SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake - Hands-on Preview
WHOOO LIVES IN A PINEAPPLE UNDER THE SEA?
Okay, so we all know it’s SpongeBob SquarePants, who is set to make his next video game appearance in the upcoming 3D platformer SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake. I stepped into the virtual shoes of everyone’s favourite overly optimistic resident of Bikini Bottom at PLAION’s preview event last week, and I’ve gotta say – this game seems to be shaping up to be a lot of fun.
While I didn’t learn much more about the basic premise of the game than what’s already been revealed, what we do know is this – SpongeBob and Patrick have ripped the universe open in a burst of overexcitement (relatable), scattering their friends across spaces known as “Wishworlds”. Upon receiving a vial of legendary Mermaid’s Tears, which are said to grant wishes to “those who are pure of heart” (making SpongeBob and Patrick ideal candidates), the dynamic duo went a little wild and their wishes turned into a chaotic flurry, releasing Chaotic Jelly into Bikini Bottom and opening a bunch of portals to these Wishworlds. So of course, it’s up to the pair to visit these worlds and save their friends, taking out the bad guys and looking adorable along the way.
I only got to spend 15 minutes with the game, during which I played through part of a level called Wild West Jellyfish Fields, which is basically exactly what it sounds like. The level saw SpongeBob donning an adorable cowboy hat and going on a quest to tap some cacti and obtain cactus juice for a mysterious stranger, who was definitely not Mr. Krabs (but was absolutely Mr. Krabs wearing a moustache, rendering him unrecognisable). Accessing the cacti required some standard platforming fare – jumping across pillars and wooden planks, gliding, and doing some cartwheels along the way.
Playing this game felt like pure nostalgia for me and was exactly the sort of thing I would have played for hours on the Nintendo 64 as a kid, only this looks a lot slicker. The controls feel smooth, with SpongeBob’s cartwheel-style dodge making darting around between enemies a breeze as you prepare to spin-kick or ground-pound them into oblivion. For enemies that you just want to get out of the way, you can use your bubble gun to enclose them in a bubble, taking away their defences or rendering them temporarily powerless. Patrick flies along beside you but didn’t seem to help much during this particular session, though I’m keen to see whether that changes in other sections of the game.
As far as tie-in games go, this one feels particularly polished. The graphics are vibrant and slick, and perfect for the wacky, wholesome tone of SpongeBob. The characters are all voiced by their original actors, and 101 songs from the series are included on the soundtrack – one of which you can see in the announcement trailer below. If this short demo was anything to go by, this game is going to be pure fun for all ages, making it a perfect match for the series.