A platform from another era: a review of SpongeBob SquarePants The Cosmic Shake, the new title from Purple Lamp.
Diving into a fantasy world and never wanting to leave. Turn the camera around and wonder if you are dreaming or if you are really inside one of the best cartoons ever. And it doesn’t matter if from the unconsciousness of that crazy weirdo, that Spongebob is, resulted a disaster-so to speak-of biblical proportions that turned the wonderful Bikini Bottom upside down, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake, Purple Lamp’s new title available from January 31 on all platforms, brought tears of joy, of lightheartedness, of cheerfulness to my eyes every time I turned on my PlayStation 5.
One fine day, started as usual with an overwhelming enthusiasm that I wish I had it, our sponge friend wakes up and, together with the inseparable Patrick, obtains from the mysterious mermaid Madame Kassandra a jar of special soap bubbles that allows all kinds of wishes to be granted. Naturally, Spongebob, a kind and generous soul, begins to fulfill the requests of all the characters in the series created by Stephen Hillenburg. Thus a dangerous dimensional rift is created, our friends are shot off into the most disparate worlds-the multiverse is now being used more and more-and, well, not even thinking about it, we have to put things right and save the world.
A great platform for those who love platforms
The care and attention with which Purple Lamp has developed the game world is manic.
The most interesting aspect?
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake is so good to look at that you’ll start wandering around randomly for the sheer fun of it, with no commitment, no stress, looking for that extra collectible because we got a new skill or a pair of underpants needed to restore that health point lost under mysterious circumstances (it is very difficult to be hit but the purpose of the game is certainly not to put you on the spot). This is because each universe we are called upon to traverse (cinema, pirates, and more) is huge and capable of spurring the player to explore every single corner of the map.
And it is precisely from this extensive and well-constructed level design that fun, fulfilling platform phases come to life, which, though simple, successfully take you back in time. If from Spongebob’s disaster, on a playful level, seven different universes are generated, on a personal level it simply created a time machine that grabbed me, took me into its creative idea in which I would gladly stay forever.
For a sip of cactus juice.
First universe. Wild West. Looking for the sheriff. One source suggests that he is at the saloon. Me, Patrick, and Spongebob dressed as cowboys enter. The face is that of someone who has participated in and survived a thousand and more duels, the wide-legged walk, on the other hand, of someone who has seen a thousand and more Clint Eastwood films.
The sheriff (whom we discover is Sandy Cheeks) is there waiting for us, leaning against the counter deep in thought. We ask for the information we are interested in but the squirrel is reluctant to shake its mouth, after all, why trust the newcomer to town. A mini-game starts in which the person who drinks the most cups of Cactus Juice in the shortest time wins. And when we finally manage to catch the law’s attention after guzzling a concentrated sugar rush, there suddenly starts the most classic barroom fistfight.
Spongebob strikes with his rake mercilessly, looking like a vortex without control; all the enemies go down (perhaps also because they are drunk) while western music punctuates the rhythm of this furious brawl from which, of course, we emerge triumphant. Now we have the information we need.
We mount our trusty steed, which for the record is not a horse but a seahorse, to kick off an improbable racing game with our new ride (in SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake the gameplay will change often, also becoming, for example, a side-scrolling beat ’em up such as Scrap Riders) and, once we arrive at our destination, here we are ready to tackle the first major platform phase of an adventure.
The imagination is endless, not everything is perfect, but I would like a thousand more games like this. Long live the platform.