SpongeBob’s Skate and Surf Roadtrip

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
SpongeBob’s Skate and Surf Roadtrip Game Poster Image
Simple Kinect-enabled boarding game is fun but forgettable.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

This game sees the game’s titular hero embarking on an innocuous surf and skate trip. With the Xbox 360 version, it promotes moderate physical activity via simple body movements picked up by Microsoft’s Kinect sensor.

Positive Role Models & Representations

SpongeBob and his friend Patrick behave much as they do in their TV show; appearing as kids getting into minor mischief and having fun. There’s not much opportunity for them to get into too much trouble, though, seeing as how they spend all of their time surfing and skating.

Ease of Play

In the Xbox 360 version, this game uses the Kinect sensor to detect players’ movements as they pretend they’re on a variety of boards coasting down hills and through water. It’s pretty easy to get the hang of, though kids might get frustrated if the Kinect camera misinterprets their moves, as occasionally happened during our evaluation.

Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

This game is based on the popular SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon series, and serves to promote the popular brand. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that SpongeBob’s Surf & Skate Roadtrip is a sports game that features characters from the popular SpongeBob SquarePants television show. For the Xbox 360 version, it requires a Kinect sensor to play; and encourages a moderate amount of physical activity as players change position to maneuver their boards. There’s not much in the way of narrative or messages, and even less in the way of offensive content. The game can be played by two players head-to-head. Note, though, that playing the game will likely lead kids to want to watch the TV show.

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What's it about?

SPONGEBOB’S SKATE & SURF ROADTRIP is a sports game that has kids navigating a variety of waterways and streets on surf and skate boards. In the Xbox 360 version, it uses Kinect so that kids move their bodies in front of the camera. Kids have to avoid obstacles while trying to collect coins and performing stunts in the air. There are several ways to play each course, ranging from simple timed races to point challenges. The better your performance, the more quickly you’ll fill your “Awesome” meter. In two player mode, players go up against each other, using Awesome meter powers such as speed boosts and \"dizzy,\" which reverses the other player’s motion controls, flipping left with right.

Is it any good?

There’s no shortage of Kinect games that simulate skidding, sliding, and rolling down slopes, and this simple surf and skate game does little to distinguish itself from the competition. The bright graphics are pleasant, and the motion controls for steering and stunts are fine, though far from refined. However, a lack of significant narrative and heavily repetitive events make this SpongeBob adventure a bit of a snoozer. Kids do more or less the same thing from one event to the next, with their only meaningful objective being to improve upon their performance or beat their friends.

Unless your son or daughter is a SquarePants superfan, best wait for this one to hit the bargain bins.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about commercialism in games. Do you think games like this exist only to promote the shows, movies, and toys upon which they are based? Do you think featuring recognizable characters in otherwise generic games enhances them?

  • Families can also discuss keeping active outside of games. What sort of physical activities do you like to participate in? Does this game make you want to try skateboarding or surfing?

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