I didn’t know what I was getting into with Truth Or Square, obviously a SpongeBob game but the title made me guess some sort of party game. Instead I found a surprising adventure game with combat, platforming, challenges and lots of nods to the tv show.
The plot is all about finding objects to make SpongeBob happier so he can find the krabby patty formula. This along with the theme of every level are related to things that have happened in the SpongeBob SquarePants series which is fantastic for old time fans of the show like myself.
Between levels you visit a sort of hub world which is the inside of SpongeBob’s house. The house contains what you’d expect of SpongeBob, interactable objects, characters from the show, menus for different costumes and upgradable furniture.
There’s a Cheat phone on a table in SpongeBob’s house. Just having cheats in a game is extremely rare these days as micro transactions and DLC have taken over, so this is one thing that shows old games are better.
The combat in the game is very basic, using two buttons for different styles of melee attack, having a ranged attack. SpongeBob can collect power ups which grant extra strength or invincibility. They also make it Sandy, Squidward and Patrick can turn SpongeBob into a weapon which grants more powerful attacks and invincibility for a brief period. Enemies vary in size and health but there are only a few kinds to encounter.
Truth Or Square also has a few bosses which mostly play by the rule of three. They can be surprisingly challenging, shooting things that SpongeBob must dodge and hitting with powerful melee attacks. The trick to these fights is a mix of patience and reaction time.
The game is set out as a series of levels that can be accessed from the hub world. Having a few normal levels before one level dedicated to a boss. There are platforming and combat challenges on every normal level but they are locked behind completion so there is a reason to replay, plus concept art and sleeping Patricks are hidden in the levels too.
I had a little trouble fighting the camera sometimes because I couldn’t get it to aim exactly where I wanted. Combat might have been a bit excessive sometimes too. Mechanically the game was fine though.
The game doesn’t look too bad considering when it came out. It has a sort of couch co-op mode but I didn’t get to try that.
Overall, this game is pretty good if a little frustrating at times. It brought me a sense of joyful nostalgia both for children’s tv and when games had unlockable content. I’ve only called it average because SpongeBob is aimed at children but I’d have probably given up on this as a child due to the more frustrating parts. I did like playing through this one as an adult though.