|System: Wii, 3DS|
|Dev: WayForward Technologies|
|Release: April 12, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: N/A||Comic Mischief|
Though this mini-game doesn't work at all, most of the games in SpongeBob Squigglepants at least work, but the trouble is that the controls just aren't that intuitive. One game that was lifted direct from Wario Ware Smooth Moves involves answering the telephone (no really, it is EXACTLY the same) but instead of picking up a Wii-mote you have to draw a diagonal line on the uDraw tablet. It doesn't make much sense and feels awkward. The game ends up feeling like a DS port of a Wii game, which is a bit backwards (and a little ironic when you think about it).
Unfortunately, the game also suffers from being very short. The mini-games are all very easy to figure out, and you can unlock all of the different paintings in two or three hours, without much skill. Much of the mini-games focus on trial and error, and once you figure out the gimmick, going back through them after you've figured them out is fairly boring. Interestingly, the game does not have a multiplayer mode (which is rare for a mini-game compilation), so unless you have a lot of time on your hands to replay through tons of mini-games you've already played before, you'll be done with this game the second you unlock the last painting. Though there is a free-draw mode, the drawing tools you can use in uDraw's pack-in software are much more satisfying.
Production values in SpongeBob Squigglepants are fairly good. Each of the art-stylized games look good, and the live action scenes with Patchy the Pirate look satisfactory. Though nothing about the game is really a technical marvel, the look of the game at least meets expectations, and during my time with it I didn't encounter any technical issues or glitches.
SpongeBob Squigglepants is a fun game, and if it would have come out 3-4 years ago, I'm sure it would be well-received. However, the game suffers quite a bit from being nearly a carbon copy of a game that has been imitated to death. Unfortunately, this isn't made better by the use of an unintuitive peripheral, and some controls that don't always work well. Though the kiddie sect might have some fun with this title (and you can't beat its budget price if you already have a uDraw peripheral), older SpongeBob fans will find the game a little too derivative, and the peripheral makes the gameplay feel awkward rather than fresh. SpongeBob Squiggle Pants seems like the type of game that will work better on a handheld rather than home console. Incidentally, a 3DS version will be released in a few weeks, so we'll see if this game can improve any when it switches consoles.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer