The game follows the same plot as the original. THQ Nordic's announcement featured the following overview: "Are you ready, kids? The cult classic is back, faithfully remade in spongetastic splendor! Play as SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy and show the evil Plankton that crime pays even less than Mr. Krabs. Want to save Bikini Bottom from lots of rampant robots? Of course, you do! Want to underpants bungee jump? Why wouldn’t you! Want to join forces in a brand new multiplayer mode? The battle is on!"
The core gameplay involves collecting items and defeating the robots which have attacked various areas in Bikini Bottom, while crossing platforms and avoiding environmental hazards like spikes and flames. Some areas require different characters to beat, as each character has their own unique abilities. The player can control SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy. Switching characters requires the player to find a Bus Stop, upon using which the current character will switch to another, and using it again will switch back to the previous character, giving the player an option of two characters in each level. The default character throughout the game is SpongeBob; Sandy and Patrick do not share any levels as playable characters.
Throughout the game, the player will collect Shiny Objects, Socks, and Golden Spatulas. Shiny Objects are dropped by enemies and scattered throughout levels, and can be used to pay clams to progress through levels and unlock extra challenges. They can also be traded with Mr. Krabs for Golden Spatulas. Socks are placed in levels in harder to reach locations, and 10 of them can be traded to Patrick for a Golden Spatula. Golden Spatulas are used to unlock new areas in the game, and 75 of them are required to fight the final boss.
A new addition to the remake is a multiplayer horde mode in which two players face waves of robotic enemies. The mode includes cut content from the original game, including a fight against a robotic Squidward and the scrapped version of Patrick's dream.
All of the following voice roles were performed for the original Battle for Bikini Bottom. The archived recordings of the original lines were reused for Rehydrated.
In the credits, Brad Abrell is misspelled as "Brad Arbe," and Larry the Lobster is misspelled as "Lary the Lobster."
Mr. Krabs and Mermaid Man are the only two characters who are not voiced by their original actors, Clancy Brown and Ernest Borgnine, and are instead both voiced by Joe Whyte. Tim Conway passed away in 2019, making Rehydrated's use of his archived recordings as Barnacle Boy his first posthumous role.
Painty the Pirate from the intro is in the game but only his voice is heard but however Patrick Pinney is uncredited in the game's credits.
Karen Plankton appears throughout the Chum Bucket without any spoken lines. Several incidental fish models also appear as non-speaking background characters.
There have been online petitions from fans wanting a Battle for Bikini Bottom remake as far back as 2014. According to Gematsu, the game is "faithfully remade in spongetastic splendor."
THQ Nordic created a Flash-animated teaser trailer in 2019 to announce the game. In it, SpongeBob wears his helmet from the original Battle for Bikini Bottom and even does the original pose from the box art. The trailer was released alongside a piece of concept artwork, showing shaded artwork of the playable characters: SpongeBob on top of a defeated robot, Patrick eating a throw fruit, and Sandy swinging on her lasso.
Rehydrated features content that was cut from the original iteration of the game, including Robo-Squidward. A well-known speedrunner of the original game, known as SHiFT, helped to test the remake and consulted with the developers.
Players who pre-ordered Rehydrated digitally on Steam received a 10% discount on the pre-tax purchase price, as well as free access to the game's remastered soundtrack.
THQ Nordic also created two physical special editions of Rehydrated: the Shiny Edition (priced at USD$150) and the F.U.N. Edition (priced at USD$300).
The Shiny Edition, named after the Shiny Objects, contained the game on the user's chosen platform, an 8"/20cm SpongeBob figurine, a set of wall stickers, a set of litographs, and a pair of Battle for Bikini Bottom-themed tennis socks. The SpongeBob figurine features him holding a Golden Spatula while performing a victory screech, with Gary next to him, both standing on top of a broken Slick head. SpongeBob is held up by bubbles behind him, and his tongue is flexible and can be moved up or down.
The F.U.N. Edition, named after the eponymous episode, contained all of the contents from the Shiny Edition, a 7"/18cm Patrick figurine, an 8"/20cm Sandy figurine, and a set of keyrings featuring the tikis from the game. The Patrick figurine features him holding a Throw Fruit while standing on the pieces of another, broken Throw Fruit, with two of his socks nearby. The Sandy figurine features her swinging her lasso above her head, standing in front of a Wood Tiki, with bubbles rising from the ground behind her.
For level-specific changes, see the level's article.
