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SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake Review - Average Victory

EDITORS' RATING : 6 / 10
Pros
  • Faithfully recreates the SpongeBob universe
  • Standard platforming affair great for younger players
  • Bill Fagerbakke shines as Patrick Star
Cons
  • Choppy camera
  • Controls could be a lot tighter
  • Feels quickly pieced together in parts

A PS4 code was provided to Zaaz for this review. "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake" will be available on January 31, 2023, for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

SpongeBob and crew are back and ready for action in "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake." In the game, players take control of SpongeBob as he embarks on an adventure to save Bikini Bottom from an unknown cosmic force.

If you're a fan of the franchise, you may be eager to try out this game and compare it to the original series — to which you will be plenty delighted. Everything from the series has been faithfully recreated. All of the beloved characters, from Sandy Cheeks and Patrick Star to Squidward Tentacles and Plankton, make an appearance in the game. Even Old Man Jenkins and Tom (of "Chocolate" fame) make an appearance.

All that said, it's important to remember that this platformer isn't exactly a title created for the generation that actually grew up alongside everyone's favorite sponge. "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake" is unabashedly a game made for a younger gaming audience and should be viewed as such. The game is relatively easy and straightforward to allow kids to have fun while they play — veteran platformer fans will find it a breeze to get through. But that doesn't mean the game lacks substance. It's still an enjoyable experience overall, even though it often feels stitched together and rushed in parts.

Bikini Bottom-ish

At its core, "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake" is a 3D platformer in which you take control of SpongeBob and explore various levels scattered throughout Bikini Bottom. Well, technically, you'll be taking cosmic portals to Bikini Bottom-like worlds as you seek to stop the real Bikini Bottom from becoming an afterthought.

Throughout each world — which ranges in everything from the wild west to a dojo to a pirate ship-packed cove — you'll jump around each level using SpongeBob's double-jump and pizza box glider, take on enemies, collect cosmic jelly, solve platforming puzzles, and fight bosses as you progress through each level. The controls are quite simple and easy to learn; however, they can become frustrating at times due to the lack of precision when it comes to jumping from platform to platform or attacking enemies.

There is a good amount of variety in each level, whether you're scaling a tower, hopping across a moving train, or tongue surfing as Caveman SpongeBob. Although the levels themselves lack in complexity, they make up for it in sheer fun and charm.

More Patrick Star is always the answer

As fun as the actual visuals are, along with their commitment to recreating the world of Bikini Bottom, the graphics in "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake" are nothing to write home about. The textures and models are the quality you'd expect from a kid's platformer, making the visuals nothing too extraordinary. That said, the cutscenes do manage to impress, as they show off the world in a more crisp and cinematic way.

Other than certain obnoxiously repeating sound bites (just count how many times SpongeBob says, "A dab'll do ya," over the course of five minutes), the audio and sound design are also quite good, with the always brilliant voice-acting from Tom Kenny (the original voice actor for SpongeBob). That said, albeit unsurprisingly, Bill Fagerbakke steals the show as Patrick Star, with simple, perfectly-timed one-liners that will never fail to make you smile. Finally, the music will immediately put you in the SpongeBob universe, as it's a mix of classic tunes from the TV show along with some original tracks.

Gather 'round the campfire and play The Cosmic Shake

"SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake" will take around 4-6 hours for most players to complete. However, there is some replay value here thanks to hidden collectibles scattered throughout each level and an achievement system that encourages repeat playthroughs.

At the end of the day, "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake" is a game made for kids. It's a great starter title for younger players who may just be starting to cut their teeth on the platforming genre. The chaos taking place in Bikini Bottom is a lot to take in at once, but the game does a good job of directing you where to go and what you need to do next.

There are definitely moments that could use some tightening up — such as the camera, controls, and editing overall — but "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake" is worth checking out if you're a fan of the franchise or just want something casual to play for a few hours. Don't expect anything truly groundbreaking here. But, if you're looking for an entertaining platformer with some nostalgic vibes (or if you have kids and are in need of a family game night title) then this one is certainly worth it.

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