SpongeBob SquarePants: SuperSponge is a Platform Game released for the PlayStation and Game Boy Advance in 2001. The game was developed by Climax Group and was published by THQ. It was one of the sponge's first games, preceded only by Legend of the Lost Spatula for the Game Boy Color.
SpongeBob is in search of the best birthday present for his best friend, Patrick Star. And what could be better than an autograph from his favorite superheroes, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy? Unfortunately, they are less than happy to see SpongeBob and decide to keep him away by giving him quests that could potentially harm or kill the little sponge, but naturally, he is determined to fulfill their requests no matter what.
And so is the beginning of a brand new adventure where SpongeBob will journey through Bikini Bottom, Rock Bottom, through the center of the earth, and even through time to save Patrick's birthday!
It's SpongeBob's first step into the world of console platforming. Seeing the fun and lovable sponge embark on a grand journey is a pretty big step from what we've seen from his show. He is now leaping through lava, travelling through time, and closing down canning factories, all while retaining his optimistic and carefree personality.
The game is divided into five "chapters" which consist of four levels in which SpongeBob must collect four things needed to fulfill Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy's requests. (e.g. Chapter One has you finding ingredients to make Mermaid Man a sandwich.)
Notably, it is interesting to know that around late 2019, early development builds and prototypes of the game mysteriously leaked onto the Internet and revealed various scrapped ideas and assets that can be seen in the Trivia page.
This video game provides examples of:
- 100% Completion: You must collect 100 spatulas in each level, then collect all the items in the bonus levels, and then spend those bonus level points in order to buy party favors and supplies to decorate Patrick's party. The more stuff you buy, the more decked out the party at the end will be.
- 1-Up: In the form of underpants!
- Adaptational Early Appearance: The jumping clams normally don't appear until Man Ray's Lair. In the Game Boy Advance version, however, the jumping clams appear as early as Fish Hooks Park.
- Adaptational Jerkass: Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy don't really like SpongeBob in the series, but they're downright mean-spirited here. The game even ends with Mermaid Man threatening to harm SpongeBob over not fixing the TV right.
- Adaptational Villainy: The Flying Dutchman was antagonistic in the series but here he is a world boss who tries to kill SpongeBob.
- Ass Kicks You: SpongeBob can butt bounce his enemies to defeat them and destroy flimsy platforms.
- Attack Animal: The Jellyfish Net. It allows you to catch up to 5 jellyfish and toss them at other enemies to defeat them. The Jelly Launcher lets you shoot jellyfish more efficiently, carry more ammo than the net, refuel ammo with jellyfish jars, and you can hold down the shooting button to shoot five jellyfish at once.
- Badass Adorable: The perky lovable sponge is a brave little guy who goes to ridiculous lengths.
- Balloonacy: The Glove World Balloon. You can jump higher and float to the ground slower and steadier.
- Big Boo's Haunt: Graveyard, a level in Rock Bottom that is a creepy graveyard with ghosts and skeletons abound.
- Call-Back: The game is littered with references to past episodes, such as the Glove World Tunnel of Love, and Sandy reminding SpongeBob to wear a helmet in her tree dome.
- Chewing the Scenery: The Flying Dutchman wants to make it really clear what his name is and that he wants to steal souls.
- Critical Annoyance: A constant beeping sound will play when you have no golden spatulas. This gets worse when you lose a life or start a level, because you will always start off with zero spatulas.
- Demoted to Extra: Man Ray, a recurring antagonist and arch nemesis of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy appears as a regular enemy multiple times in the game's industrial levels.
- Determinator: SpongeBob. He goes to incredible lengths in order to fulfill Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy's difficult requests so he can get the autograph and complete Patrick's birthday surprise.
- Easing into the Adventure: The first chapter of the game has SpongeBob collecting ingredients to make a sandwich by exploring parts of his hometown, Bikini Bottom. The levels have a rather simple, Super Mario Bros. layout by having the levels go from left to right with no exploring upwards or downwards. But the second chapter suddenly throws you into unknown territory outside of Bikini Bottom and the levels become bigger and more complex, almost dungeon-like.
- Easter Egg: If you have SpongeBob stand around long enough, he will turn away from the player for a few seconds and then back to his idle animation but with a different face/expression.
- Escort Mission: Some levels require you to guide Gary safely to his food bowl while protecting him from harm and enemies.
- Evil Laugh: Courtesy of The Flying Dutchman, local resident Large Ham from the series.
- Excuse Plot: The story revolves around getting a birthday present for Patrick.