The following is a list of general gameplay and graphical changes in Rehydrated compared to the original console games:
The original game used the RenderWare engine, while Rehydrated uses Unreal Engine 4.
The visuals have been significantly improved due to technological advancements. As part of this, many of the tikis and robots have received redesigns and the character models have changed.
Purple Lamp Studios noted that the original game's 3D model for SpongeBob was based on his season 2 design. In this game, SpongeBob appears to be based on his season 12 design.
Other small details have also been added or changed to reference newer episodes since the original game's release.
The opening scene from the original was done in a 3D plane albeit designed for 4:3, though the background outside of it is shown using unofficial widescreen/fov hacks and the beach background was dithered plus the "SpongeBob SquarePants in" logo was present; this version was redone using the 2016 opening part of the FMV footage.
Danger areas appear on the ground for projectiles that can hurt the player, including Tar-Tar's shots, Chuck's missiles, and Robo-Patrick's toxic waste.
Character animations are noticeably much more fluid. Characters move and emote more naturally during conversations, and their mouths fully articulate instead of just flapping up and down.
SpongeBob's standing animation is altered a bit. In the original, he sways back and forth and swings his arms; in the remake, he still sways, but he moves his arms up and down while clenching his fists.
SpongeBob's eyelashes now disappear whenever his eyes are closed, like in the show.
All three playable characters feature new idle animations.
Mr. Krabs' prices of Shiny Objects for Golden Spatulas are increased. Instead of adding 500 more per price, he now adds 3,000 more Shiny Objects to each price upon buying one.
This was reverted back to how it was in the original game in Version 1.0.3.
The Golden Spatula collection in the pause menu is replaced by a map of the game's levels. Selecting a level will bring up a Golden Spatula list of that level similar to the original. Also the level-respective background music continues uninterrupted at a lower volume and the original underwater tone can be heard.
The Golden Spatulas have also been re-ordered in the pause menu to be arranged in the order that the player completes them.
Karen appears throughout the Chum Bucket in a new design that is a mix of her wall form and mobile form: the monitor is attached to the wall and has a control panel like her wall form, but it also has a stalk under it like her mobile form. In the original version of the game, her wall form was used.
A new sound effect plays when advancing through menus and text boxes.
Golden Spatulas, Underwear, Patrick's socks, and level-specific items are contained in bubbles instead of simply floating.
The player can now hold down the left trigger to sneak as SpongeBob, forgoing the need to gently push the analog stick.
The player can also use the left trigger to perform Sandy's glide, even if she has not performed a double jump first.
Sandy can now go straight into a glide by simply holding down the jump button after the second press for a double jump. In the original, the player was required to press the jump button a third time.
Jellyfish now indicate that they are about to zap the player.
If the player uses Sandy's lasso move in mid-air, Sandy will now stay in mid-air for a second.
If the player uses Sandy's lasso move on a tiki, that tiki will now contract for a second before it breaks.
The player can now use Patrick's forward belly attack in mid-air.
Timers are now in seconds instead of minutes and appear in the center of the screen instead of in a box in the upper-right corner.
The Bubble Bowl now follows the camera in the center upon preparing to throw it.
SpongeBob also tip-toes forward much faster while charging the Bubble Bowl.
Furthermore, if the player holds down the button for long enough, the sound effect for charging the bubble bowl will stop and the sound effect for throwing the bubble bowl will not play.
The sound effect for Sandy's glide no longer winds down. It instead just cuts off abruptly.
While SpongeBob is in his SpongeBall form, he can now jump. In the original game, the jump button was used to cancel it out. In Rehydrated, you can use the attack button to cancel it out, which was also possible in the original.
When using the Cruise Bubble, the bubble torpedo is now followed in third person rather than first person.
Patrick now slides on his back rather than his butt.
The player can now control sliding down much easier.
Boss battles are slightly faster.
During the opening and level introduction cutscenes, the cuts are replaced with fades to and from a black screen. Also, there was a bubble transition to SpongeBob's house which was removed, though the bubble sounds are still intact.
Subtitles can now be shown during cutscenes in addition to in-game conversations. This feature can be enabled or disabled via the settings menu.
Before a conversation begins or before you read a sign, there is an abrupt cut to black before fading up.
The push-buttons have been modified to determine what action is needed to press it; for example, a bowling pin represents the Bubble Bowl, while a circle/crosshair symbol represents that the Cruise Bubble or Throw are required to press it.
In the secret ending, SpongeBob no longer wears his Krusty Krab hat.
