Spongebob Squarepants and Friends Unite!

Format: PS2

4 005209 074346
Age Restrictions: 3+
03 March 2006

The most devious plan ever created in a Nicktoons world is unfolding. Professor Calamitous has pulled together Plankton, Vlad, and Crocker to form a group known as The Evil Syndicate. The wicked foursome have begun to wreak havoc throughout Retroville, Amity Park, Dimmsdale, and Bikini Bottom in an attempt to take over the world. Not to be outsmarted, Jimmy Neutron calls upon his own band of Nicktoons. Jimmy, Timmy, Danny, and Spongebob Squarepants combine their powers to take out The Evil Syndicate, along with the devastating Doomsday device. It's good versus evil where only one side will prevail...

Marketed in the USA as Nicktoons Unite!, this game is released in the UK as Spongebob Squarepants and Friends Unite! I'm not really sure why that is - unless THQ is convinced that the Spongebob portfolio of games is enough of a hook to reel in young gamers.

The plot is fairly straightforward. Professor Calamitous has stolen Jimmy Neutron's plans for the Universe Portal Machine and has struck a deal with a number of shady characters. The Evil Syndicate is made up of Professor Calamitous, Vlad Plasmius, Plankton and Denzel Crocker. This evil group has created a doomsday device and unleashed their mighty power on the worlds of Dimmsdale, Amity Park, Retroville and Bikini Bottom.

Jimmy Neutron has leapt across the Nickelodeon Universe to enlist the aid of three other Nicktoon cartoon characters in his quest: Danny Phantom, Timmy Turner and Spongebob Squarepants. Now all four must make their way through numerous levels full of puzzles, bad guys and hidden secrets, in a bid to set everything back to normal.

Throughout the game you can swap to any of the four characters in your team. Each has four different attacks that are unique to that character (you start with one attack and must unlock the others as you progress through the levels). You'll need to use each character at different parts in the levels to progress to the next stage.

When you are controlling your character, the AI of the others is pretty good. While they are not the sharpest knifes in the drawer when it comes to navigation, they do manage to target any enemies pretty well.

This is, sadly, a game that only those under the age of ten will appreciate. Any older and you'll realise very quickly how easy and repetitive it is. Having said that, as a game for the young this is pretty good fun. The characters look pretty good and the overall gameplay is fairly solid.

Nick Smithson

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