Review: SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developers: Purple Lamp Studios
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
"I'm ready!" SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake opens up with the quintessential line from the series. I can't help but feel the same as the titular character as I notice great animation and original voice actors. While I haven't played the last SpongeBob game, I was eager to see what The Cosmic Shake brings us in terms of playing in the world of SpongeBob.
I was not disappointed as I set out to explore Bikini Bottom with our favorite yellow sponge.
SpongeBob quickly gets himself into trouble by his innocence through possession of mermaid tears which grant him all his wishes. Within minutes of beginning the game, SpongeBob sends Bikini Bottom into chaos, and it's up to him to fix his mess. Thus, SpongeBob sets off to fix Bikini Bottom with an adorable balloon Patrick in tow.
Welcome to the Multiverse of SpongeBob.
The Cosmic Shake in question has sent the residents and some of the locations of the world of Bikini Bottom across the universes into different wish dimensions. With seven wish realms to explore, players see the many faces of SpongeBob as he dons costumes befitting each realm to find his friends and favored haunts and return them home to Bikini Bottom.
Tried and True Platformer Gameplay
Gameplay-wise, The Cosmic Shake is not anything particularly new. It's classic Mario 3D platformer fare, with different moves and abilities to allow puzzle-solving, fighting, and making a well-timed jump/glide/kick to get wherever needs going next. At times The Cosmic Shake is easy: jump from platform to platform until the next checkpoint is reached, ride a seahorse, and explore. At other times, it's challenging: Make a well-timed jump, hit a boss after a certain move, and solve a puzzle. For a typical platform gamer, The Cosmic Shake will be a walk in the park. For others, sufficiently challenging.
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake also boasts collectibles in the form of costumes, so if you're a trophy hunter/collectible gamer, it offers plenty in terms of completing timed runs to get coins to unlock more SpongeBob costumes for in-game purchase with the jellies that can be picked up along the way.
The game comes complete with fully-voiced characters, fun cinematic scenes, one loading screen laters, and lots of little giggly bits, whether that's Patrick bringing SpongeBob a pair of square underpants to save his life or SpongeBob playing up his most meme-able moments throughout the game.
Overall, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake offers plenty of fun if you're looking for something simple and set in a world plenty of us are familiar with. Experienced gamers will get through it quickly, and kids will definitely love it. $39.99 for a fully voiced game with cinematics and well-done 3D animation seems like a fair price; however, this is easily a game one could wait for a sale on when they're looking for their next platforming fix.