The Spongebob Squarepants Movie software game for the PC
should not be confused with the video game counterparts -- it is not
a platformer. Rather, it's an adventure game that involves hunting
for objects to add to the inventory, using the items in order to
solve problems, and advancing to the next levels. This game is
divided into chapters. Each chapter involves some kind of special
task and opens with a story that sums up portions of the feature
Interestingly, the different chapters in the game allow kids to
lead different characters, such as Spongebob and Mindy, in order to
perform the chapter's tasks. Chapter Two, for example, involves
helping Plankton, the "bad guy", carry out his evil plan "Z"!
need to lead the star character through the chapter by exploring an
area (such as the rooms of Spongebob's home), picking up objects,
talking to characters, and solving problems. In Chapter One, for
example, kids move Spongebob through the rooms of his home. If they
try to exit the house, Spongebob will tell them, "I can't go outside
in my underwear!" They need to find his clothes, which involves
first picking up a spatula in the kitchen and using it on the lock
of his chest, which is broken. He talks to a "highstrung" telephone
repairman in his yard, to his pet snail, and, later, to Patrick and
Squidward. He needs to brush his teeth before he can move to the
next chapter, but he doesn't have toothpaste.
There are some perhaps questionable moments in the game, although
that is to be expected with the Spongebob license. For
example, if kids leave the water running in the sink, there doesn't
seem to be any consequence. Although the game plays with a similar
style as Putt-Putt and Freddi Fish, it's not as socially
responsible. (Makes me think that Putt-Putt would definitely remind
kids to turn off the water!). Speaking of comparisons to Putt-Putt,
when Spongebob sees that Squidward has toothpaste and players try to
take it, Spongebob says, "I can't take that!", but then follows with
the reason, "Squidward might see me!", and the only way to get the
toothpaste involves deceiving Squidward by distracting him.
Kids are also told things like, "You have GOT to be kidding!" when
they don't use the right item. Definitely not Putt-Putt! Granted, some parents have expressed that
they find Putt-Putt a bit too squeaky clean.
There is a fair
amount of humor in the game that helped hold children's interest.
Because there is a lot of waiting and re-tracing one's steps in the
game, the program feels tedious at times. Reading is required.
Kid testers got stuck
early in the game. However, after they solved their initial
dilemmas, they became more accustomed to the gameplay and had a far
easier time completing the game after getting past the original
hump. It is important that users read the jewelcase insert for basic
instructions. If kids don't know that they often need to combine
items in order to solve a problem, they will be hopelessly stuck.
For those who want a few hints, we have put together a few tips to
get through some of the trickier stages of the game here:
Squarepants Movie for the PC Hints.
More screenshots from
For more information, user reviews, or to buy:
Spongebob Squarepants The Movie
Reviewed: April 2005