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[PREVIEW] SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake

Say what you will about SpongeBob, but somehow its creators are geniuses. Whether you hate or adore it, everyone knows the mischievous sponge with the square pants and the bloody annoying laugh. You could almost call SpongeBob an icon. And every icon deserves a game. SpongeBob already has some games to his name, including a fairly recent Battle for Bikini Bottom remake. But there was more material in the Chum Bucket for Purple Lamp Studios. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake, the spiritual successor to the aforementioned Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated.

Semi-wrecked, I joined the ladies of Purple Lamp Studios, themselves quite overcooked and almost voiceless. Because talking all day long about SpongeBob takes a lot out of the vocal cords. At a convention like Gamescom, you expect that especially exhibitors of massive AAA shooters would be extremely busy, but SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake attracted more attention than the average gamer might expect. Even I got a slightly confused look from fellow journos when I lost my cool entering the consumer stand. Incidentally, there are videos proving that and I hope people will handle them discreetly. But yeah, it’s true, I’m a sucker for SpongeBob. Sue me.

Why is this stupid cube of absorbant tissue so popular? God knows. It must be because of the innocence. The yokelish and droll aspects of it all. Whatever it is, it makes SpongeBob not only a beloved but also a meme-rich character. And that is exactly what Purple Lamp Studios is aiming for with The Cosmic Shake. Because the story of a wish gone wrong which opens various universes forms a great basis for a 3D platform game with light combat elements. But the abundance of references and SpongeBob memes… those are the real crowd pleasers. And Purple Lamp Studios knows that all too well.

And can you really blame them for exploiting it? Why not eagerly use all the world-famous references that the series now has? If that gets Nickelodeon on your side – who according to the devs is more than cooperative – you’d be crazy not to go for it. And let’s be honest, almost every one of the 30 costumes that Cosmic Shake has is already a reason to want to play the game. From the Karate Choppers outfit to the SpongeGar, they all evoke emotion within you. The emotion of “shit, that’s going to cost me extra money” shouldn’t be one of ’em. According to the developer, microtransactions are off the menu, much to the annoyance of Mr. Crabs. Everything can be unlocked in-game. You’ll have to backtrack for that after acquiring skills, but oh well. That’s the price you’ll have to pay for F.U.N.

You know what it is, I could talk for hours about this. I could go on and on about the fact that the entire original voice cast contributed to this and that Nickelodeon is okay to work with, something Disney can learn from. Also, I could bore you to death by naming every reference spotted, probably getting way too excited once I get to Sweet Victory. But that would be a shame. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake deserves to be played unspoiled. When is that? That remains a question mark for now. The game will be released before 2025, according to Purple Lamp Studios. How specific…