Are ya ready, kids? Pretty much anyone you ask will recognize the iconic theme of Nickelodeon’s juggernaut in animated television – SpongeBob SquarePants. With his massive success on both T.V. and in theaters, its no wonder the bright yellow sponge has received so much marketing attention – from candy to toys, to clothing, and yes – video games.
First revealed in June 2019, in the days leading up to E3, SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated is a full remaster of the original Battle For Bikini Bottom, released in 2003. The original found success as a cult classic, drawing praise for its faithfulness to the source material and excellent platforming. Strangely enough, it also has an active speedrunning community. It’s this sense of pure clean fun that Rehydrated aims to recreate, and it seems they’ve been successful in doing so.
Rehydrated is a faithful recreation of the original, with a vibrant graphical upgrade and brand-new soundtrack. There are three different playable characters, each with their own unique set of skills. SpongeBob can use a wide array of bubble powers to defeat enemies and solve puzzles. Patrick can pick up objects, and Sandy can use a lasso to swing through the air and avoid obstacles. There’s a new couch co-op mode for up to two players and content that was cut from the original Battle For Bikini Bottom.
Rehydrated plays similar to older platformers like Banjo-Kazooie – you explore gorgeous landscapes while finding collectibles hidden in every nook and cranny of each level, with puzzles and huge multi-stage boss battles sprinkled in. It’s clear that developer Purple Lamp (also known for developing Sea of Thieves) put a lot of time and care into this project, and you can feel it every time you discover a new location or solve a difficult puzzle or platforming section.
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated is available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam. You can check it out here.