SpongeBob's Truth or Square Game Poster Image

SpongeBob's Truth or Square

(i)

 

Goofy humor and enjoyably simple gameplay under the sea.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Outside of the puerile humor, there are no real negative messages. SpongeBob only wants to do a good job and not let his friends down. And they try to help him succeed.

Positive role models

SpongeBob may be a goofy half-wit, but he's infinitely earnest, good-hearted, and industrious. He only wants to help others, never wants to let anybody down. He's not very good at anything he tries to do, but that never stops him from trying.

Ease of play

The level of difficulty is set just right for the age of the intended audience. More experience players can get more out of the game by seeking out bonus items and attempting extra challenges, but none of that is necessary to finish the story.

Violence & scariness

Enemies -- all of whom are robots -- are dispatched by various forms of hitting, slapping, and pounding. SpongeBob changes his shape, becoming things like a spatula, spinning wheel, or water-balloon shooting cannon, to take on the bad guys. Robots explode when destroyed, leaving what SpongeBob refers to as "robot guts," but even those quickly vanish. Some of the bosses look menacing enough to be frightening to very young children.

Language

You'll hear name-calling along the lines of "weenie" and "twit." There's a lot of underwear-based humor, including one boss battle in which SpongeBob must cause the bad robot's pants to fall down in order to defeat him.

Consumerism

The game ties in to the already massive media presence that SpongeBob has.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this silly, fun game utilizes the same type of humor that fans have come to expect from the SpongeBob TV series. That means you can expect burps, underwear, and anything else that would make a seven-year old giggle. In terms of violence, however, the game pales in comparison to the show. Here you get nothing more than exploded robot parts, while in the cartoon, characters have had their skeletal systems ripped out of their bodies and their eyeballs burst. For SpongeBob, this game is incredibly wholesome.

What's it about?

In SPONGEBOB'S TRUTH OR SQUARE, the titular hero is charged with safeguarding the secret recipe for Krabby Patties, but forgets where he puts it. He can only remember things when he's happy, so his friends try to jog his memory by reminding him of the best times of his past (all actual moments from the TV show). At the same time, his nemesis, Plankton, has injected his mind with nanobots, so the formerly fond memories SpongeBob relives in the game are now populated with attacking robots.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

SpongeBob video games have a very mixed record, but Truth or Square should be counted among the best of them. It's got simple-yet-fun gameplay, tons of side missions that add replay value, lots of genuinely funny moments (try keeping a straight face when SpongeBob sucks up water and inflates his body to ridiculous proportions), and more than enough show references to please true fans. There's a co-op feature, which allows a second player to function as Plankton and assist SpongeBob in blasting run-amok robots. And money earned in-game can be spent to upgrade the furnishings of SpongeBob's pineapple, buy new characters costumes, or purchase power-ups. Truth or Square succeeds as both an enjoyable game for young kids and a part of the greater SpongeBob mythology.

Families can talk about...

  • Parents can talk about comedy and what makes something funny. In the game, as in the show, lots of things happen that would be considered impolite if they happened in real life, but they're played for laughs. Why can such behavior be funny on TV or in a game, when it's not acceptable in daily life?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo Wii, PSP, Xbox 360
Price:$29.99–$39.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:THQ
Release date:November 3, 2009
Genre:Action/Adventure
ESRB rating:E for Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief

This review of SpongeBob's Truth or Square was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

For kids who love games based on other media

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byTimTheTVGuy October 11, 2012

A great game based off a great SB special!

I really enjoyed playing this game! I still have it! The levels are AMAZING and just SO COOL AND PERFECT!
Teen, 15 years old Written byTheton1789 June 29, 2014

An Okay Platformer

Fans of the show Spongebob will probably want to play this game based off the hyped up TV special. Unlike the TV special, this game features hilarious dialogue and is very well written. The humor seems to be closer to that of the original series and features nods to many old episodes of the series that long time fans will appreciate. Unfortunately, the company Heavy Iron (Who also made The Movie Game and Battle for Bikini Bottom) let the quality slip a little in the gameplay department. The game is a pretty average platformer that play less smoothly than the other two I mentioned. The game would be generic and unappealing if it weren't for the excellent use of the Spongebob license. The game features minor insults, crude humor, and some violence involving smashing up robots. Overall, while I suggest the other two games as the better Spongebob platformers, this game is an okay pick for fans of the series.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 10 years old October 17, 2013

Worse than GTA5

This video game is worse than GTA 5
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?