SpongeBob Squarepants Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated is an old school platformer that deserves to be revisited. From the title screen that plays the familiar theme song to the opening cutscene that makes you feel immersed in an episode of the television show, you can tell that the developers at THQ Nordic are fans of the show. They don’t miss a beat even including Gary, SpongeBob’s pet snail, in the opening tutorial. This re-master of the classic game feels fresh and plays great. It is one of those platformers that is fun for all ages regardless if you have seen one episode or every episode of the beloved animated series.
The game opens with a tutorial that has you exploring Spongebob’s House and collecting different colored flowers that are used to unlock new doors for more exploration. The developers have done an excellent job of walking you into the game slow enough that a novice player can pick it up and learn easily all while allowing the more advanced player to be able to explore the movements of the character at a pace that they may be more comfortable with. The goal of the opening level is to move about and collect several different colors of what is known as Shiny Objects to open the doors in SpongeBob’s House. SpongeBob’s life bar, which is located on the upper left corner of the screen, is made up of three pairs of underwear in bubbles. If SpongeBob takes damage he loses a pair of underwear but do not fret because you can find more underwear along your journey to collect. He can only wear three pairs of underwear at a time unless he finds the golden underwear which allows him to wear more than that limit. Collecting Golden Spatulas unlocks other areas of Bikini Bottom.
Controls and Features
On the Switch, the controls are fairly simple. You can read signs and talk to other characters by pressing the R button. By pressing the ZR button you pull up the number of items collected in the game. On the top left of the screen is your life bar. In the top center is the number of golden spatulas that you have collected, The top right corner of the screen houses the number of shiny objects that you have collected, The bottom right corner houses the number of Patrick’s socks you have collected. Pressing the A button allows you to jump. If you press it while SpongeBob is in the air he will do a double jump. Pressing Y allows SpongeBob to do a Bubble-Spin that smashes tikis, pushes buttons, or defeats robots. Using the B button in mid-air allows for a Bubble-Bounce Attack to smash tikis, robots or buttons on the ground. Pressing X on the ground does a Bubble-Bash Attack.
The game features all the characters you could ask for as SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy and Patrick are playable in the game. Other characters appear as NPC’s that will help you along your way. As you move between levels the cutscenes continue the story as if you were watching an episode of the cartoon. The levels are open world and allow for moving back and forth throughout them but also move you in a linear fashion from one objective to the next. The game has thirteen levels to explore as you fight off jellyfish, robots, and bosses to battle. Switching between characters allows for some variety of gameplay as they have different abilities. Spongebob relies on his Bubble moves for close combat, Patrick is a strong character and can pick up objects to throw, Sandy uses her lasso which allows for distance attacks. The game also features a horde mode multiplayer for up to two players on or offline.
Music and Art
The music and graphics have been upgraded from the original game. This game looks and sounds amazing. The music adds to the background as you play and is not overpowering. The sound effects and rhythm are on point with what is happening on the screen. The visuals are a masterpiece of animation. It really feels like you are taking control of SpongeBob and guiding him through an episode of the show. The developers have not skimped on a single detail as colors are vibrant and textures are exquisite down to each individual blade of seaweed and sparkles in the moving water. They even went so far as to animate SpongeBob when you are not moving. If the controller is left alone for a few minutes SpongeBob will dance, pose, and even make some very silly faces.
As a guy who really enjoys platformers, I would give this remaster of a classic game a 10 out of 10. The game has so much to do in collecting and exploring in the main title that you could play for hours and not even scratch the surface and that is even before you break out the multiplayer mode and explore it. THQ Nordic has remastered a classic for a new generation that is worth your time, satisfying, and enjoyable for any age. I recommend this game if you want to get away from a heavy game and just relax and have a good time while you play.