SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom

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SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom
Box art
The North American Cover Art of SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom for the Xbox
Developer(s) Heavy Iron Studios (PS2, Xbox and NGC)
AWE Games (PC)
Vicarious Visions (GBA)
Publisher(s) THQ
Director(s) Shiraz Akmal
Designer(s) Joel Goodsell
Programmer(s) Justin Stitz
Engine RenderWare
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
Nintendo GameCube
Game Boy Advance
Release date(s) PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, and Game Boy Advance
  • NA October 31, 2003
  • EU November 28, 2003
  • NA October 31, 2003
  • EU October 31, 2003
Genre(s) Sandbox Platformer
Mode(s) Single-Player

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom is a 2003 video game based on the animated series of the same name, developed by Heavy Iron Studios, AWE Games and Vicarious Visions and published by THQ. The game was released for the PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube consoles as well as for Microsoft Windows. The player attempts to defend Bikini Bottom from an invasion of robots created by Plankton with a machine called the Duplicatotron 3000. The playable characters are SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy. The game was released on October 31, 2003 in North America and in Europe on November 28, 2003.


Patrick in Goo Lagoon

Players control SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy (Except in the GBA and PC version, where in the GBA version, players controls SpongeBob only. In the PC version, the player can play as SpongeBob in various parts of Bikini Bottom.) Players also battle robot bosses such as Sandy, Plankton, Squidward, Patrick, and SpongeBob (Though the player can only battle Robot Squidward in the GBA version). Players can also switch between characters at bus stops throughout the game. Core gameplay involves collecting items and defeating the robots which have attacked Bikini Bottom, whilst crossing platforms and avoiding environmental hazards like spikes and flames. A number of mini-games are also accessible throughout the game, like Whack-A-Tiki, The Rolling Ball, Ske-Ball, The Funnel Machines, or Cruise Bubble Challenge.

The core gameplay resembles other 3D platformers like Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie, requiring players to collect three main types of items. Shiny objects are the game's currency, and can be used to pay tolls within game areas or to buy golden spatulas from Mr. Krabs.[1] Golden spatulas are used to grant access to new areas, they are hidden throughout the game and can also be earned by completing tasks set by Squidward and several other characters from the cartoon. Patrick's socks are spread throughout the game. Patrick will reward SpongeBob with a golden spatula in exchange for 10 of his socks.

Props are also included in the game. Trampolines help the player bounce to farther ledges or platforms. Buttons activate special appearances. Pressure Pads are like buttons, but they are big metal squares with feet. Sandy can swing from Texas hooks. SpongeBob can dive downward on a bungee hook. Patrick can pick up and throw a watermelon, freeze fruit, or fire fruit at any object. Fire fruits are not that common in the game. They debuted a cameo when the big balls shot out of the volcanoes in Jellyfish Caves.

Though some areas can be navigated by any character, several sections can only be completed with a specific character, due to each one having unique abilities. SpongeBob can create a bubble helmet for head-butting enemies. Patrick can throw objects at buttons, robots, and freeze liquids. Sandy can glide over large gaps with her lasso.

The Windows version features a series of mini-games and greatly differs from the console versions. Gameplay for the GBA version is much different as well, as it is simply a 2D game.


The game revolves around the theme of robots invading Bikini Bottom, SpongeBob's hometown. The robots were created by Plankton, the evil genius owner of the Chum Bucket, who has built a new machine called the Duplicatotron 3000 to produce an army of robots to take over the world using these robots, but only after he creates them does he realizes that the switch on the Duplicatotron has accidentally been switched to "Don't Obey" and the robots quickly kick him out of the Chum Bucket before taking it over.

