SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated – Xbox One Review

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated – Xbox One Review

Nearly 17 years after the release of SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom in 2003, players return to the remastered yet familiar aquatic playground. Join us as we delve into a classic 3D platforming adventure with familiar friends in SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated on Xbox One. The remastering was undertaken by Purple Lamp Studios & THQ Nordic. Are you ready, kids?!

How one derives fun from a product tends to be highly subjective. Therefore ALL forms of review are opinionated, and should be taken with a grain of salt (this included). So let’s review SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated through the lens of more objective metrics such as; graphical fidelity, characters/story, content/length, controls & gameplay, then finally, sound design & cinematics. This product was reviewed on a launch model Xbox One. For full transparency: this content was reviewed using a provided key.

Graphical Fidelity

Specifically in regards to the graphics: SpongeBob: Rehydrated is a Nickelodeon visual treat. Many of the locations are bright and absolutely bursting with its personal brand of flavor. If you have either kids, or a hyperactive attention-span with a penchant for colours – you’re going to love this.

At one point early in testing, I experienced a graphical glitch in the form of highly disruptive artifacting accompanied by momentary screen tearing. Most of the major notable graphical issues I encountered were limited mostly to earlier segments of the game. There are occasional texture pop-ins, and glitched enemy visuals. Otherwise the 3D animation looks fantastic! SpongeBob: Rehydrated operates within, and makes fair use of the Unreal 4 Engine. Predictably a great deal of the visuals have been updated for pleasurable modern viewing, and look far less terrifying than their classic counterparts. While this may not be the best looking game on the Xbox One, It is certainly aesthetically pleasing to the eye. There are minor exceptions to this,  such as the obstructive sand lens-filter that is applied (most notably on the beach).

Performance wise, SpongeBob: Rehydrated runs smooth as butter – once you get into the game. The load times (and usually respawns) are extensive, sometimes even borderline painful. That aside, there are little to no frame drops or hitches, which is essential for fluent and satisfying platforming gameplay. I experienced no crashes or game breaking bugs (only hindrances), which sometimes goes underappreciated. User Interface (U.I) is clean and hidden for a more cinematic, unobstructed view.

Characters & Story

SpongeBob: Rehydrated (being a faithful remaster) contains all the characters you may have come to know and love. From SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, and Sandy, to Plankton and Mr.Krabs; they’re all here. Generally speaking each character feels authentic to their television counterpart and some moments feel like playing an episode.

Storywise: It’s up to SpongeBob to stop a Plankton-created robot army from taking over Bikini Bottom. It’s not too heavy or complex – after all, it’s made for kids. You’ll run around Bikini Bottom collecting shiny things (currency), socks, and spatulas to unlock each consecutive level. Not a whole lot to it here, so let’s move on.

Content & Length

Players will have 10 varying locations to explore, compiling an approximate 8-12 hours of gameplay. This time may vary depending on skill. For example: I’m trash at platformers, so excusing my tardiness completion took 15 hours. At least 2 hours of this play time was bloated by slide/board sections, maditory for progression. While this minigame isn’t fundamentally bad, some of the ‘track’ or ‘course’ designs leave players with incredibly slim margins of error. Many of these segments end up relying on trial and error instead of player skill and adaptivity. I find this unfortunate because it forces players to succeed through memorization, as opposed to quick reflexes and decision making skills. This can lead to minor frustrations, and players getting progression-stuck. Gripes aside, SpongeBob Rehydrated also contains 3 bosses, and a small variety of enemy types including jellyfish, and different robots.

Controls & Gameplay

Standard to most platformers, controls remain simple and easy to learn. Using the left thumbstick moves the character, the right thumbstick operates the camera while the A button jumps. Abilities and character unique skills are bound to B and Y. Additionally, the U.I can be accessed using the right trigger. Button placement feels natural for the most part, though the inability to run that the modern era has afforded most games spoils players here. There is no button re-mapping available. Maps and areas sometimes feel slow to traverse, however fast travel and the ‘spongeball’ mobility option helps lighten that load. Sweeping changes weren’t expected however, with this being a remaster as opposed to a remake. A common issue I faced was: map borders or ‘out of bounds’ areas being not clearly defined. This lead to me accidentally ending up in areas I shouldn’t be, resulting in either glitches or getting the characters model stuck.

Players are tasked with the goal of collecting prized Golden Spatulas around Bikini Bottom using their platform, navigation, and some basic puzzling skills. Many of the challenging areas or obstacles in the game involve players requiring precise control and impressive timing. Each area has a different fetch/find/destroy mini-quests that supplement the main objectives. Of the 3 playable characters consisting of SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy, players must use each of their unique abilities to competently travel through levels. This works out well enough with most of the puzzles performing adequately, though the targeting/lock-on system for Sandy’s lasso ability is rather intermittent. Sometimes it doesnt lock, sometimes it feels as if it isn’t responsive. There was another scenario where Patcrick’s lock-on for throwing nearly got both him and the object frozen stuck. That being said, nearly every other aspect of control is reactive, crisp and tight. In regards to character use, I noticed that: only 2 of the 3 characters are usable on each map. I found this somewhat limiting, as having all 3 characters could have integrated more complex puzzles, and more creative (less linear) level design. Some levels require backtracking with a specific character for completionism, but this is turned tedious due to the lack of frequency in the Bus Stations that allow players to change toon.

Nitpicks aside, the core gameplay loop of platforming, light combat, and puzzling to acquire Golden Spatulas is engaging enough. SpongeBob: Rehydrated does well to keep players coming back to reach the next 5, 10, or 25 Spatula goal post.

Sound Design & Cinematics

As far as voice acting is concerned, (getting this out of the way) Mr.Krabs sounds… off. The writing is certainly up to his Krabby standards, though the voice doesn’t quite land – as much as I applaud the effort. That aside, the majority of the rest of the cast sounds authentic and genuine. Although some of the recordings retain moments where the mic irritably peaks. Most of the dialogue and audio is comprised of one liners, task giving, and nostalgic quotes which should have you chortling through it’s playtime.

In regards to the soundtrack, it’s remained unaltered from the older OST. All of the music feels veritable to the source material and each area has its own theme that help set its tone. While there is a fair amount of variety here, certain songs will be heard far more frequently than others. I found myself with these tunes getting stuck in my head – for better or worse.

From the moment the SpongeBob intro cutscene starts to play, I felt like a Kid again.


When all is said and done, I must admit there is some wholesome fun to be had here. While some aspects of it may have been dragged (kicking and screaming) into the 20’s, the majority of it remains a functionally sound and enjoyable experience. I may have had alot of tiny gripes with Spongebob: Rehydrated, but don’t let that detract from this games good qualities. While it may not be anything revolutionary it’s a consistently fun (if a little safe at times) time, that’s perfectly family friendly. It may be for children, but I’m a grown a** man who had fun with it. Through SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated flaws, I did enjoy it – 7.2/10.

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What did you think of SpongeBob Rehydrated? Let us know in the comments. If you enjoyed this content, why not check out our Drawkanoid PC Review!

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A Simple Game Everyone Can Enjoy
  • 7.2/10
    Score - 7.2/10


+ Visually Satisfying

+ Family Friendly

+/- Faithful to a Fault Glitches Included

– Difficulty Spikes

Xbox Review