Platformers are a staple within the world of gaming, crafting the stories of some iconic characters like Mario, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro and many more. Within these examples you have characters who were made by the platformer genre, but what happens when an iconic character is thrust into this style of gameplay.
Well in a sentence I didn’t think I would be saying this year, SpongeBob SquarePants has sailed his way onto the scene with April's PlayStation Plus games. Along with Hood: Outlaws and legends and Slay the Spire, SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated (You’ll need a drink after that mouthful) has become free to PS Plus subscribers. Although some people may have some sour opinions of the world-famous sponge and his friends, there can always be positives to a videogame adaptation mechanically.
As a fan of the yellow soap spitter growing up, I was curious if this was just a cash grab with no soul or if there was depth to this undersea adventure. I’m happy to confirm that this game is in fact a great time, providing simple but interesting platforming and puzzle-solving. Opening the world of Bikini Bottom and allowing players to jump, swing and spin through enemies and bosses scattered throughout.
I would be lying if I said that this game would grip all players. The humour parallels the shows, with some of the original cast lending their voices combined with some entertaining interactions and animations.
The platforming and combat are simplistic, forgiving and to be completely honest a good time. Each area allows SpongeBob to gain more powers to navigate areas and allows the player to swap out with SpongeBob’s friends. Each character has a different move set and has different skills to move through areas, providing a solid diversity between characters. These different skills can be used in both traversal and combat, meaning that every character feels unique.
The story of this game plays out like a few episodes of SpongeBob, with the overarching plot being that robots are attacking bikini bottom. After a quick tutorial in SpongeBob’s home (featuring the best snail ever) he is tasked with collecting golden spatulas to enter new areas of bikini bottom and to end the robot threat.
Unlike level-based platformers, the format of this game is semi-open world, allowing movement between these areas in a menu or by going through taxi gateways. Any players who have ever wanted to explore Bikini Bottom have their wish here, fleshing out the world with detail in each individual area.
As a father I find myself watching kids' shows with my son, SpongeBob being one of them currently. To see the Nickelodeon animated series and then to see this fleshed out, colourful and brilliantly animated platformer made me appreciate what I’m sure many fans do.
There are many companies that churn out video games with a well-known characters with little thought or minimal effort. Rehydrated proves that it not only has a soul but that it can flaunt its humour and provide an entertaining experience. Purple Lamp Studios did a great job with this game, and with the support from the creators of the show, they have crafted a solid, fun, action-adventure game.
If you’re a PS Plus subscriber I would say that this is an entertaining entry and would recommend giving this sudsy adventure a try. If you’re not then I would say only SpongeBob fans can truly enjoy this game for a big price tag, however that doesn’t take away from it being a solid experience all in all.
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