The game is played by using the arrow keys to move, and double tapping the forward arrow to dash. The spacebar is used to attack your opponent. When the super bar is full, press Z to activate a special attack to do more damage. Keep attacking your opponent until the health meter reaches zero. At the end of the round, repeatedly press Z to constantly attack your opponent, (This attack has unique ways of being performed so some variations may need the arrow keys). After a short time, your opponent is knocked off the screen and you win. In story mode, win two rounds to move on to the next opponent.
After beating all the opponents you will have to defeat the final boss, Tiger Claw, to win the game. The game ends immediately if your opponent wins the match.
In October 2016, Nickelodeon updated this game with a Halloween version and retitled it Scary Brawl. Unlike the original game, in Scary Brawl, the player can only do Story Mode. Scary Brawl has a different story than in the base game. In Scary Brawl, the player must fight your way up a haunted tower. There are five floors in the tower and the player fights an opponent on each floor. The opponents in this version appear as ghosts. Win two rounds to move on to the next opponent and another floor. Beating story mode unlocks the ghost relic for each character the player played as. This gives them the option on if they want to play as the same character again except in ghost form.
A demo for this game was available shortly before the full game became released on July 16, 2015. It had only SpongeBob as the playable character (but you can use a code to unlock Patrick) and the only location was the Mermalair.
Plankton was not playable when the game was released. He was made playable later and was the final boss before he became playable, but was replaced by Tiger Claw.
This game was awarded as "Game of the Year" for 2015 on the Nickelodeon website.
The Halloween update made the player be able to unlock the ghost relic for each character you played as.