"Hoppin' Clams! SpongeBob wants to give his friend Patrick Star autographs from their favorite superheroes, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. But first, SpongeBob must succeed at some increasingly zany challenges. See if SpongeBob can fulfill the superheroes' requests to win their autographs!"
The game is a 2.5D platformer, where SpongeBob is tasked by Barnacle Boy to gather several objects. There are a total of five chapters, with each chapter containing four levels. The desired objects are located at the end of each level, while a boss battle is encountered at the end of the 4th level.
Several golden spatulas are scattered in every level, which serves as the player's health, similar to the rings in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Any damage taken will scatter the spatulas on the ground. These will remain on the ground to be collected for a very brief period of time until it disappears. Collecting 100 spatulas will grant an extra life.
At the start of the game, Squidward instructs the player about the controls and how to use the jellyfish net. The objective of the level is to get the Jellyfish Jelly.
Level 2: Sandy's Tree Dome
The player needs to refill the player's water helmet that has sprung a leak. The objective of this level is to get the Sea-Nut Butter.
Level 3: Fish Hooks Park
The player must traverse the landscape using fish hooks and some spiky pits make for obstacles in the player's way. The objective of this level is to get the lettuce.
Level 4: Downtown Bikini Bottom
At the end, the player must face the Mother Jellyfish who will try to sting the player and the player's only way to defeat her is to throw jellyfish at her. The objective of this level is to get the bread.
Bonus Level 1: Six Clams Adventure Land: Big Wheel
To unlock this level, the player must have 60 golden spatulas total in at least one level. In this bonus level, the player must use balloons and jump on the Ferris wheel to collect 25 Kelp Tokens in 30 seconds and cross the finish line to the right of the wheel. Any tokens collected are kept.
Chapter 2: To the Center of the Earth
Level 1: Cavernous Canyons
At the beginning of the level, Mr. Krabs tells the player how to use the coral blower. The objective is to try to get the kelp cream.
Level 2: Thermal Tunnels
Patrick tells the player how to use a balloon he got for his birthday so the player can float past obstacles. The objective is to get the loofah.
Level 3: Acrid Air Pockets
The player learns to blow bubbles and use them as platforms to jump on. The objective is to get the mud pack.
Level 4: Lava Fields
The player jumps over the lava and dodges the fireballs that shoot out of the lava. At the end of the level, the player fights a mechanical fish called a Sub-Shark. There are rumors that Plankton created this creature. To defeat him, the player has to use a jellyfish launcher and shoot jellyfish at him. If the player is out of jellyfish, they must instead bounce on the tires and butt-bounce on him. In the GBA version, the player needs to use his/her melee attack to damage the boss as soon as he starts lunging. The objective is to get the false teeth.
Bonus Level 2: Six Clams Adventure Land: Roller Coaster
This level is unlocked when the player collects 70 Golden Spatulas in one level. Here, the player has to ride the roller coaster, collect 25 Kelp Tokens, and jump over any obstacles they come across. Unlike the main levels, the player does not lose a life if they die.
Chapter 3: Bikini Bottom Prehistoric Times
Level 1: Precipice Canyon
Before the level starts, the player is in Plankton's lab. Plankton is mad at the player for discovering his secret time machine, but he lets the player use it anyway. SpongeBob enters the time machine. Then the level begins, the player starts off by butt-bouncing on the unstable floor so the player can get down. Then the player uses Patrick's balloon to float down gently. Mr. Krabs tells the player that they can walk on spikes by using his squeaky boots. The objective is to get the superhero underpants.
Level 2: Desert Wasteland
Sandy teaches the player to use the karate glove to chop enemies. The player can kill the tornado by butt-bouncing on it. The player must find the scallop bra.
Level 3: Kelpazoic Jungle
The objective of the level is to find the slippers. At the end of the level, the player is being eaten by a whale, hinting the next level.
Level 4: Inside the Whale
The player must dodge the goo and fish bones to get the starfish mask, but it won't be easy. The whale has a parasitic worm inside him, and the player must fight it by butt-bouncing on it.
Bonus Level 3: Six Clams Adventure Land: Tunnel of Love
This level is unlocked when a player collects 80 Golden Spatulas in one of these levels. Here, the level is played similarly to the Roller Coaster, but the player must instead jump over logs and dodge swinging hearts as they collect 25 Kelp Tokens. As with the previous bonus level, the player does not lose lives if they get hit by an obstacle.
Chapter 4: Rock Bottom
Level 1: Road to Rock Bottom
Barnacle Boy requests his favorite candy bar from Rock Bottom. In this level, the player must climb down the road that goes down to Rock Bottom. The player must get a coin for the candy machine, but the machine is empty. The player tries going to Lonely Souls.
Level 2: Lonely Souls
The player must hop on the parts of the bridge and ride the rafts. At the end, the player finds another candy machine and another coin, but that machine is empty too. The player decides to look in the graveyard.
Level 3: Graveyard
The player is looking for a coin to get a candy bar for Barnacle Boy again, and this time the player must dodge ghosts and skulls. Once the player reaches the end of the level, and the player finds a coin for another candy machine, and that one is empty too! Who is eating all those candy bars?
Level 4: Last Stop
The player looks for one more coin for a candy bar. The player starts out above ground, but then the player goes underground. The level ends with a boss fight with the Flying Dutchman. The player beats him by using the jellyfish launcher. The player finally gets a candy bar.
