It’s hard to imagine, but the SpongeBob cartoon series has been on the air for over 25 years. Many of its followers are now adults who grew up watching their friends’ aquatic escapades. Unfortunately, the authors of the current yellow sponge game forgot that the series’ strength is global comedy that can make everyone laugh, regardless of age.
Purple Lamp Studios is behind the series adaption, the same studio that worked on the remake of SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom two years ago. Because the updated version was well welcomed by the brand’s followers, production on the sequel began, resulting in the current installment dubbed The Cosmic Shake. This time, rebellious pals unintentionally precipitate a cosmic disaster, resulting in the splitting of the Universe’s structure. The consequences of the error reach Bikini Bottom, which is inundated by a wave of murderous animals. SpongeBob SquarePants and his dimwitted pal Patrick set out on a quest to restore order to the cosmos and preserve their beloved city. Despite my internal hesitation to critique the storyline of a performance whose primary audience is, after all, children, I cannot disguise my displeasure. It is not difficult to detect strands geared for an older audience in the SpongeBob series. Every now and again, the designers smile at us, mockingly depicting Mr. Krabs abusing his staff and Squidward, bored of everyday routine. Meanwhile, Purple Lamp Studios’ latest game is lacking of the aforementioned universality. I appreciate that the title’s target demographic is mostly younger viewers, but the tale might have been little more varied for older series fans. Meanwhile, we have a production in which those who have been fans of the brand for years will find nothing for themselves, which is unfortunate.
In terms of gameplay, the new edition is virtually identical to its predecessor. Again, SpongeBob spends the most of the game bouncing from level to platform, avoiding traps and defeating various sorts of monsters. The basic duel concept has been slightly enhanced to include the ability to pull yourself to distant opponents. In turn, the developers enhanced the map’s mobility by gliding with a pizza box. We see the happenings from behind the hero’s back once more. However, I’m not sure why the developers deleted some key aspects from the first portion. There is no cooperative option here; in earlier versions, you could play with a friend on a split screen or via the Internet. Furthermore, in Battle for Bikini Bottom, we could play as SpongeBob’s buddies, but in The Cosmic Shake, we never stopped controlling the primary character.
The ability to modify the difficulty level would improve the gaming experience, which I thought was lacking, especially during boss encounters. None of them posed me any problems, even if the themes for the duels themselves were fairly exciting, but well-known from previous performances. It’s a shame, because it was an easy method to appeal to somewhat older yellow sponge enthusiasts. However, this is not a game that attempts to compete with genre titans like Ratchet and Clank. I’d rather place it on the same shelf as Kangaroo Kao or Spyro, which are more modest medium-budget creations that can be played on practically any machine setup.
The publication of the latest adventures of SpongeBob and pals in complete Polish language version, with involvement of famous voice actors from the Polish version of the series, deserves to be recognized. Although it appears that this should be the standard in titles primarily aimed at younger audiences, more and more games fail in this regard.
In many aspects, the production disappointed me, yet I don’t consider it a failure. The Cosmic Shake is just a title that caters to a certain demographic. The younger SpongeBob fans will have a good time, but so will the older ones.