Plankton is at it again, in the board game SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton Rising — where he is attempting to overthrow the Krusty Krab through annoying customers out of the building and stealing the Secret Formula! This game is a cooperative experience for one to four players, recommended to players over the age of eight.
SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton Rising is a game full of quality pieces, which is what I want to talk about first. The Krusty Krab board is really sleek, with two cut-away slots (one at the top and one at the bottom) that perfectly fits the giant Plankton collectible that comes with the game. This game piece is basically a little model, which could easily fit into the setting of a toy box that you will be using to show where Plankton is. There are a bunch of burger piece boards, as well as some really sleek, colored dies. The cards themselves have great graphics on them and are clear in what they need to do. Clearly a lot of thought was put into the actual board and pieces of this game!
Looking beyond the beautiful pieces that came with this game, the gameplay itself also holds up. You and your friends all get to pick a classic character from Spongebob, each with their own abilities and dice selection that you can roll on your turn. When it comes to your turn, you will need to take a look at the board and decide where you want your player token to go. There is the front of the Krusty Krab and the back of the restaurant, each side with four cards placed around them. These four cards will be what you make a decision on, so you will want to consider the orders, evil customers and friends on either side.
Once you have picked your location, you will flip over a Plankton card, to see where he is. He can be at the front of the restaurant, the back, or off at the Chum Bucket, planning something. His card also attacks the giant burger at the side of the board, slowly taking out layers and causing madness. You will need to check the area that he is in for cards that affect him. Some orders need to be completed first if he is on that side of the restaurant and evil people sometimes cause issues with the customers there, or your character in general. You see, your character and customers have a timer counter, which you will add up when Plankton affects them. If this counter fills up, the character in the restaurant is added to Plankton’s pile (and if he gets ten, he wins), whereas if he defeats your main character, the whole game ends and he also wins.
After you have dealt with all of those cards, in SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton Rising, you will need to collect and roll your dice. One die does need to be spent every time you roll, but you can re-roll until you no longer have dice to spend. This means you can put a die on a character, re-roll the other ones you have, and hope to complete that character. Evil characters need to have their orders completed twice to remove them, but you can end up with bonus tokens that really help out! You can also spend your dice on your character’s special abilities, which might be a good option if you aren’t likely to get one of the characters or if you are on the end of your rolls.
Bonus tokens, or spatulas, have various different abilities and can be shared among the players, to give them a better chance of beating Plankton together. As the burger fills up with hits, you will want to start collecting and using spatulas all together, so that you can overcome defeat. If Plankton is able to flip the whole burger, he also wins. So this may have you asking, how do you win? Well, that’s easy. You just need to complete a varying amount of orders (between 7 and 10, depending on difficulty) among yourselves. Although that may sound like a simple task, there are more customers than orders in the deck, so you will need to sort through both evil and good customers to get to the actual food they want.
We all really enjoyed SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton Rising at home, it’s a family style board game that’s great for older children and teenagers as there is some strategy, but it’s pretty easy to bumble your way through the game as well. We found ourselves on the losing end, due to not using our spatulas (along with poor die spending choices) but had a great time with the game and really got into the flow of things.
You can purchase SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton Rising on Zatu Games.