playing through the adventure, whilst the varying themes of each world (includes the likes of medieval, wild west, the stone age, and so forth) bring plenty of character to the experience.

Despite this, I couldn’t help but to be a little disappointed that everything felt so simple, linear, and by the numbers. SpongeBob SquarePants: Cosmic Shake doesn’t offer anything I haven’t seen before in a 3D platformer, whilst the easy difficulty meant I managed to get through the whole game without dying once. In fairness, I can imagine that the game has been designed to cater for a younger audience too, so the easy difficulty is somewhat understandable. However, the previous release Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated did at least offer some challenge and way more diversity in its gameplay, so it’s hard not to be a little underwhelmed by what’s offered here – especially since Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated was a remastered release of a game from 2003.

Check out some screenshots down below:

Does it mean I didn’t enjoy my time playing? Not at all, and I’ve even revisited the game to make sure I grabbed all the collectibles that I missed the first time around. I just hoped for a bit more from it, at least from a gameplay perspective, with imaginative set pieces few and far between. At least it looks great though, with the vivid landscapes and character designs all feeling befitting of the iconic under-the-sea world. The music and voice acting is top notch too, with the whimsical vibe of the series found in all aspects of the game’s audio and visual design.

SpongeBob SquarePants: Cosmic Shake Review

SpongeBob SquarePants: Cosmic Shake is a fun experience that captures the spirit of the series perfectly, but it’s a shame it doesn’t offer more variety and nuance in its gameplay. It’s very simple in design and lacks any real challenge, whilst I’d also argue the previous release (which was a remastered edition of a game from 2003) gave the player more freedom and diversity in how they play and explore the world.

That doesn’t mean it’s a bad game by any means and I have no doubt that SpongeBob fans will love it, but it does mean that it might not really capture the imagination of platforming fans who are unfamiliar with the series. The game gets all of the basics spot on and deserves praise for that, but you shouldn’t expect it to do anything that’ll surprise you during its simplistic adventure.

Developer: Purple Lamp
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Platform(s): PC (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Website: https://cosmicshake.thqnordic.com/