The title screen and secret ending use the official theme song instead of the version made for the original game.
Loading screens appear each time after the player loses all underpants or fall into a death pit.
The level music also resets upon death instead of continuing uninterrupted.
The background for SpongeBob's Dream is replaced with a blue sky with clouds and rainbows.
The player must now hold the action button for Sandy to use her lasso on the Texas Trailer Hitches.
Bosses can only be fought once, instead of in the original where they can be replayed through the menu. So unless the player finishes the game 100% the first time, they won't be able to see the secret ending.
As of Version 1.0.3, it is now possible to replay boss fights.
The concept art gallery in the movie theater is replaced with a gallery of still images from the game.
As of Version 1.0.3, actual concept art has been added.
The Exit sign on top of the entrance to "SpongeBob's Dream" has been removed.
The bubble loading screen from the original now acts as a quick transition animation which plays before the actual loading screens.
Some unused dialogue from the original has been reinserted (primarily dialogue spoken by the playable characters during gameplay).
It is no longer possible to revisit the SpongeBall Arena after completing the game for the first time.
As of Version 1.0.3, it is possible to replay it by completing the final boss again.
SpongeBob's primary attack is slightly slower than the original.
Conversely, Sandy's karate and lasso attacks and Patrick's ground slam attacks are faster than the original.
SpongeBob's reactions to Mr. Krabs' note and the news broadcast in his house now play every time the player re-watches them. In the original, his reactions only played during the first viewing.
The Flying Dutchman is now completely opaque. In the original, he was slightly transparent due to being a ghost.
The player now needs to hold the action button to use Sandy's Texas swingers, instead of merely pressing it.
SpongeBob's wall jumping is much faster than in the original.
The Latin Spanish dub was added to the game on December 17th 2020, and three days later for the Nintendo Switch version.
In the Shady Shoals Rest Home, some tikis such as Thunder, Shhh or Stone tikis have been replaced with Wood tikis. Additionally, the furniture in Shady Shoals Rest Home are no longer breakable.
If the player complete the "Infestation at the Krusty Krab" golden spatula and then return at the Krusty Krab, some objects such as barrels, boxes or the cash register will be missing.
Some of the sound effects were changed, such as the sound when grabbing a Shiny Object, when SpongeBob does a Bubble Bash or Bubble Bounce, and the Thunder Tiki's storm.
When activating the Cruise Bubble, one of SpongeBob's lines, "SpongeBob to mission control, the launch is a go!" use an alternate take that was present in the files of the original game.
Characters comment on picking up underwear while the whistle sound is heard instead of after. The whistle is also rerecorded.
Characters now have a landing sound effect when they land after falling or jumping.
When SpongeBob gets before a locked location with the required golden spatulas, the scene no longer freezes and focuses on the entry, instead the game keeps going as the number disappears.
The music keeps playing during the cutscene of SpongeBob falling asleep before the SpongeBob's dream level; in the original, the music stops.
The characters now say their "underwear get" and "sock get" phrases every time they pick up as mentioned, instead of occasionally.
The "special object get" sound no longer plays when a golden spatula or sock appears.
The timer sound effect now plays for the Freezy Fruit timer, when it didn't in the original.
When the timer is set for time challenges, the "time set" sound effect does not play.
The level music resets following a "button push action" cutscene.
Signs and specific conversations now have to be triggered manually instead of occurring automatically on first experience.
To use Unreal Engine 4 as the game engine. Additionally, the tool named after the Robo-Patrick boss level, normally used to mod the original Battle for Bikini Bottom and Movie, was used to extract and remake assets using a max script found inside the archives, and the creator "igorseabra" was credited.
To be a remake of an older SpongeBob game.
To have two special editions.
To have Japanese dubbing.
The disc for the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game have a different changes:
The PS4 has the same artwork that's seen on the front cover, it’s also the same disc artwork used on the PC version.
On the Xbox One version, it shows the Bikini Bottom sky instead of SpongeBob, Patrick and Sandy.
If the player goes to the "Downtown Bikini Bottom" level to the mission "Tikis go Boom" behide the First Nautical Bank where Patrick's sock is at they will see a hidden message in coral saying "hi."
Multiple retailers, including Walmart, broke the street date on releasing Rehydrated, which was set on June 23, 2020. People were reportedly able to purchase and play the game at least a week in advance of the intended release date.
