February 12, 2023

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake (Steam) Review

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SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake (Steam) Review

By Joel | February 12, 2023
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake

There's an audience for this type of game. After all, it's on Steam's Most Popular Releases, so there's that. But who's the game really for? I guess if the series made you smile, even a little, you're a candidate for this game.

Based on Nickelodeon's morning cartoons, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake takes you to the underwater world, in a pineapple house on a hill much larger inside than out, next to a friendly jellyfish, a squid, a squirrel, and a crab. Law is enforced only by the gentleness of the characters.

SpongeBob Cosmic Shake is an enjoyable, challenging game that both adults and children can enjoy together. Something not many other games can provide.

Who Lives In a Pineapple?

This isn't the first game for developer Purple Lamp Studios. One of their early titles was SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated released in 2020 to an overwhelmingly positive response.

Based in Vienna, Purple Lamp is a hefty development house, consisting of highly skilled individuals who have sharpened their skills from genre to genre. To my recollection, they've lent their talents to other games, including, The Guild 3 and Sea of Thieves.

The game starts with traditional SpongeBob flair: The lovable sponge wakes up to a beautiful morning, singing and dancing, ready to take a trip to Gloveworld, for a "Glovely good time" with his constant companion, Patrick. But Patrick isn't ready to wake up just yet. After all, jellyfishes need at least 8 hours of beauty sleep.

All the characters from the series are present, including the cantankerous, Squidward, Mr. Krabs, the owner of Bikini Bottoms' best fast food joint, The Krusty Krab, and Plankton, a slithering organism who runs the most unsuccessful food stand, The Chum Bucket.

Sandy Cheeks, a squirrel, is the only non-aquatic character in the game who stays alive by breathing through a 1930s-type scuba gear apparatus. Why she decides to live as a bottom dweller beneath the sea, I'll never know. But she's a loyal friend to SpongeBob, so she's good in my book.

SpongeBob Cosmic Shake is an enjoyable, challenging game that both adults and children can enjoy together. Something not many other games can provide.

The Great Shakedown

SpongeBob, like all sponges I assume, has a thing about cleanliness, and to watch him help Sandy clear out her yard is inspiring. First, he learns how to do a spin attack and plunges head first to clear out all the debris exuding soap bubbles from every pore. He then hurries back to get Patrick and start their journey.

On their way, the two come upon a group of cool kids who discard them like yesterday's news, leaving SpongeBob dejected. This bitter verdict leaves him questioning his position in the hierarchy of life.

It is here that we're introduced to Madame Kassandra, a purveyor of magic, who sells SpongeBob a bottle of "magic bubbly soap" which can breathe life into dreams and grants unconditional wishes. Just what he needs.

Little do SpongeBob and Patrick realize that the bubble maker belongs to King Neptune, and any mere mortal that uses it will suffer the King's wrath. With a puff of smoke, a giant portal opens and engulfs the entire world of Bikini Bottom and its inhabitants with it.

This is where the adventure begins and where SpongeBob thrives. You see, he may be a quick-witted goofy kid, but he's smart, he learns fast, and he has always been determined to amount to something.

Because Bikini Bottom has been wiped away, alternative worlds need to be introduced. Of course, they still look like places we know, since only the fabric and color change add to the subtle appearance.

Bikini Bottom, for example, is now Halloween Rock Bottom, and Jelly Fish Fields replace the open area where SpongeBob and Patrick would often go to catch jellyfish, only to release them once caught. In a few of the cartoons, this was called the 'Great Jellyfish Migration'.

SpongeBob Cosmic Shake is an enjoyable, challenging game that both adults and children can enjoy together. Something not many other games can provide.

SpongeBob, You Da Man!

The rest of the game is played in traditional platforming style with some nice puzzle-solving elements thrown in for good measure. The gameplay is reminiscent of Super Mario Galaxy, Crash bandicoot, and Banjo, so if you've played those, you'll be familiar with the concept and controls immediately.

The levels are diverse but never frustrating. The pacing is often left open to deliberately allow players a chance to marvel, explore, and view the wonderful world around it. Each unique world offers certain charms and is filled with a large amount of energy and smiles.

Add to this the cutscenes are wonderful, the writing is top-class, and the voice acting is performed by the original voice-over actors, and you have yourself a game that can be, in many instances, constructed to look like a big blockbuster movie.

The opening intro, for example, is inexplicable, unexpected, and very funny, which set the mood for the entire game and had me smiling the rest of the way, This is how to grab your audience.

All of this, of course, happens in brilliant animation with bright colors and is ever so much more entertaining than you could ever imagine. No doubt right now you're asking yourself why you have read this far, given perhaps, the near certainty that you would never go anywhere near a SpongeBob game, unless, of course, you are the parent of a SpongeBob fan, or were raised watching the cartoons, in which case, your fate is sealed. Buy it.

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