In the same vein as the previous SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom, SpongeBob Squarepants: Creature from the Krusty Krab transforms our porous pal's homeland into a den of platforming action. There are three playable characters in the game, SpongeBob, Patrick, and Plankton, and each has their own set of levels that almost feel like three distinct games.
The first set of levels naturally feature the Sponge himself, and alternate between racing and platforming. Veering drastically from the look of the cartoon, the art style of the SpongeBob levels is downright ugly, almost depressing. The platforming levels are drab and uninteresting, and token collecting becomes tiresome quickly. The puzzles are so incredibly simple that we hesitate to call them puzzles at all. The Wii controls work well enough, but do little to add to the gameplay. SpongeBob only has one attack, and you'll only encounter two kinds of enemies in the first set of levels.
The racing levels are played with the Wii Remote turned sideways and tilted back and forth like a steering wheel. This control scheme works well enough, but the gameplay itself is somewhat confusing, and at times it was difficult for us to even tell who was winning.
After trudging through the first bleak set of SpongeBob levels, the Patrick levels initially feel like a breath of fresh air. Cel-shaded with a comic book feel, the look of the Patrick levels is more reminiscent of the bright, cheery colors of the TV show. Newspapers flutter coolly on the ground as you walk around, and almost everything within the level looks and feels like paper. After the initial charm wears off, however, you'll realize these levels are the same as the SpongeBob levels, just with a little facelift.
Above: While the SpongeBob levels are mostly annoying, there's some endearing humor in the Patrick levels
After the Patrick levels abruptly end, the final playable character, Plankton, is revealed. Plankton's levels are played with the Remote turned sideways like an NES controller. In 2D platformer style, you must progress to the right through each stage as a giant krabby patty chases close behind.
While these levels at least offer a change from the repetitiveness of the previous levels, they ultimately disappoint. The small puzzles are simple and only hinder the pace of the gameplay. If you can't get a puzzle to work, such as moving a platform across a gap to reach the other side, the krabby patty that's supposed to be hot on your heels will actually stop and wait for you to figure it out, making the whole idea of it chasing you pointless. These levels end soon enough, however, and it's back to more SpongeBob levels again.
SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab offers a decent amount of action that mostly younger fans of the series will enjoy. The platforming and token collecting can become repetitive, but overall the game does have a respectable amount of variety, with the inclusion of racing levels and 2D platforming. Serious gamers will want to look elsewhere, but if you're looking for a decent childrens' game, SpongeBob is better than most.