This is the second SpongeBob game to have an ESRB rating of E10+, following Plankton's Robotic Revenge. The original Battle for Bikini Bottom was rated Everyone; the "Everyone 10+" rating did not exist until 2005, two years after the original game was released.
Karen appears in the Chum Bucket. In the original version of the video game, her wall form was used. In Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated, her design is a mix of her wall form and mobile form: the monitor is attached to the wall and has a control panel like her wall form, but it also has a stalk under it like her mobile form.
On the Nintendo Switch version, Purple Lamp Studios is not seen on the front cover of the game while it's seen on the Xbox 1, PS4 and PC versions of the game.
The box art uses the 2009-2017 version of the SpongeBob SquarePants logo instead of the version of the logo being used at the time of the game's release.
In a few points in the game, the player will see a fish that will dab in some levels.
The game's box art features a few key changes:
SpongeBob is in the same pose from the original game's box art, except his eyelids are fully open with only one "brow" furrowed instead of both and he is not wearing an army helmet.
The box art for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions depict the Krusty Krab in front of the lighthouse. The box art for the Nintendo Switch version adds SpongeBot SteelPants above the characters, but the Krusty Krab is missing from the shot. The box art for the PC version fits both the Krusty Krab and SpongeBot SteelPants.
You can disable Hans as a shortcut to other cities, all you have to do is go to the black dot in the Goo Lagoon and then jump in it and while Hans carries you out, you'll sorta be floating so you have to keep spamming the jump into the Goo Lagoon to disable Hans.
One of SpongeBob's quotes when performing the Cruise Bubble is "Say hello to my little bubble friend!", which is a reference to the famous line, "Say hello to my little friend!" from the 1983 film Scarface.
When SpongeBob rolls a bubble bowling ball, he may say, "Ahhh, There's noting like the smell of bubbles in the morning, smells like... victory," which is a reference to the line, "I love the smell of napalm in the morning," from the 1979 film Apocalypse Now.
Several pieces of art in the Rock Bottom museum are based on famous real-world art pieces:
When fighting, SpongeBob will sometimes say, "You've just met the Spongeinator," which is a reference to the Terminator film series.
In the Kelp Forest level cutscene, the player sees a fish fighting the Tubelet with his hat. This could refer to Kung Lao from the Mortal Kombat game series.
In the place where Sandy helps Larry get all his stuff, one of the signs says "Kora Kola" which is a reference to Coca Cola.
Just like the original game, this game makes many references to the show. In addition, this remake game also make references to newer episodes. The original game only makes references to the pre-movie episodes (Seasons 1-3) due to what was out at the time in 2003. Purple Lamp Studios felt it was necessary to add a little bit extra for the fans. So this remake includes some references to episodes that came out after season 3.
In the episode "Neptune's Spatula," there is a golden spatula in a museum exhibit, which SpongeBob pulls out with ease. In the game, there are many golden spatulas in the levels, which SpongeBob and friends earn by completing certain tasks. Plus, the stadium where King Neptune and SpongeBob had a cook-off is also where SpongeBob and Patrick fight Robo-Sandy.
In the episode "Plankton!," Plankton offers SpongeBob a golden spatula.
At the Poseidome, when Robo-Sandy appears, Patrick says his famous "It's a giraffe!" quote from "Bubblestand."
During the middle of the Goo Lagoon level, SpongeBob can be heard saying "Uh Oh, I can't swim!", this may be a reference to "SpongeGuard on Duty".
In the Kelp Forest level, the player when see the Port-O-Head upon ahead near Mrs. Puff, and going inside of it the player can hear a flush sound this is a reference to the episodes "Bubble Buddy" and "SpongeGuard on Duty."
The level 'Mermalair,' is based on the episode "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy III." The mini-boss battle is also a reference to the episode, in which Prawn was released and imprisoned in a similar experience that Man Ray was.
The First Nautical Bank from the same episode can in the background during the "Downtown Bikini Bottom" level.
The robot stealing sun tan in the Goo Lagoon level be a nod to the episode "Ripped Pants" where Incidental 22 forgets to puts on suntan.
In the episode "Prehibernation Week," SpongeBob and Sandy go to the Industrial Park, in which SpongeBob melted after taking the course. In the game, the Industrial Park is where SpongeBob and Sandy go to fight Robo-Patrick.
Also, the Sea Needle from the same episode makes a appearance.
In the episode "Club SpongeBob," SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward were stranded in a kelp forest. In the game, the same kelp forest serves as a level, but the field wasn't completely covered in kelp. Instead, there are open spaces in the level where the player can explore.
