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SpongeBob SquarePants, both the television show and the cartoon character of the same name, make their debut on the Nickelodeon network back in 1999. Since then, Spongebob would go on to be a bit of a cultural phenomenon, as well as a favorite among children and adults like. To date, more than 100 episodes of the TV show have aired, and there have been both a movie and endless toys based on the popular yellow sea sponge -- and, of course, the have been dozens of SpongeBob SquarePants video games as well. Here are our picks for the best SpongeBob games of all time.
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In the first title on our list, SpongeBob is joined by several other Nickelodeon stars, including Timmy Turner from The Fairly Oddparents and Jimmy Neutron. Together they must square off against different enemies from their various universes, who have teamed up to try and conquer the heroes' different realms. Nicktoons Unite! was released for the GameCube and the PlayStation 2 consoles, as well as the Game Boy Advance handheld, in October 2005. A Nintendo DS version followed in January 2006. The console versions are by far the best, allowing up to four players to work together to overcome various obstacles in action/platform game. The game plays somewhat like Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, if you can believe it, and the cartoon heroes can even gain experience and be powered up.
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SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants!
Continuing the trend of SpongeBob SquarePants games with titles that end in exclamation points, Lights, Camera, Pants! is SpongeBob's take on the Mario Party style of party game. Released in late 2005 for the GameCube, PS2, Xbox, Game Boy Advance and PC, this THQ-published title features SpongeBob and his friends competing in various tasks as an audition for a starring role in a movie. The challenges themselves are pretty fun, and include things like trying to work in teams of two to clean a building or serve food at a restaurant. The only thing keeping this game from being something truly special is the unforgiving scoring system. Winning isn't enough in this game -- you need to keep replaying the challenges until one player reaches a target number of points, which can become immensely frustrating after several failed attempts.
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SpongeBob SquarePants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman
Revenge of the Flying Dutchman is a fairly typical family-friendly 3D platformer. In this title, SpongeBob unwittingly releases a ghost named the Flying Dutchman, who proceeds to hypnotize and kidnap all of his friends, leaving it up to the fry cook to save everyone and defeat the Dutchman once and for all. Along the way, SpongeBob can gain new abilities in the form of new costumes and collect items, and while the game isn't anything as remarkable as Super Mario Galaxy, Revenge of the Flying Dutchman for PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube is an enjoyable little game that should keep platforming fans entertained from start to finish.
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SpongeBob SquarePants: The Movie
Not too dissimilar from Revenge of the Flying Dutchman, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Movie is a game based on the main character's attempts, along with his buddy Patrick, to recover King Neptune's stolen crown and save his boss, Mr. Krabs. The game features 18 levels, and in addition to standard jumping-style adventure play, it includes driving levels, Combat Arena Challenges, SpongeBall Challenges and more. The gameplay variety and the excellent tie-ins to the film (the Goofy Goober Rock anthem even plays during final boss fight) make this a SpongeBob game worth checking out. Once again, this title is available for the GameCube, PS2, and GBA, as well as the Xbox and PC.
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SpongeBob: Atlantis SquareOff
The final entry on our list isn't your typical SpongeBob console game. Actually, it isn't even available on consoles at all! Rather, it is SpongeBob: Atlantis SquareOff, a game created exclusively for the PC and downloadable from the Nick Arcade online. Believe it or not, Atlantis SquareOff is a turn-based strategy game in the vein of Fire Emblem or Metal Gear Acid. In this game, SpongeBob needs to travel throughout the kingdom of Atlantis and defeat arch-nemesis Plankton and his army of robots. Doing so will require the use of cards, which can be collected by breaking barrels and defeating enemies on each of the battlefield maps. These cards serve as SpongeBob's means of movement, his combat weapons, his defensive shields, his special attacks and even his healing items. It isn't as deep as some strategy games on the market, but it is nonetheless a thoroughly enjoyable tactical title.