SpongeBob and Patrick are playing with toy robots and wish they would play with real robots. Patrick uses his "magic wishing shell" to make their wish come true, hoping they will show up tomorrow. SpongeBob wakes up to find that his house has been trashed after thinking he wants to play with a robot. He wanders through the house for a while and receives a fax from Mr. Krabs, stating that he would give SpongeBob a golden spatula for every certain amount of shiny objects he collects for him. Outside, SpongeBob finds a disappointed Plankton, who weaves a tale of lies to the hero, claiming that the robots showed up out of nowhere and kicked him out. Fooled by the diminutive villain, SpongeBob embarks on a perilous quest to find golden spatulas, get rid of the robots, trading shiny objects to Mr. Krabs for golden spatulas, searching for Patrick's stolen socks (that had been taken by the robots) who will give him golden spatulas if he brings back ten socks, and getting Plankton back into the Chum Bucket, including bungee jumping, bubble blowing, learning new bubble moves from Bubble Buddy, and traveling through dreams among others.

He travels to Jellyfish fields and fights King Jellyfish to get some of its jelly back to Squidward (who has been stung by jellyfish) and goes to Downtown Bikini Bottom to help Mrs. Puff look for stolen steering wheels. King Neptune calls SpongeBob and Patrick to the Poseidome to defeat Robot Sandy. SpongeBob goes Rock Bottom where he helps Mrs. Puff recover stolen paintings and goes to the Mermalair where he helps the Mermalair computer shut down the security system, allowing him to go further inside where he fights Prawn, one of Mermaid Man's archenemies. Later, SpongeBob and Sandy save Squidward from Robot Patrick. SpongeBob heads for the Kelp Forest where he once again helps Mrs. Puff look for missing students. After SpongeBob takes back the Flying Dutchman's ship from the robots, the Flying Dutchman, who promised a golden spatula for him if he gets his ship back, goes back on his deal in which Sandy fights him for it. SpongeBob creates a bubble-formed ship to trade for the golden spatula. He then falls asleep and this allows him to enter his friend's dreamworlds where he looks for more golden spatulas. After SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy, and Squidward gain access to the Chum Bucket they discover Robot SpongeBob and Robot Plankton, also learning that Plankton was responsible for making the robots. SpongeBob fights his robot self and Robot Plankton. After defeating them, SpongeBob hopes that Plankton learned his "lesson". Many Robot Planktons come out and they begin arguing (along with the original one that survived the battle). However, the robots are still causing trouble in Bikini Bottom in which the gang continue to fight for it. The game ends with a special surprise cutscene of all the characters in the game singing the theme song (if the player collect all 100 golden spatulas).

Platform/PC Version[edit]

Opening: Plankton created a robot army to steal the Krabby Patty recipe, but he had it set to "disobey" mode, so the robots ignore Plankton's orders and attack Bikini Bottom instead. Meanwhile, SpongeBob and Patrick are playing with toy robots and having a tea party with them too. They wish that robots were people too, so Patrick puts the toy robot in his magic wishing shell, and tells SpongeBob that he has to sleep for it to work. The next morning, the robots break into SpongeBob's house and vandalize it along with the rest of Bikini Bottom. SpongeBob and Patrick go into the Chum Bucket to see that Plankton was the one behind the robot invasion. Plankton admits that it was his fault and that the robots are not listening to him and the only way to control the robots is to set the switch to "obey" mode. Instead, Patrick fools around with the machine, playing with the obey switch, accidentally pulling the switch off, which turns off the machine and deprograms the robots. Plankton tells them that was his next idea. After SpongeBob and Patrick head out, Plankton tries to tell them that he will be back with another plan.

GBA Version[edit]

Opening: Plankton created an army of robots to steal the Krabby Patty formula, but the Duplicatron was set to disobey, so the robots ignore Plankton and attack Bikini Bottom. The next morning, SpongeBob and friends see robots invading Bikini Bottom, which Mr. Krabs thinks is putting him out of business, so his assignment for SpongeBob is to fight the robots to get into the Chum Bucket to shut down Plankton's Duplicatron with the help of Mystery the Seahorse.

