SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake PC Review

A fun, energetic, and densely packed mascot platformer with all the SpongeBob Squarepants references you could ever need.

By LCLupus, Posted 30 Jan 2023

SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake is the latest game by Purple Lamp, and it is, as the title might suggest, a SpongeBob Squarepants game. This game is also an absolute ton of fun, and it has no right to be. Tie-in games of this nature are generally pretty terrible, but this time around, it works incredibly well.

SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake is a mascot platformer in line with many of the more contemporary versions of this late-90s/early-2000s genre. If you like more modern versions of this genre, such as the fairly recent Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time or the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, then this will probably be the game for you. Furthermore, it is something of a spiritual successor to SpongeBob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom. It does not require knowledge of that entry in the popular cartoon franchise, but if you were a fan of that one, you’d probably be a fan of this one.

SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake, PC, Review, Platformer, Mascot Platformer, NoobFeed, Purple Lamp, THQ Nordic

So, what is SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake? It’s a fairly basic and not particularly challenging 3D platformer in which the titular SpongeBob Squarepants accidentally caused a massive cataclysm that sent his old friends and neighbors, as well as some buildings, shooting off into various other dimensions. It’s up to you to travel to these different worlds and get everyone back into their own reality. Each of these worlds, as this is a mascot platformer in line with the older tradition, is themed.

There are seven different worlds in SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake, and each has its own unique flavor, such as a cowboy world or a movie set world. As you journey through these worlds, you go through a variety of set piece sequences as the enemies gradually increase in complexity and the movement mechanics continue to expand. In the beginning, you only have standard traversal mechanics, but as you proceed through the game, you learn how to do flying kicks and grappling hook swings while also unlocking special context-specific traversal mechanics, like a surfboard that can get you across chasms or a slingshot that can shoot you halfway across a world.

As SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake increases in traversal complexity, the game also throws an ever-expanding list of enemies at you. These enemies are never particularly challenging though. This is a child-friendly mascot platformer, after all. So, you’re never in all that much danger. Regular enemies take a single hit and they’re down, but some have very specific methods for dealing with them. There are big enemies that try and hit you with a bathtub they carry around as a weapon, and you have to dodge each attack, and then, while the enemy is tired from swinging the bathtub around, you hit them. You must do this three times with this particular enemy. SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake will throw various combinations of enemies at you, and only when there are huge waves of them does any kind of difficulty appear. Even then, it still isn’t too difficult.

SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake, PC, Review, Platformer, Mascot Platformer, NoobFeed, Purple Lamp, THQ Nordic

The game uses a lives system. A system that was already old-fashioned once games left arcades and didn’t have to squeeze quarters out of people. The lives system is somewhat meaningless, because once your lives are depleted, you can simply restart from that section. You’ll probably never lose more than two or so minutes’ worth of progress. Lives have never been a good idea despite many platformers continuing to use them. However, seeing as they hardly mean a thing in SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake, it’s easy to forgive their inclusion.

However, SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake is a mascot platformer in line with those older games. As such, it features collectables. The game isn’t quite as egregious as something like Yooka-Laylee, where you are effectively only exploring each of the levels to find collectables. SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake, instead, has worlds that have their own little narratives with cute set pieces, such as having to play the game as a side-scroller beat-em-up for a few minutes because you’re on a movie set and you’re recording a scene. Throughout the levels, which progress in a more standard way in comparison to those old collect-a-thon games, the collectables are instead peppered throughout the place rather than being the sole reason to play.

The primary collectables are gold coins. Once you find a certain amount of these coins, you unlock new costumes for SpongeBob to wear. These costumes are cosmetic, but a cute addition. They form a part of the central narrative as you are, for instance, given a pirate outfit before going to the pirate-themed world. SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake is not afraid to throw more collectables in though, because as you proceed through the game, you unlock new collectables. This necessitates going back to previous worlds to find everything. It’s definitely busy work, but not something you have to do to enjoy the game. You can just focus on the main game.

SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake, PC, Review, Platformer, Mascot Platformer, NoobFeed, Purple Lamp, THQ Nordic

The other most common “collectable” is really just the currency that you find throughout the world, which is jelly. This allows you to buy new costumes once you’ve unlocked each new tier. Jelly is not really a collectable though as it respawns when you re-enter a world. So, you can simply farm jelly and buy all the outfits if that’s what you want to do, and SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake lets you do just that.

That’s the game in a nutshell. It’s fun, and has minimal issues aside from a few technical hiccups that occasionally occur, but these are likely to be smoothed out in subsequent patches. The biggest thing about it is that SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake is a SpongeBob fan service game through and through. This isn’t meant in a negative sense, because the game is great without being particularly familiar with the franchise. Still, the game uses the original voice actors, contains loads of SpongeBob in-jokes, and uses practically all the music that has been created for SpongeBob over the decades. For instance, an early joke is just a loading screen that says “one loading screen later” while using the same floral font and style as that recurring joke in the series.

SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake is just a fun game. It doesn’t look like the show, as it has a more 3D animation style rather than a 2D one, as used in the show, but that doesn’t matter. It’s full of stuff to do, it isn’t too challenging, and it’s just enjoyable. If you also happen to be a fan of SpongeBob Squarepants, then that’s even better.


This is also great for old fans of the show, ones who haven’t watched it in over a decade, because even though some newer references aren’t too familiar to you, the show hasn’t changed enough to make it unrecognizable. You’re going to deal with Squidward being Squidward, Mr. Krabs being his greedy self, and Patrick being the general idiot that he is. It’s all great.

Check out SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake if you want a fun time that isn’t going to challenge you too much. It’s entertaining for adults, especially adults with some familiarity with the source material, but it also isn’t hard enough to make it a game solely for adults. This would be perfect for a kid still learning their way around games. It’s never too punishing, and it’s very colorful. Plus, it’s SpongeBob being SpongeBob, and shouldn’t that be entertaining enough?

Justin van Huyssteen (@LC_Lupus)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Publisher(s): THQ Nordic
Developer(s): Purple Lamp
Genres: 3D Platformer
Themes: Mascot Platformer
Release Date: 2023-01-31

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