PAX East 2020: SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated preview


THQ Nordic has become renowned for its remastering of classic favorites on new consoles as of late. Now, alongside Destroy All Humans, it’s bringing back another favorite this summer, featuring everyone’s favorite sponge in pants. That’s right, SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated is reviving the title that initially debuted in 2003.

Battle for Bikini Bottom puts players in control of SpongeBob and other characters from his universe as they take on missions within an open world. This is hardly a complicated platformer, as it’s made with all ages in mind. Still, THQ Nordic is giving the game its proper due when it comes to remastering it for a new generation to enjoy.

There’s trouble in the Bottom

Plankton, SpongeBob’s pint-sized nemesis, is up to no good. He’s created the Duplicatron 3000, which spits out tiny robots that do his bidding. They become quite the threat, forcing SpongeBob and his allies to swing into action. They must eliminate the robot threat while completing side missions and collecting golden spatulas to open up new areas within the game. (Yes, golden spatulas.)

For anyone that grew up with open-world platformers like Super Mario 64, SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated is right up your alley. You begin the game in SpongeBob’s house, learning the mechanics. These include a double jump, the ability to swing a bubble wand as a weapon, and a super jump. With the super jump, he can break through objects – in case this, angry tiki boxes – to collect currency and other items. Along the way, SpongeBob can also pick up other goods, including extra pairs of underpants (because you can never have enough).

Refreshed for a new generation

One thing THQ Nordic has done with the visuals is liven them up a bit. The general game design remains the same, so, to some, it might seem “ancient” coming from 2003. But Rehydrated has a nice color and sheen to it, and it moves at a fluid 60 frames-per-second. On top of that, the animations remain charming, especially when characters celebrate upon discovering said “golden spatulas.”

SpongeBob SquarePants Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated 2

The voicework sounds equally solid thus far, with an all-star cast with actors from the show. The music is upbeat as well, also matching the tone for the show.

And while the gameplay isn’t the most innovative out there, it does retain the same level of charm from the original. Being able to attack enemies with your weapons while discovering new secrets and switches makes for a good time. On top of that, you’ll find unlockable characters that join the party. Yes, this includes SpongeBob’s best buddy, Patrick Star. Some people will likely dive into this game for him alone – and for good reason, we might add.

Get all sponge-y this summer

So while Destroy All Humans offers more excitement on the remake front, SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated should easily find an audience. It definitely takes a nod from the old-school, but it also returns to the classic days of platforming. And it does so with the right amount of polish and, more importantly, charm. That’s all any wannabe pirates can aspire to.

Check out the game when it arrives this summer, and check out the teaser trailer below for more Sponge-y goodness. You can also wishlist the game on Steam.