In the episode "Sleepy Time," SpongeBob traverses around the dream realm to visit some of his friends' dreams. The level 'SpongeBob's Dream' is based on the episode, in which SpongeBob has to enter his friends' dreams in order to get Golden Spatulas and to reach Patrick's Dream.
On the design of SpongeBot SteelPants, he has rocket jets for legs, similar to how SpongeBob blasted off in the water when he was picked as hall monitor in the episode "Hall Monitor." Plus, the first form of Robo-SpongeBob is similar to when SpongeBob puts on his karate gear in various episodes like "Karate Choppers," or "No Weenies Allowed."
Also, SpongeBot's design is sort of like the Design of SpongeTron due with the Jet flames.
When SpongeBot SteelPants is defeated for the first time, Robo-Plankton will repair him into a form similar to when SpongeBob got Anchor Arms in "MuscleBob BuffPants." Also, during the Goo Lagoon scene, the Juice Bar from the same episode is seen.
As SpongeBot SteelPants grows due to Robo-Plankton's repairs, Patrick thinks that he's shrinking. This is a reference to the episodes "Suds" and "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV."
If SpongeBob approaches the vending machine in the first parts of the level Rock Bottom, a bus will arrive and then leave again. This is based on SpongeBob's failed attempts to get on the bus in "Rock Bottom."
If the player falls into a pit or goes to a restricted area long enough, Hans will come out and will take the player out of the danger. Similarly, in the episode "Suds," when SpongeBob (and Patrick) are about to get their treatments, Hans comes out and takes them to their treatments.
Bubble Buddy appears in the game, making this his second appearance since his debut episode.
When SpongeBob encounters Bubble Buddy for the first time, Bubble Buddy says SpongeBob must learn all of his Bubble Moves if he's planning to "travel to the 9th dimension, and defeat the giant monkey man." Patrick practically says exactly the same thing in "Big Pink Loser."
When the player defeats the robots in the Rock Bottom Museum, Bubble Buddy says "I think it's time for a victory screech!" Then, he and SpongeBob do one. This is a reference to "The Algae's Always Greener" and "Club SpongeBob."
When the player returns 10 socks to Patrick, he says "Here's your golden backscratcher," to which SpongeBob replies "Spatula," and Patrick retorts "I don't speak Italian." This line was used in "Wormy." The only difference is that it's said by SpongeBob instead of Patrick.
When the player goes down a slope while playing as SpongeBob, he will go down on his tongue, and Sandy goes down on a clam, just like in the Sand Mountain scene in "Prehibernation Week."
SpongeBob also crashes into a sandman in the episode, just like how the player has to crash into 8 sandmen along the slope to get one of Patrick's socks.
In the episode "Hooky," SpongeBob gets his pants caught on a fishing hook. In some points of the game, SpongeBob can bungee-jump on the fishing hooks, with his pants caught on them of course.
In the episode "Ripped Pants," a woman forgets to put on sunscreen. In the Goo Lagoon scene of this, the robots steal people's sunscreen.
Inside Patrick's Rock, a picture of SpongeBob and Patrick together is seen hanging on the wall, This picture was originally seen when SpongeBob snuck into Patrick's house at night in "The Secret Box" and when Squidward was happy when SpongeBob and Patrick was gone forever in "Scavenger Pants."
Inside Squidward's house, one of the paintings references Squidward's face after being asked if he's sure that he hates Krabby Patties, which is from the episode "Just One Bite."
When SpongeBob is reading the note on the typewriter, from Mr. Krabs, in his house, the player hears SpongeBob say "And it even smells sweaty, just like him!," this is a reference to when SpongeBob says "Boy Mr. Krabs, you sure are sweaty" in the episode "Arrgh!"
When SpongeBob goes to the Mermalair, and the first line that Mermaid Man speaks in the level, he says "Is that the TV repairman?," it is a reference to the "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy" episode when he says "Are they here to fix the TV?"
One of Patrick's randomly said phrases while playing as him is "You broke my heart, now I'm going to break something of yours!" This is a reference to "Valentine's Day."
When SpongeBob and Sandy gets hit by Robo-Patrick, he bangs his stomach like a gorilla when Patrick beings his rampage.
Inside of the Rock Bottom museum, a picture based on the famous art "The Birth of Venus" This picture was originally seen when Squidward and Patrick went to the Art Museum from "Squidward's School for Grown-Ups" can be seen on the higher floor.