SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit

Game review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit Game Poster Image
Arcade game with a few bugs but plenty of laughs.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

There's a heightened focus on being loyal to your friends.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sponge Bob earnestly tries to help save his friends. Even Patrick, who's more focused on another meal, agrees to help. 

Ease of Play

The core game mechanics are easy to grasp, though the controls are not pitch perfect. 

Violence & Scariness

Mild cartoon violence, but nothing worse than the show. 

Language
Consumerism

Based on the popular TV show, which has expanded to merchandise, movies, and more.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit is an arcade-style game based on the popular Nickelodeon program for Apple Arcade. The game is geared toward children and features rather basic controls, but is challenging enough that older kids are able to enjoy it as well. All of the show's major characters appear, and the game, like the show, sends a positive message buried in the slapstick comedy -- in this case, the value of loyalty to one's friends. There's cartoon violence, but nothing that will worry parents. And there's no other content that is objectionable.

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What's it about?

In SPONGEBOB: PATTY PURSUIT, Plankton, once again, is trying to steal the Krabby Patty formula, but this time he has taken SpongeBob's friends hostage as well. Players will chase him down over a series of levels, jumping, dashing, and dropping while trying to collect coins and avoid pitfalls. As you rescue friends, they become allies that will give you new abilities to crack the game's puzzles and move toward your secondary goal of retrieving the recipe. Machines in the game will transform SpongeBob into a variety of shapes and forms, which can be utilized to solve puzzles and gain coins. And the game is loaded with secret areas for players to explore.

Is it any good?

The most important thing about a game from this franchise isn't the gameplay, it's the characters. And on that front, SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit hits the target. Utilizing the show's voice cast and some clever writing makes the game a goofy, fun diversion that will have you smiling as you progress. As a game, though, it's a little less on the mark. The arcade aspects are fun but can be repetitive. And the controls are often imprecise, so timing a jump to avoid death is more challenging than it should be. That gets frustrating fast. 

If you can get past that, though, the levels do have plenty of hidden areas to explore. And the shape-shifting machines, which turn SpongeBob into different shapes (such as an accordion) do create some nice diversity the first few times you encounter them. It's a game that's made for a younger audience, who will laugh at the jokes and won't notice the repetition. But older players might find it a bit lacking. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about friendship and loyalty. How far would you go for your friends? 

  • If you had to choose between two things you love, which would you choose? Why?

Game details

  • Platforms: Apple Arcade
  • Price: Free with Apple Arcade
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Nickelodeon
  • Release date: May 31, 2020
  • Genre: Arcade
  • ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
  • Last updated: June 14, 2020

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