Spongebob Squarepants
Lights, Camera, Pants!

Format: PS2

4 005209 069229
Age Restrictions: 3+
18 November 2005

Bikini Bottom is abuzz! The producers of everyone's favourite superhero show,
The Adventures of Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy, are filming a special episode in Bikini Bottom and they're using the residents as actors. All your favourite locals are desperate to impress the talent scouts who have created a series of action packed challenges to test the wannabe actors. Join SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy, Squidward, Mr. Krabs and Plankton as you compete against your friends for the coveted lead role...

Lights, Camera, Pants! is a pretty impressive game aimed at the younger age range of the gaming market. Fans of the Spongebob Squarepants cartoon series will be pleased to see that they can play as all their favourite characters (Spongebob, Patrick, Squidward, Sandy, Mr. Krabs and Plankton) as they progress through the levels to become a celebrity.

Actually, forget that... the whole plot to this game is dull and uninteresting. What is fun is the actual gameplay. My advice is to skip the, not even marginally funny, ongoing storyline and jump straight into the mini-games. What's great about these (apart from the fact that they are immense fun) is that the screen is split into four quarters where you are playing against up to three other friends or computer opponents.

This split screen gameplay means that you have to compete against three other characters, which you must chose at the start. You can also set each characters intelligence level so that the very young as well as the more mature gamer can play at their level. This means that parents can play against the youngest members of the family without having to pretend that you are trying to beat them.

The mini-games include working in the Krusty Krab (taking orders as well as cooking and insuring that the stock is put away); driving games; fishing games, and games where you play musical instruments or dance. There are so many cool games that you are bound to find a few that you'll want to keep on playing long after you've finished the main game. You can unlock these games as you progress so that you can play them separately without having to enter the story mode.

The only real downside is the overly long and boring cut sequences and the fact that if you fail a challenge it takes too long to reload it before you can try again.

For those with attention deficit syndrome, Lights, Camera, Pants! will hold your interest for a long time.

Nick Smithson

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