SpongeBob fans have been asking for it and now it’s finally here! The remake of one of the most iconic SpongeBob games has landed on Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC via Purple Lamp Studios and THQ Nordic. SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated brings the 2003 cult classic to modern consoles with a few updates.
You’ll play as SpongeBob, Patrick and Sandy as you rid Bikini Bottom from the rampant robots that Plankton let loose. If you’re up for some nautical nonsense, then read on and drop on the deck and flop like a fish!
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated Details
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Purple Lamp Studios
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Genre: Platform, action-adventure
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
Plankton is up to his old tricks, yet again!
Plankton, the evil genius owner of the Chum Bucket, is up to his old tricks again! This time, he has built a new machine called the Duplicatotron 3000 to create an army of robots to steal Mr. Krabs’ Krabby Patty secret formula. As you might expect, Plankton’s plan doesn’t go as planned.
While creating his evil army of robots, Plankton accidentally forgot to change the switch on the Duplicatotron from “Don’t Obey” to “Obey”. As a result, hundreds of robots have kicked Plankton out of the Chum Bucket and are wreaking havoc all over Bikini Bottom! As a result, it’s up to SpongeBob, Patrick and Sandy to rid Bikini Bottom of Plankton’s evil robots and shut down the Duplicatotron 3000 once and for all.
While the story isn’t really much to write home about, it never really takes itself too seriously. Fans will instantly recognize the same humour and hijinks that the TV show and movies are well known for is included in the game. Essentially, the plot for this game could very well have been an episode for the TV show.
Enhanced gameplay over the original
If you’re a fan of 3D platformers from the ’90s to early ’00, you’ll know exactly what to expect. Golden spatulas are the keys to unlocking new areas and these are generally earned by collecting a number of other items, which in turn gives you access to a golden spatula. Or, by collecting shiny objects throughout Bikini Bottom and trading them in to Mr. Krabs. And, 10 of Patrick’s socks are scattered throughout levels, which can be redeemed for a golden spatula from Patrick himself.
While there aren’t any character specific items needed to collect the golden spatulas, you’ll need to use SpongeBob, Patrick and Sandy to access the various different locations in Bikini Bottom. Speaking of characters, each of the 3 characters have their own unique set of moves and abilities. For example, SpongeBob can smash enemies with a Viking hat. On the other hand, Patrick can pick up and throw enemies and various fruits to hit switches. Finally, Sandy can glide for long distances in the air.
Gameplay has seen some quality of life improvements such as tighter controls, the ability to use some characters moves in the air where they couldn’t before and so on. I still found difficulties on the odd occasion when trying to jump onto platforms, as their precise locations were hard to judge. As a result, I’d fall to my death or down to a lower part of the level requiring me to make my way back up again.
Significantly improved visuals and sound
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated uses the Unreal Engine 4 for significantly improved visuals over the original 2003 release. Purple Lamp has done a great job providing vibrant, full of colour, and much more lively environments. Additionally, the remastered soundtrack kicks things up a notch and provides a much higher and cleaner sound quality.
Moreover, all 3 playable characters feature new idle animations, and are animated more fluidly. Additionally, SpongeBob’s character model has been updated and is now based on his season 12 design rather than the original game’s season 2 design.
The archived recordings of the original voice acting was used in this remaster. And, sadly, the only 2 characters who are not voiced by their original actors are still Mr. Krabs and mermaid Man. While the voice acting for these characters are still great, as a long time fan of the show it sounds awkward and out of place.
New multiplayer mode
The biggest new addition to Rehydrated is the multiplayer horde mode, which uses a boss that was cut from the original game—Robo-Squidward. Two players work together or against each other online or locally with the intent of surviving waves of robot enemies.
In addition to the 3 playable characters from the main story, four additional characters are available to choose from: Mr. Karbs, Gary, Squidward and Robo-Plankton. While the addition of horde mode is a nice touch, it feels like it was tacked on.
SpongeBob’s latest outing is exactly what fans have been waiting for
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated is everything SpongeBob fans have been asking and hoping for. It has improved graphics, tweaked gameplay, new content and it’s got all the humour and charm of the TV series and movies.
Even though gameplay has been tweaked, there are still issues that pop up every now and then when it comes to platforming. Additionally, some graphical and framerate issues rear their ugly heads now and then. Granted these aren’t anything that will stop you from enjoying the game overall but it’s something that you’ll notice.
In the end, if you love SpongeBob then you will no doubt enjoy SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated.
+ Value priced
+ Additional content has been added
+ Updated visuals and sounds
+ Everything SpongeBob fans have been waiting for
– Platforming issues
– Multiplayer horde mode feels tacked on
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS: BATTLE FOR BIKINI BOTTOM – REHYDRATED
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 3.75/5
Overall Rating 3.7/5 (74%)
Buy SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated on Switch
Get SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated on Xbox One
Purchase SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated on PS4