SpongeBob SquarePants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman
With the very popular SpongeBob title SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom recently receiving the remastered treatment, it seems like there is no better time to look at the SpongeBob branded title that would come before and get the tone before THQ’s much-acclaimed platformer. This would, of course, be SpongeBob SquarePants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman.
This game plays much like the aforementioned Battle for Bikini Bottom. However, for a point of reference outside of the franchise, this game plays much like Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights or to a lesser extent, banjo Kazooie or Donkey Kong 64.
A lack of motivation
What will strike the player as you navigate this game is just how uninteresting the tasks you are asked to do are. You’ll have fetch quests, arbitrary item collection, occasional side quests that offer no nuance or difficulty at all and delivery quests. All of these quests see you navigate through the Bikini Bottom environments but none of these seems to capture the whimsical nature of the source material.
The areas are for the most part barren and desolate. With seemingly random items pushed into areas to ensure you aren’t just walking across a completely empty sea bed. Granted there are bright spots in the form of the character designs, the animations and the general vibrant colour palette on show throughout. Though, as a whole, the presentation seems lazy, uninspired and when you couple this with the obscene loading times it can leave you scratching your head as to why your even playing.
A lack of control
The game also exhibits a control screen for SpongeBob that is not in keeping with the action-platformer genre. The controls are over-simplistic to the point that it is almost patronising the player and in some cases with extremely slow running speeds and hardly any physical abilities. The controls cause unnecessary difficulty when you have to traverse narrow planks and ledges. The controls almost become tank controls and the camera does nothing to assist you with this.
This offers a spot of difficulty in a game that is ultimately aimed at players below the age of seven. There is barely anything that requires any sort of cognitive function to achieve and for any player that isn’t drawn in by moving shapes and bright colours, this game will really struggle to hold your attention longer than five minutes.
Occasional moments of Joy
The game does feature legitimate voice acting from the whole cast of the show. Which make some of the voice-over sections the most enjoyable parts of the game. If you’re a massive SpongeBob fan, they almost make it worth trudging through this game. Plus, the general score for the game is initially great with tunes that fit the cartoon universe perfectly. However, these tunes don’t change at all unless you swap costumes and there are very limited costumes within this game. Meaning that the potential of this score drops and becomes background music at best, dragging the overall sound for the game down to just mediocre.
Like a Sponge Out of Water
This game is not completely without merit. It has an art style that although bland and somewhat unfinished in areas, does stay true to the source material. The gameplay is the main issue for this game with bland tasks and difficulty spikes for all the wrong reasons. The voice acting is great but the musical score becomes tired and repetitive and above all, this game has no driving force to continue or want to complete its quests.
It’s a game that is made with younger audiences in mind but in the technically advanced age we live in currently, a child of six years of age would even see the mundane nature of this title. For the avid SpongeBob fan there is perhaps something of merit here but for any casual platform game fan, you will find nothing to salvage here.
- Authentic voice acting
- Perfect for very young players
- Stays true to the source material
- Uninteresting barren landscapes
- Poor controls
- Difficulty spikes
- Obscene load times
- Boring and unchallenging quests
Download SpongeBob SquarePants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP