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June 30, 2005

REVIEW: SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom

  • Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, GameBoy Advance
  • Current Price (new): $20
  • Amount of Game Played: 100% (we finished the game, though we still have to round up a few stray Golden Spatulas)
Kids are an easy target for licensed games, kinda like they are for licensed breakfast cereals. As long as their favorite character is on the box, they're going to be thrilled when you bring it home. The question is how happy they'll be after the proverbial "first bowl."

These days, when a licensed game is released, many of us approach with skepticism, having been burned by bad licensed titles so often. The problem being that when so much cash goes into the license bucket, that leaves a lot less for the "let's develop a quality game" bucket.

In this case, rest easy. This is one of the best licensed kids games to come out in the last few years.

So basically, it all comes down to personal preference. If your kids like SpongeBob, they'll love SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom. If they don't like SpongeBob, they won't be quite so thrilled.

In our case, my kids like the show, and they love the game.

It's a fun, whimsical game, with many inside jokes from the TV show. There are many colorful levels, and while there are certainly goals to be achieved (Golden Spatulas & Patrick's socks - see? whimsical!), your kids can just run around and explore as they see fit. And they can jump in and out of any level they've already completed, which is great, because the kids love to play their favorite parts over & over again.

Other than fellow Northwestern alum (Go Cats!) Clancy Brown (Mr. Krabs), whose understudy does a pretty good job, all of the voice actors from the TV show are present and accounted for in this game, which makes a big difference.

The game is easy enough that your younger kids shouldn't have that much trouble picking up the controller and playing right away. But there's also enough challenge to keep your older kids interested as well.

Finally, this is a fun game for the family to play together. Of course, parents need to like (or at least tolerate) the TV show, too, or else they won't want to play for very long. I had a great time playing this game with the kids.

Favorite Levels:
    • Sand Mountain
    • SpongeBob's Dream
    • Robo-Patrick
That's it for my first thumbnail review. It's a little longer than I intended, but what are ya gonna do?

EDIT (7/3): After some quiet reflection, this will actually be the default length of my future reviews.


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