Life at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, at Bikini Atoll, flows peacufully. If there is a problem, it immediately is rushed to solve by Spongebob, naively brave and overly positive – so much so that even annoying. 17 years later, he returned in the remake of the platformer SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom, which received the Supplement Rehydrated. THQ Nordic entrusted the project to Purple Lamp Studios, which still does not finish “The Guild 3”. it turned out to be both a Museum and an attraction named after Spongebob.

A brilliant past.

In BfBB, the sneaky Plankton has created an army of robots. However, they refused to obey the Creator – the villain forgot to pull one of the levers on the production line. Save yourself, citizens of Bikini bottom – wild pieces of iron are driving hard on the streets ! The town is like a center. At first, you can wonder around the house of the main character, look at Squidward, check on Patrick, have a small talk with Bubble Buddy and Mr. Krabs. What a deal! A taxi will take you to Medusa fields, Goo Laguna beach, Sand mountain resort, and so on. At the destination point, either the usual large level is waiting, divided into more modest zones, or a duel with the boss.

Along the way, Spongebob collects Golden petals, glitter and Patrick’s socks. Glitter fall from fallen enemies and broken statues. The character attracts them like a magnet, so there is no need for extra gestures. This saves time, because you can’t run in the remake, as in the original. Of the three available heroes (Bob, Patrick, and sandy the squirrel), only the yellow sponge can move faster than usual if it comes across at another spongebob. Socks, unlike glitters, are well hidden. Both “currencies” are exchanged for petals. It is the petals in BfBB that are most important – they are needed to pass into new zones. For example, to get into the Chum Bucket, the residence of Plankton, you will need 75 petals. Some of them you will get in no time, and others you will chew out with the determination of a hyperactive cartoon star, grabbing the tasks of Mrs. Puff, trying to break records on race tracks and performing acrobatic feats. BfBB is considered to be a genre of collect-a-thon (the main task is to find all sorts of toys), but the authors do not force to vacuum all of locations. On the other hand, you will run two-thirds of the game at a jog, without breaking your head over how to get hold of petals to finally break through to the final boss.

In 2003, different versions of BfBB were released on consoles and PC: on consoles – the usual platformer (it was revived by the Austrian Studio), on PC – a collection of mini-games.

Square Pants vs square robots.

Spongebob, Patrick, and Sandy have different abilities. The first one smashes blocks over his head like Mario, launches a bubble rocket and a bubble bowling ball, and is not afraid to cry into the hole from a bungee. The second shocks enemies and throws objects, including an ice cube, freezing water. The third floats on a lasso and clings to hooks hanging from the ceiling. You can change your character at the bus stop. Locations are designed in such a way that you need to pass them by two characters – a sponge and a starfish or a sponge and a squirrel. For example, they won’t let you show up with Patrick in Rock bottom, he just doesn’t have the abilities that allow you to overcome the level.

So, the rotation of characters is an important moment that accelerates the repetition of arcade gameplay. Wake up from the routine and opponents. At first, it seems that there is nothing special about them – they flicker against the background, crumble from one or two blows. Then you notice that small ones are moving around under your feet, robots are buzzing more persistently in the air, and the most obnoxious ones are shooting from afar. It is not often that you encounter intelligent ordinary enemies in platformers. Bosses also bring variety. First, they are ridiculous – like the king of jellyfish, without hesitation taking a shower in the open air. Secondly, they resemble the enemies from Super Mario Odyssey, that is, they expect you to be a little skillful and observant. I support this approach! Most of all in BfBB I was pleased with the racing stages, cheerful and famously twisted. A whole level (Sand mountain) is dedicated to them. The only complaint – any glitter from broken idols flies in the face, blocking the view.

Whether BfBB is a children’s game or hardcore – everyone will decide for themselves. On the one hand, difficulties with jumping over stakes and dodging inflatable dragons will not arise, and unstable platforms, turning cubes and moving supports are familiar to players from other arcades. Checkpoints are plentiful, teleport boxes link the beginning and end of the stage, and you can easily transfer to any point in the world via the map. For the death of Purple Lamp Studios does not punish. On the other hand, the remake got from the original disease of the PS2 era. Levels are tricky and confusing (take the Seaweed forest): you will go a little deeper into them and instantly forget what people asked you to do. Here and there are invisible walls. In Bikini bottom, it is not allowed to enter certain territories – a miracle hand will pop out from behind the frame and move Spongebob five centimeters to the left. With a mandatory download! In some places, robots are actively reborn, even if the cooking machine is not chugging along. Vulnerable areas on opponents sometimes have to be skilfully targeted. Or here: it seems to have jumped to the platform, in fact-stepped on the wrong pixel and fell. Or so: a cactus grows, and you will not guess that you can also push off from it and climb higher. Purple Lamp Studios couldn’t keep up with technical errors before the release. Water is required to kill heroes, but in fact this does not always happen. I also managed to soar above the Medusa fields – I did not leave the atmosphere but rebooted.

The second unique feature of the remake, in addition to updated graphics – is multiplayer (local and over the Network). It is similar to the Horde mode from Gears. Here I propose four additional characters: the Krabs, Squidward, Plankton’s robot and Gary.

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom-Rehydrated – a remake that can be complemented. Tests and management are not annoying, from time to time you come across original instructions. It’s just as enjoyable to play as Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy and Spyro Reignited Trilogy. As a platformer, “Spongebob” is still inferior to Yooka-Laylee.

And finally, a warning for those who are not among the SpongeBob fans, but want to try out the remake. Design and architecture are specific here. Gamma too bright, children’s, someone will say – blood runs out of eyes. Jokes are written with an eye on children, however, in the imagination of the creators of the animated series cannot be denied. If the above did not scare you off, then feel free to jump on the Board!

Pros: good graphics and animation (just look at Patrick!); responsive controls (and the buttons here are not confused, unlike Indivisible); cheerful voice acting; there are stenciled for platformers exercises, and there are original ones.

Minuses: the plot is formal, the motivation in the form of chasing Golden petals quickly exhausts itself; the level design and logic of a number of missions are greetings from the early 2000s.

Project details

  • Year: 2020
  • Developer: Purple Lamp Studios