- Fetch Quest: The entire game is a quest around the world, fetching the things that Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy tell SpongeBob to get so that he can get an autograph from them.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The Iron Dogfish, the Final Boss. Its' sudden appearance is even Lampshaded where before every boss battle you are given tips and information about them from Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, however they have no information on this boss and even wonder where it could've even came from.
- Gimmick Level: Sandy's Tree Dome, the only level that takes place out of water and SpongeBob must periodically jump into pools of water to replenish the water in his helmet.
- Glove Slap: Karate Glove. You can chop down your enemies with ease. The GBA version even lets you have the Karate Glove at all times!
- Gotta Catch 'Em All: At the end of every level, there is an object that you must collect.
- Green Hill Zone: Jelly Fields, the first level, takes place in Jellyfish Fields with green grass and blue skies everywhere.
- Ground Pound: The butt bounce is SpongeBob's default attack.
- Group Picture Ending: The game ends as the French narrator takes a picture of everyone at Patrick's birthday party.
- Hard Mode Filler: Jelly Fields (Industrial Version), a revisit to the first level, only now the level is harder and covered in oil pools.
- Idle Animation: SpongeBob stands still and blinks, but if you leave him idle long enough, he will randomly change faces after turning away for a few seconds.
- Large Ham: The Flying Dutchman is quite boisterous during his boss battle. Mr. Krabs is no slouch either, however he wasn't voiced by Clancy Brown here.
- Law of 100: Collecting 100 golden spatulas earns you an extra life. In the GBA version, you only need 50 spatulas instead.
- Lethal Lava Land: Lava Fields, which features fireballs that jump out of lava, not unlike a Mario game.
- Mundane Made Awesome: The quests SpongeBob is sent on to get a simple object for Mermaid Man and Barnicle Boy so he can get an autograph for them are rather dangerous and brutal to the max.
- Mutually Exclusive Powerups: You can only carry one item at a time, but luckily, you can switch between them.
- Nintendo Hard: Collecting 100 spatulas in every level where you have to complete a No-Damage Run basically where enemies and objects can easily cheap-shot you and making you lose all your progress in the level since the spatulas have an annoying habit of spreading around a huge radius like the rings from Sonic games where you only have a few seconds to collect them all again or else they disappear forever, forcing you to restart the entire level.
- No Indoor Voice: The Flying Dutchman's boss battle has him shouting out all these lines with gusto:"BET YOUR LILY WHITE LIVERS, I AM THE FLYING DUTCHMAN!!""I AM GOING TO STEAL YOUR SOUL!!""BWA HA HA HA HA!!"
- One Hitpoint Wonder: When SpongeBob has no golden spatulas on him. As long as he has one, it's a Single-Use Shield. Not the case in the GBA version, which uses a more conventional health system instead.
- Plot Coupon: You have to collect one at the end of each level to move on to the next level and eventually the next chapter.
- Power Up Let Down: The Coral Blower lets you suck up objects to take down walls that are blocking your path, but it also hinders your movement and traction where you constantly skate and slide across the floor and you are powerless as you can't use your only attack against enemies, the butt bounce. At least, you can kill enemies by sucking and blowing objects with the blower. Subverted in the GBA version, which allows you to ground pound and move normally, even with the Coral Blower
- Remixed Level: Jelly Fields (Industrial Version). The fields are now all covered in oil and the level is a lot more difficult than last time.
- Snipe Hunt: The entire plot is Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy trying to keep SpongeBob away from them with several. Naturally, he keeps succeeding.
- Sprite/Polygon Mix: Spongebob, his friends, and some enemies are 2D sprites while some enemies and the flooring are rendered in 3D.
- Temporary Platform: The Bubble Wand. You can blow bubbles to step on them for a few seconds and you can refuel by collecting soap bottles.
- Timed Power-Up: Some power-ups only last for a limited time, such as:
- Squeaky Boots. You aren't invincible against enemies, but it will allow you to walk on spikes and dangerous surfaces.
- Karate Glove. You can chop down your enemies with ease.
- Glove World Balloon. You can jump higher and float to the ground slower and steadier.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: The adventure ends with SpongeBob finally getting the autograph from Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy after he fixes their TV.
- Video Game Settings: Despite the entire game taking place Under the Sea, it has a rather expansive set of environments outside of Bikini Bottom.
- Weapons That Suck: The Coral Blower. Allows you to pick up seashells and throw them to destroy rock walls at the cost of losing your butt bounce and a lot of friction.note Doubles as an Improvised Weapon since you can kill enemies as well.
- Womb Level: Inside The Whale. You get to go inside a whale, and the boss is a giant worm. Thankfully, it's not fleshy.