As the self-proclaimed “biggest fan of SpongeBob SquarePants”, recognised by the ‘certificate’ granted to me at the tender age of 6, I must give a spotlight to the upcoming SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom- Rehydrated. The majority of the people who are excited about this game are those who have already played the original. I, for one, have played a few SpongeBob games. However, I only completed my first playthrough of the original Battle for Bikini Bottom this week. Before playing the original, I was hyped for the remake. Playing it only cemented my excitement. The original developers (Heavy Iron Studios) poured their hearts and souls into the game.
With some fun (if not a bit janky) source material to work with, Purple Lamp Studios have some big boots to fill. Judging from what we’ve seen so far, the developers seem to have a genuine love for this game and they understand what made this game so special. A fun yet simple 3D platformer filled with plenty of SpongeBob SquarePants fan service and some iconic locations that are perfectly recreated for you to explore to your heart’s content.
The 2003 original has had a new lease of life with its speedrunning community. You only have to search for speedruns of the game to realise how dedicated the fanbase is, with SHiFT’s channel (a whole channel dedicated to BFBB) having nearly 50k subscribers. Purple Lamp flew him out to their studio so he can playtest the game. It’s fantastic to see developers bring in the hardcore fans to ensure their game handles well. While the developers are changing parts of the gameplay, Shift has provided plenty of feedback as to how the original felt.
On top of all this, we have a brand-new multiplayer mode featuring plenty of new playable characters, like Gary and Mr. Krabs. This could be a fun mode to play with younger siblings or for the kids that this game is aimed towards. Maybe 22-year-old man-children like myself can find some enjoyment in it too.
With a new, slick coat of paint applied to this game, a new multiplayer mode and some accessibility options to improve the game for modern audiences, we could have a really fun experience on our hands.