Bonus Level 4: Six Clams Adventure Land: Ghost Train
This level is unlocked after collecting 90 Golden Spatulas in one level. As with Bonus levels 2 and 3, the player has to ride the namesake train through a tunnel while collecting 25 Kelp Tokens. Obstacles here include swinging pumpkins, blades, and electrical barriers.
Chapter 5: Industrial
Level 1: Jelly Fields (industrial version)
Mermaid Man will miss his favorite show if SpongeBob does not get the tools to fix the TV. So the player first has to get a hammer. The player dodges the oil to get to the end of the level.
Level 2: Man Ray's Lair
The player tries to avoid the oil and Man Ray. The objective is to get the antenna.
Level 3: Oil Rig
The player must avoid the flames and enemies. The player also must hop on moving platforms and jump in pipes. The player must get an oil can.
Level 4: Canning Factory
The final level of the game involves butt-bouncing on boxes and wooden floors to get a monkey wrench. The level ends with a boss fight with a dog made of iron called an Iron Dogfish. To beat him, the player must spray steam at him to freeze him. While he is frozen, the player must butt-bounce on him before he unfreezes. Keep doing this until he is dead. The player wins the monkey wrench and beats the game.
Bonus Level 5: Six Clams Adventure Land: Snail Race
This level is unlocked after collecting every Golden Spatula in a single level on Chapter 5. Here, the player must help Gary get to his food bowl while making sure he doesn't fall off the stage and getting 25 Kelp Tokens.
SpongeBob is in Shady Shoals fixing the TV. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy give the player the signed picture of them, and Barnacle Boy learns that friendship is priceless. Then everyone is in SpongeBob's house celebrating Patrick's birthday.
Game Boy Advance version
The Game Boy Advance version of SuperSponge has less detail than the PlayStation version due to hardware differences. Also, the spatulas are not a measurement of health. The health is separate, with 100 HP. Some enemies are redesigned as well. While there is no voice acting in this version, the level design and story is mostly the same as the PlayStation version.
Since its release, SuperSponge received mostly mixed reviews. GameRankings gave the game 68% for the PlayStation version and a 67.83% for the Game Boy Advance version. The game ultimately sold well enough to be on the PlayStation Greatest Hits line.
There are multiple unused music tracks in the PlayStation version. Some would end up used in the Game Boy Advance version such as a Game Over song. The theme was originally going to be the normal SpongeBob SquarePants Theme Song, using the PlayStation instruments. The options menu music, however, was not very different; the only difference was that the flute they used was pre-recorded, not sampled. The composer says that it was replaced last minute per Nickelodeon's request. Several unused dialogue can be found in the PlayStation version. Some of them would end up used in Operation Krabby Patty.
The health system of the Game Boy Advance was planned to be also used in the PlayStation version as seen in a few prototypes. Graphics exists for unused objects such as an spatula floating on a balloon and glasses that would've allowed to catch blue jellyfish. Many enemies were also cut in the final games such as a small blue blob, a Nautilus, an eye ball on a stalk and the shark from "MuscleBob BuffPants."
The source code alongside multiple prototypes of the PlayStation and Game Boy Advance versions were dumped after Climax Group shut down. The source code's files revealed that most of the characters and objects were meant to be pre-rendered 3D models at one point before being converted to 2D sprites. Suggestive drawings of SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy were also found in the development files of the game.
Game Boy Advance version
The game has backward compatibility on the following systems:
GameCube (requires GameBoy Player) - The GameBoy Player peripheral allows GBA games to be played on a GameCube.
Nintendo DS - The Game Boy Advance version can be played on either, a Nintendo DS or DS Lite.
PlayStation 2 - The disc of the PlayStation version can be played on any PlayStation 2 model.
PlayStation 3 - Same as PlayStation 2, discs of PS1 games are playable on any PlayStation 3 model.
This is the first SpongeBob SquarePants video game released for multiple systems.
This is the first SpongeBob SquarePants video game released for a home console.
This is the only SpongeBob SquarePants video game to be released for the original PlayStation, unless the crossover game Nicktoons Racing is included.
There is a rumor that there was going to be a Nintendo 64 version, but it was never even planned. This can be proved by looking at the development files, which have no reference of a Nintendo 64 version.
The title screen of the handheld version is taken from the SpongeBob SquarePants Toolkit Nickelodeon provided to Climax.
The Game Boy Advance version's title screen and beta box art omit "SuperSponge" from the game's title. However, the Game Boy Advance cartridge and final box art use the game's full title.
In the Game Boy Advance version, SpongeBob's water helmet is exclusive for the final level only by serving a visual effect only, but if jumping on a specific Bird nest in Sandy's Tree Dome by butt-slamming (higher distance will be reached) it will take SpongeBob to another bird nest on a higher branch and by butt-slamming that bird nest and veering to the left to where many background leaves are located and fall SpongeBob will collect 5 golden spatulas and a water helmet that does not need to be re-filled (unlike the PS1 version).
In the PlayStation version, the spatula collecting system is similar to the ring collecting system in the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series.
Contrary to the PS1 version, the GBA version does not have SpongeBob enter the whale via mouth at the end of Kelpazoic Jungle, even though the level after takes place inside of it.
The characters in this game are actually pre-rendered sprites.