SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake Review

Published: 16:00, 30 January 2023
SpongeBob SquarePants The Cosmic Shake
SpongeBob SquarePants The Cosmic Shake

SpongeBob SquarePants The Cosmic Shake is essentially a cartoon in the shape of a video game that takes everything good from the TV series and transfers it to the game, leaning heavily on this connection.

What you need to know

  • What is it? A third-person platformer. 
  • Reviewed on: PlayStation 5
  • Developer: Purple Lamp
  • Publisher: THQ Nordic
  • Release date:  January 31, 2023
  • Available on: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

SpongeBob SquarePants The Cosmic Shake review copy provided by THQ Nordic.

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake is a charming platformer that makes full use of every asset of the animated series of the same name, playing the nostalgia card for those who have long outgrown SpongeBob and the cartoon's similarity for those a bit younger among us.

Including all of the original actors that gave voices in the animated series is one of the significant advantages that improve the quality of the game. This is hardly a surprise given that the game was co-produced with Nickelodeon, but hearing those voices alone makes you feel like you've stepped directly into a cartoon. 

The very sensation of being in a cartoon, as well as the slightly hilarious original characters, will be the force that pushes you through levels even when you want to give up due to the game's apparent flaws.

AltChar The puzzles in SpongeBob SquarePants The cosmic shake are fun but easy The puzzles in SpongeBob SquarePants The cosmic shake are fun but easy


Given that this is a platformer with the primary goal of providing fun rather than delivering a sophisticated tale, the story is fairly adequate. 

SpongeBob, the game's main protagonist, was duped into releasing a cosmic jelly, a substance that threatens to destroy the universe, unleashing all kinds of jelly monsters that our spongy hero will have to fight in order to rectify his mistakes and restore things to the way they used to be.

At the very start of the game, SpongeBob came upon a magical soap and was granted a variety of wishes. Given his kind nature, he made wishes for his pals rather than himself before all hell broke loose and he discovered he had been deceived. The otherworldly portals swallowed his friends and buildings, and now it's his mission to save them all and once again become the hero of Bikini Bottom.

The predecessor to this game, SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom, Rehydrated, had one major flaw: a lack of effective dialogue. Knowing that this game is heavily based on a series and that the series' major benefit is decent humour, this seemed like a wasted opportunity for the previous game. 

AltChar SpongeBob SquarePants is a decent platformer, but no more than that SpongeBob SquarePants is a decent platformer, but no more than that

This was primarily due to SpongeBob or other playable characters being alone on the missions. The developers decided to address this issue by making Patrick, SpongeBob's best buddy, his sidekick throughout the game. Patrick's foolishness and innocence, as well as SpongeBob's honesty, had me laughing out loud on several occasions, and these are unquestionably the best moments of the game.

As I already stated, the narrative is not particularly sophisticated. To complete the game, you must go to seven different worlds, plus Bikini Bottom as a staging area, while following the main story, and each specified world will have some sort of side story within it. The story is also quite predictable so if you are looking for a nice tale, SpongeBob SquarePants The Cosmic Shake is not the game for you; this is more like a run, jump, die, repeat kind of game.


Where previous games in this series gave us the opportunity to play with different characters from Bikini Bottom, in SpongeBob SquarePants The Cosmic Shake you will only control SpongeBob throughout the entire game. In addition to classic jumping, which is an essential part of every platformer, SpongeBob can also glide on a pizza box, evade enemy attacks using dodge mechanics, jump on trampolines, surf on balloons, and do a bunch of other cool stuff. 

You will face situations where you will need to utilise precise jumps and key combinations to save your yellow pal from falling into the abyss and imminent death while traversing the bottom of the ocean. Most of the time, your faithful buddy Patrick will save you by "getting you out" of the problem, which will cost you one of the "panties," which are represented here as some sort of health bar. But when you run out of panties, certain death and respawning from the previous checkpoint are imminent. Another strange issue regarding the game's fall damage is something I must highlight. Despite the fact that there is no fall damage, SpongeBob will occasionally fall from certain heights and die, while other times he will remain alive. The main issue is that you never know which one will occur, which can be extremely annoying in various areas of the game.

AltChar SpongeBob SquarePants The Cosmic Shake's major strength is its resemblance to the series SpongeBob SquarePants The Cosmic Shake's major strength is its resemblance to the series

The combat system is relatively simple, with the main spin attack and karate kick, followed by evade and splash attack, but each type of monster takes a different strategy to overcome. This is hardly a sophisticated fighting system like the ones we experienced in other premium releases, but make no mistake: in order to overcome some opponents, you will need to strategize from time to time.

There is a wide range of enemies, including typical jelly dudes, bodybuilders who carry a tub and use it as a weapon, gigantic jellies that spawn more jellies, and annoying guys who constantly toss explosive balls at you. Every single one of those new opponents serves as a mini-boss when met for the first time, but as you progress through the game and your character becomes tougher, they begin to appear more and more often, and they get easier to kill.

Boss fights are a massive disappointment. You fight the boss at the end of each level and the final boss at the end of the game. It wouldn't hurt anyone if developers decided to make those fights at least a little more challenging and different from each other. Almost every boss uses the same strategies, and I found defeating the game's final boss to be far easier than defeating a larger group of typical jelly monsters.

And yes, let's not forget to mention the game's difficulty. When you think of a platformer, you think of frustration, missed jumps, bad camera angles that cause you to perform things incorrectly, frequent dying, and repeated replays of sections and levels till it hurts. In this game, you get none of that, for the game is simply too easy. I'm not sure whether this was done on purpose because the game is aimed towards a younger audience, but adding different difficulty levels and making the game more challenging for people who enjoy a little challenge wouldn't kill anyone.

AltChar SpongeBob SquarePants The Cosmic Shake is a decent looking game with outdated graphics SpongeBob SquarePants The Cosmic Shake is a decent-looking game with outdated graphics


Although SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake can be a visually appealing game at times, its graphic presentation is just out of date in 2023. This game would have been a screamer ten years ago, but it appears to be a little late to the party.

Some would argue that we shouldn't expect much from a game that is primarily intended for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch without support for newer consoles, but we've seen the beauty of games released for these older consoles, and that simply cannot be an excuse. 

The textures aren't as clear and smooth as they should be, and there were a few instances where textures in some sections of the game refused to load or took a bit longer to do so, even on the PlayStation 5 console on which I played this game.

The game's native resolution is 1080p, and it doesn't support 4K or offer any contemporary graphics features like ray tracing or better lighting. So, why did the developers take this kind of risk by making such a graphically outdated game? The safest guess would be that THQ Nordic did not want to reinvent the wheel by experimenting with anything fresh. Since children are their target market, they simply played it safe and stuck to the tried-and-true formula because kids don't care whether a game supports 4K or not; as long as it's fun, it's good enough.

AltChar The music in the levels helps to create a mood The music in the levels helps to create a mood

I'd also like to praise the level design, in particular the character designs, which are amazingly well-portrayed. This goes for not only the main characters but also NPCs and locations that have changed because of the plot while still managing to be quite unique.

The musical themes, as well as the whole soundtrack and all sound effects in general, are simply taken and adapted from the SpongeBob series. Even SpongeBob's catchphrases throughout the game, like the one he uses when sliding with the pizza box, are borrowed from this cartoon TV show.

Each level has a unique musical theme; for example, one level has you entering a valley on Halloween night, and the musical theme is entirely appropriate for this setting. However, the same music will play on that level for as long as you stay there, which might take a long time depending on your activities, such as finding collectables or doing sidequests. That music might often seem like a time loop, and it can often distract you from what you are doing.

Other sound effects can also be bothersome. The sound of SpongeBob's footsteps is something that I'd like to draw attention to because it can be very annoying. Although I understand that the developers wanted the sound to be as realistic as it was in the original series, it seems like they overlooked the fact that we will be playing this game for ten hours rather than watching a ten-minute animated series.

AltChar The original characters are very well designed The original characters are very well designed


SpongeBob SquarePants The Cosmic Shake is a decent platformer, but no more than that. Occasional brilliant moments of pure acting excellence and acceptable comedy are simply insufficient to distinguish this game from the genre's not-so-strong competition. Make no mistake, this game can be fun, but it lacks that certain something that would make it an easy recommendation to fans of platformers.

This is simply the same game as the 20-year-old Battle for Bikini Bottom, which has preserved practically the entire design of the original with no intention to improve anything.

The Good

  • Game’s similarity with animated TV series
  • Modest story
  • Very good voice acting and decent humour
  • Dialogues between SpongeBob and Patrick
  • Decent combat system for a platformer

The Bad

  • The game is too easy for a platformer
  • The boss fights are dull, predictable, and super easy
  • Outdated graphics
  • SpongeBob’s footsteps sound effect is annoying
  • Doesn't do anything new

Our Rating


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