SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake Hands-On Impressions
Wacky adventures with your favorite yellow sponge
Rescuing Residents of Bikini Bottom
The latest platforming adventure in a videogame series spanning multiple decades, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake starts off in the well-known Bikini Bottom. A dimension-shattering event involving a mysterious bubble blower causes absolute chaos, sending Mr. Krabs, Sandy, Squidward, and other residents into alternate realities. SpongeBob and Patrick must set out to rescue their friends, and ultimately save the universe!
Given the situation, The Cosmic Shake is a wacky adventure where just about anything goes. Patrick has turned into a balloon, Gary into a giant slime monster, Mr. Krabs into a wanted criminal, and much more. Various minigames integrated into platforming gameplay add variation and plenty of collectibles scattered about encourage exploration. While the general flow of The Cosmic Shake is linear, worlds have quite a few hidden areas and items to discover.
Thematic Locations Across the Multiverse
Players can expect to visit wildly different themed areas in The Cosmic Shake, from a spooky Halloween town to a fearsome pirate battle along the beach. Depending on the location, SpongeBob will also sport a relevant costume, like a cowboy outfit (I won’t spoil the rest). There was definitely a level of suspense in jumping into the multi-dimensional portal and discovering each new location, as you are never quite sure what’s to come. A significant collection of cutscenes make the game a consistently entertaining affair even if the platforming stays relatively simple, ultimately lending itself well to younger players.
Karate Kicking Jelly Monsters Into Oblivion
As you progress through the game, Spongebob will learn tons of interesting moves like karate kicks that fling him into various targets and a nifty grappling hook that makes aerial traversal a breeze. Enemy monsters hardly stand a chance, but battles can get frenzied once projectiles fill the screen. Fortunately, maneuvering SpongeBob is super smooth and the various moves in his arsenal are quite powerful. Boss battles are a bit trickier, but a useful dodge roll definitely comes in handy.
Wacky Jokes, References, and Gags Galore
The game’s lighting and animations are fluid and simply the best in any Spongebob title to date. Add on iconic voice acting, and The Cosmic Shake ends up being a fantastic videogame representation of the popular cartoon. Fans of the series will be delighted to find plenty of easter eggs and references to the show. Even characters like the “Chocolate Guy” make an appearance! If you aren’t familiar with the hundreds of Spongebob memes out there, the game still offers plenty of gags that don’t require any insider knowledge. Patrick especially serves as an entertaining partner, even if he doesn’t serve any purpose other than to sprout nonsense and float around in his balloony form.