SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated is a platformer suited for children, with a bit of humor for adults. The gameplay is simplistic and often boring, the multiplayer is half-baked, but the game catches that Bikini Bottom vibe.
In a pineapple, under the sea, lives SpongeBob SquarePants, a friendly yellow sponge who prepares the best Krabby Patty in the world. But his tranquil life is about the change forever. The Krusty Krab’s mighty competitor, the evil mastermind Plankton, is plotting to steal the secret Krabby Patty formula. He builds an army of robots that immediately goes haywire and threatens to destroy Bikini Bottom.
SpongeBob and his friends rally together to save their beloved town in SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated, a remake to a 3D platformer from 2003 with a catchy title. They say if you repeat it five times fast, SpongeBob will appear and present you with a perfect Krabby Patty.
Another Morning in Bikini Bottom
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated is a game that is only slightly longer than its title, and is supposedly aimed at children. Why supposedly? Because there is a considerable gap between the game’s intended audience and those who will actually get the jokes. But don’t be confused – if you’re here for the story, you won’t make it all the way through.
The flimsy storyline tells of Plankton’s plan to steal the secret Krabby Patty formula. To do so, he creates evil robots that reign terror and chaos upon Bikini Bottom. Our friend SpongeBob SquarePants believes that it is all his fault, so he jumps to rescue his beloved town, with the help of his friends.
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated is a remake of Battle for Bikini Bottom, one of the 40 SpongeBob SquarePants games we got since the early 2000s. Nickelodeon really knows how to squeeze a franchise dry, I’ll give them that.
The game itself doesn’t change anything from the original and remains a fun, though a little outdated platformer. The show’s wondrous world comes to life in extraordinary and colorful levels you unlock using golden spatulas. You can find these spatulas during levels and by trading shiny objects with Mr. Krabs or used socks with Patrick.
SpongeBob and Friends to the Rescue
The gameplay is very basic and includes jumping, dodging, and a few kinds of attacks for the different types of robots. The challenges are not too complicated, and the save points are spread generously. You will very rarely get lost, and even Patrick could navigate through the maps with ease.
The battle for Bikini Bottom is harsh, exhausting, and long, but do not worry, for SpongeBob is not alone. Patrick and Sandy are here to help! Each of them has a set of abilities that will help you get over certain obstacles. Patrick Star, SpongeBob’s best friend, can lift watermelons and rocks and throw them. Sandy Cheeks can perform amazing stunts with her lasso.
Since the game is intended for a younger audience, each challenge is accompanied by bigs signs telling you what to do. That eliminates the need for any thinking the player might have been required to do. The game might be fun and exciting, but doesn’t even try to be challenging. Some dialogues are only available to certain characters, so you’ll have to find a bus stop to change to the right one. These conversations are scripted and don’t add the agency the gameplay lacks.
Funny Is Not Enough
Sadly, there is not much I can say about the combat either, since there’s none of it, really. The robots are more of a pesky nuisance, and the bosses could’ve been difficult if not for the instructions on how to beat them that appear during the fight. Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated’s gameplay isn’t intended for anyone over the age of 13.
On the other hand, you’ll get some of the jokes if you’re over 16, and most of them if you’re 25. So you’ll either enjoy the game for its gameplay or humor, but never both. The humor is a delight, though. Even Gary, the pet snail, converses in faint meows, and we’ll meet all the fan-favorites: Squidward, The Flying Dutchman, Larry the Lobster, and other key characters.
The jokes, by the way, are the same ones from 2003. Even the original voice acting remained. Since so many years have passed since then, the studio redesigned the graphics to fit the look season 12, and you can see it in the new digital animation that remains true to the later seasons of the show. It looks great, it’s cool, and the game’s overall design is simply fantastic.
The original Battle for Bikini Bottom was rated E for everyone, but nowadays, it’s considered E10+. Why is that? Because the 10+ category was added in 2005, 2 years after the game launched – just a piece of game rating trivia for you.
One Is Better Than Two
I would like to touch on a painful matter. When I first tried the multiplayer mode, I was joined by my fellow GamersPack editor, Aya Kiovetsky. Together, we tested the levels, and I have to say we didn’t have a good time. At first, I thought that having multiple characters on screen will require us to use teamwork and combine our special abilities to get through the level, a little like the LEGO games.
Sadly, this was not the case. The multiplayer levels are a series of dull and long battles. Very early into the action, our eyes started to ache, and the fact that local multiplayer doesn’t use split-screen makes keeping track of your character controls very difficult. SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated multiplayer is the antithesis to the single-player, and the waves of robots are way too harsh for the game’s young audience.
All in all, the multiplayer feels chaotic and half-baked, with unclear rules and repetitive action. It was tacked on just so the Rehydrated version has something new to offer, besides improved graphics.
I am not a fan of SpongeBob SquarePants. I never followed the show and I’m only vaguely familiar with its characters. Yet still, I had fun playing as them in SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated. I even laughed, occasionally.
If you’re into platformers, you might want to play this one with your kids, nephews, or very young siblings. Kids will enjoy it, but will probably miss out on the jokes, and be confused by your laughter. What’s certain is that if you liked the original Battle for Bikini Battle, you’d love the remake. Just not the multiplayer.
Developer: Purple Lamp Studios
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Release Date: Jun. 23, 2020
Our SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated review copy was provided by the publisher.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.