A game that is said to play like a combination of Topple, Rolando and iBlast Moki sounds too good to be true. Actually it is true in some aspects but sadly SpongeDude doesn’t manage to combine elements from the aforementioned games into one coherent experience. That is an easy way to sum up SpongeDude: it is a lot of ideas thrown into a stew left to cook by itself, and sadly no chef turned up to try and save it by throwing some bad ingredients out.
Ok, so I have already given it a big slap over the head without even mentioning what the heck SpongeDude is all about. The limbless SpongeDude has been forced to Earth by his boss, iBoss, and now he has to get back to his home planet where he used to work as a watchman. Quite frankly I don’t feel the story, and I don’t give a damn about SpongeDude. Sure he has a lot of expressions in his blocky face, and has some funny things to say but in the end I simply don’t like him at all. He has got some cool friends such as the AfroDude(my own name for him) that I rather save.
There are 26 levels where you have to reach an exit door to progress across the Earth. Bombs, cars pushing SpongeDude and a variety of objects that helps SpongeDude on his way are at your disposal. SpongeDude himself can only jump by you tapping the screen, and when spinning the jump can give him higher speed when timed correctly. Objects are placed by selecting them to the right of the screen, and placing them wherever you want them. Most objects work right away whereas the bomb has to be tapped again to blow up. By using the objects correctly you will be able to move SpongeDude from point A to point B. Obstacles in the shape of spikes, lava and gnarly enemies all try to stop you. SpongeDude is totally defenseless making it a really pacifist game. SpongeDude is the complete opposite of Chuck Norris for sure.
The graphics and presentation is definitely inspired by Rolando and Loco Roco but somehow it feels a bit off. I get the constant feeling that I could probably take a block of the background, and just drag it around. The graphics feel manufactured in a strange way, as if the developers have tried to copy backgrounds, and painted them in MS Paint. I usually like these kind of details but a game like SpongeDude needs to be polished to appeal to me.
The music does not suit the game at all. The menu music sounds like some of the more mellow guitar plucking from Joe Satriani, and in a suduko game that would have worked brilliantly. In SpongeDude everything needs to be wacky to enhance the game. The music while playing the game is even less suiting with pop music with sung lyrics. I don’t get it at all how a love song sung by an unknown woman would work with a SponeDude and AfroDude as they are bombed into a pit of lava. You can play your own music thankfully. Sound effects are ok, and the strange mumble of SpongeDude is cute.
I thought the game felt off already at the second level, and at the third I didn’t want to play anymore. At the tenth level I still had the same feeling, and I won’t spend more time with it. The puzzles aren’t fun or exciting, and generally I get the feeling that it is more about luck than actual mental acuity needed to move SpongeDude to the exit. I have had to replay levels quite a lot, and as the dialogue keeps coming back each time I get rather annoyed. Often I have failed levels just because I have tapped to get rid of the dialogue, and by mistake set off a bomb as well.
SpongeDude is not a coherent product, and I am having a hard time recommending it. It is not a platformer, not a physics puzzler and not a precision bomb puzzler but a confused combination of the three.
Seller: Stefan Wundrak