After the huge success of 2020’s Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated for modern consoles, the team at Purple Lamp Studios have delivered a sequel that progresses the series forward with gorgeous graphics on the Nintendo Switch system that combine with some fun platforming that rips open the multiverse for Spongebob and co. and incorporates some new Bikini Bottom characters into the mix. The fun platforming through the various universes offer a different side of each character, while still staying true to their core. Fans of Bikini Bottom young and old will love the show’s voice actors voicing their characters in this game. Spongebob Squarepants : The Cosmic Shake is the most fun I have had on the Nintendo Switch in a long time!
The story focuses on Spongebob and Patrick meeting the mermaid Kassandra who gives them a bottle of mermaid tears to use for blowing bubbles. Unbeknownst to the pair that mermaid tears have magical qualities, they go wild as expected and start ripping holes in the universe, creating a bunch of rifts that suck the residents of Bikini Bottom into. The underwater town is covered in cosmic jelly and overrun with creatures. Kassandra needs the pair to collect as much cosmic jelly as they can while jumping into each rift to rescue their friends and save the universe.
While it may feel like oh great another property doing a multiverse thing, this game warrants the premise by creating hilarious alternate versions of fan-favourite characters like Mr Krabbs, Sandy, Mrs Puff and many more. There are many in-jokes for fans of the series and movies, while still being entertaining for newcomers with its out-there style and universally loved humour.
Visually this game looks absolutely stunning on the Nintendo Switch system. I played in both docked and hand-held mode and found the colours to look incredibly vivid and detailed on the OLED Switch system. The cut scenes are incredibly cinematic and look similar to shots from the movie series, while still retaining the original animated styles from the TV series. Each Elseworld has a theme and it’s easy to forget a lot of the times that this world is set under the ocean. The wild west world in particular feels right out of a spaghetti western with its inhabitants, saloons, shoot outs and my personal favourite, riding a seahorse in place of a (land) horse. The developers this time have removed the laginess of the water effect to allow for seamless gameplay that allows characters to move more freely and help the detail of each world feel alive.
The platforming element of this game is solid. Each level offers a variety of different things to do apart from just reaching the goal. There are plenty of side missions to do for inhabitants, new areas of the worlds to explore and collectibles. Apart from collecting tons of cosmic jelly for Kassandra, there are a ton of characters to interact with in Bikini Bottom who offer side quests and open up the main world to reach previously unreachable parts of the homeworld. Controlling Spongebob is easy enough, in this game he does get a homing attack (similar to 3D Sonic games) and timing jumps across high-moving platforms provide the game’s most laborious of difficulties. Fortunately, you collect pairs of underwear and Patrick will come to your rescue when you don’t time your jump properly and plummet to almost certain death.
My only complaint about this game is that it is not available on next-gen consoles. While it was a lot of fun to play on the Switch again, admittedly it’s been a breath between good experiences on that console, having a shiny new Spongebob platformer on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S would have been a great thing. It is only a minor complaint, and the many people who have last-gen consoles will enjoy having a new game release built completely for those systems. I didn’t notice any performance issues on Switch. There was no screen tear or long loading screens (just to reiterate I played on the OLED model Switch).
Spongebob Squarepants : The Cosmic Shake is a huge step forward for the series. Purple Lamp Studios have taken the great elements of Battle for Bikini Bottom and improved on them in this game. Making Spongebob the only playable character and giving his new abilities and moves, really allows for the focus to be on the main character and others like Patrick and Sandy to deliver a great performance. The Bubble Board is among one of my favourite new additions to this game and I cannot wait to see what they come up with next. While the game is currently not available on next-gen consoles, if you have a Switch, I would argue that this is a fantastic addition to your game collection for both young and old.
Spongebob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake is available on Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch.
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