SpongeBob SquarePants
Creature from the Krusty Krab

Format: PS2

4 005209 083775
Age Restrictions: 3+
03 November 2006

It would seem the nights in Bikini Bottom are as strange as the days as you get to experience the nocturnal fantasies of the heroes and villains from the show. SpongeBob, finally, gets to indulge his fantasy of driving a car in a stylised hot rod race, complete with psychedelic '60s graphics. Patrick gets to become Starfishman as he bounces around the '50s pop art comic book levels. And Plankton has to escape from a rather large Krabby Patty...

Creature from the Krusty Krab is basically an excuse for a series of SpongeBob mini-games that never quite reach the quality that they should. The game starts one night in Bikini Bottom. All of the residents are sleeping and having their own fantasy dreams.

You start off as SpongeBob, who is dreaming of driving his own race car - made out of his bed - and in-between each race he has to run around different levels collecting parts for his car for the next race.

Next you play as Patrick, who is dreaming that he is the secret super hero Starfishman. The levels are designed to look like an old comic book and there are some great comedic moments. In truth this, for me, was the most fun to play. There are some truly inspired moments - like the henchmen coming alive from the posters and Patrick entering the phone boxes to get more information on how to progress.

Next up you get to take on the role of Plankton as he messes around with his size altering machine - first growing a small part of a Krabby Patty into a giant monster and then making himself a little bigger. Can he out run the giant Patty monster?

In truth, though, there is nothing here that we haven't seen a million times before - and done a whole lot better in much more impressive games.

The game's developers also try to paper over some of the cracks by adding comical on-screen text. For example, when you start the Plankton levels you are informed that: "Suddenly, for no apparent reason, everything turns 2D". So, are we to seriously believe that the shift in design was intentional, and not that everything was thrown together at the last minute and the main segments were roughly stitched together at the eleventh hour?

Despite, what appears to by my moaning, this should find a welcome home in younger fans of the show, but anyone older than 10 will probably get a little too bored rather quickly. Bright, colourful and fun, but not overly challenging.

Nick Smithson

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