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SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab Review

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Developer: Blitz Games Publisher: THQ
Release Date: October 16, 2006 Also On: None

Touchscreen functionality is one of the things that set the DS apart from most game systems. For that reason, most DS games involve the touchscreen on some level. However, there are some games that are so desperate to utilize the touchscreen that they go overboard in their use of it. Unfortunately, SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab is such a game. Although the game isn’t bad by any means, the lengths that it goes to in order to maximize touchscreen use detracts from the experience as a whole.

Graphically, the game is admittedly decent. You’re not going to find graphics along the lines of a first-party game here, but the graphics here do convey the idea of SpongeBob environments quite well anyway. Everything is clear, if not detailed, and everything animates well. Overall, although this game isn’t one to use to show off the graphics capabilities of the DS, the graphics are certainly good enough to get the job done.

In terms of sound, the music in this game has as much of a SpongeBob feel as the music in the GBA and the console versions. Much of it is the same music used in the other versions, but that is hardly a major problem since they are all different versions of the same game. The sound effects, like in most licensed platformers, are standard fare, with little if any real innovation, but they more than get the job done. There’s a brief one-liner on the title screen, and it’s done well, but it’s the only voice acting to be found in this version of the game, with everything else being handled by textboxes. Still, the sound is done decently well in this game.

The gameplay in this game revolves totally around the touchscreen. Even in the platformer levels, you use horizontal swipes to move your character and vertical ones to make them stop or jump, as well as using the stylus to activate objects in the environment. The system works well for what it is, but the levels are admittedly simplified as a necessity of the less exact control style. These levels are also timed, but the timer is never really an issue if you keep moving.

There are other levels where touchscreen use makes more sense as well. For example, in one of the early levels, SpongeBob will be driving his hot rod down a road and you’ll have to use the touchscreen to remove the obstacles from his path. These levels execute well, but they can sometimes be a bit on the difficult side, possibly too difficult for the youngest of the SpongeBob fans, but this isn’t a significant problem for the most part.

In all of these levels, the touchscreen is sensitive enough that you’ll never have to worry about whether the game will react to your swipes, which is a good thing in a game that almost exclusively utilizes the touchscreen. The game also utilizes the microphone functionality of the DS occasionally by making you blow into it to scare off jellyfish that escape the dream world to threaten your sleeping character. This won’t come into use all that often, but it is an interesting addition to this version of the game.

There are nineteen levels in this game, and, assuming you go straight through the game, it will be good for only a couple hours of play, making it clock in a bit short for a DS game or for a platformer in general. In addition to that, there are no mini-games to play in this version unlike the GBA and console versions, and also nothing to unlock, so once you’ve finished the game, you’re pretty much done with it unless you want to go back and play the game again.

As such, the replay value of this game is admittedly weak. It is my recommendation, therefore, that, unless you are a fanatic for touchscreen use, if you are a SpongeBob fan and for whatever reason can’t get the console version, get the GBA version and play it on your DS over the DS version. I say this not because this game is bad, but because the GBA version is longer and, in my opinion, better than the DS version.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 5
Final: 5.9
Written by Martin Review Guide