Patrick's Dream[edit]

A very odd, candy-themed level. It was meant to be the dream world for Patrick, like Mr. Krabs, Squidward's, and Sandy's dream levels, but appears to be overall unfinished, as much of the level makes no sense. There are many aspects in the level from early in the game's development, including early tikis that are not present anywhere else in the game, the ability to switch between all three characters (all the other levels only have two characters available), and many other oddities. There are many (possibly all the) characters from the game floating together in a straight line, there are also enemies in the level who appear normal but are also floating in mid-air, and will not attack you, nor they cannot be harmed with any attack. There are many other errors and oddities such as broken checkpoints, and items overlapping each other such as bus stops and teleportation boxes. And at the end of the level, you are warped to the Patrick's actual dream where he just hands you a golden spatula. The reason why the level is the way it is is unknown, and it was removed from the PlayStation 2 version, but is present in the Xbox and GameCube versions for some reason.


The game levels are primarily based on locales and environments from the show with a few made-up ones. SpongeBob's pineapple-shaped house serves as the tutorial level of the game, after which the player can go outside to enter the underwater city, Bikini Bottom, which serves as the hub world of the game, connecting all explorable levels, as well as the only safe level with no enemies in sight.

Bikini Bottom is divided into three areas, only one of which is accessible at the start; to unlock the others, the player has to collect a certain number of Golden Spatulas and clear a boss level. The first area has access to Jellyfish Fields, a large green field where jellyfishes find home, with fountains, canyons, mesas, a big lake, and a mountain with a shower and bath on top of it where the player fights against the King Jellyfish; Downtown Bikini Bottom, the central area that has most of the city's facilities, including high-rise buildings, the lighthouse, and a towering needle pit used for bungee jumping; and the Goo Lagoon, the city's local sandy beach with dark caves and a carnival at the far side of the beach. In addition to these three, the player can also enter Squidward's tiki-shaped and Patrick's rock houses.

The second area, accessible by defeating a Sandy-shaped robot in King Neptune's Poseidome has access to Rock Bottom, a dark and eerie netherworld-like city located in a sea trench populated by deep sea creatures and housing a museum; Mermalair, the lair of Bikini Bottom's semi-retired superheroes Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy where the fight against supervillain Prawn is set; and Sand Mountain, Bikini Bottom's ski resort where the player can do sandboarding mini-game. The player can also enter the city's police station, Sandy's treedome house, and the Shady Shoals, which houses the entrance to the Mermalair level.

The final area, accessed by defeating a Patrick-shaped robot in a construction site called the Industrial Park has access to Kelp Forest, a deep jungle of kelp with a lake and a cavern system; Flying Dutchman's Graveyard, a ghastly ship graveyard with green goo where the battle against the infamous ocean ghost Flying Dutchman takes place; and SpongeBob's Dream, a fragmentary world of dreams of SpongeBob, Sandy, Squidward, Mr. Krabs, and Patrick, the first of whom serves as the level's own hub world. The third area also includes a cinema with bonus clips the player can view, the Krusty Krab, and Chum Bucket, where the game's final boss, a SpongeBob-shaped robot, is fought.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings GC: 74.17%[2]

PS2: 73.30%[3] Xbox: 72.05%[4]

GBA: 63.62%[5]
Metacritic GC: 71[6] PS2: 71[7]
Review scores
Publication Score
IGN 7.3 out of 10[8]

Battle for Bikini Bottom was generally well received by critics. The game holds a 4.5 out of 5 from the Official PlayStation Magazine. IGN rates the game a 7.3 out of 10, praising the sound, graphical style, and gameplay, saying, “While it's generic collect, jump, and kill mechanics, the variety and general SpongeBob zaniness keep things fresh.”[8]

The game has won numerous awards, including favorite video game at the Nickelodeon 2004 Kids' Choice Awards,[9] and entered the Player's Choice, Platinum Hits, and Greatest Hits for GameCube, Xbox, and PlayStation 2 respectively.


A spiritual sequel, titled The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and based on the 2004 film of the same name, was developed with the same engine as Battle for Bikini Bottom and features similar gameplay aspects (SpongeBob's bowling move, sliding levels, etc.).


External links[edit]