SpongeBob SquarePants: Employee of the Month is a 2002 point-and-click adventure video game developed by AWE Games and published by THQ for PC. It is based on the television show SpongeBob SquarePants, which premiered on Nickelodeon in 1999.
The story focuses on SpongeBob SquarePants receiving two tickets to Neptune's Paradise, a theme park. But many unexpected things happen along the way.
Employee of the Month is a point-and-click adventure game in which the player controls SpongeBob SquarePants. Gameplay consists of the player accomplishing various tasks and collecting items for citizens of Bikini Bottom. A treasure chest acts as an inventory for the player's items, which frequently must be combined to proceed forward. The player can also access a map of the current level. Animated clips begin and end each level, and subsequently become available for viewing on the game's main menu. Several videotapes are located throughout the game; locating them unlocks special footage of the game's development.
SpongeBob wins the "Employee of the Month" award again, making him "Employee of the Year". As a prize, he receives two tickets to Neptune's Paradise, a local theme park which Mr. Krabs had won free tickets to in the mail.
Chapter 1: Employee of the Year Edit
At the Krusty Krab, a fish called the Familiar Man requests a Krabby Patty. After making a Krabby Patty using a bun and ingredients, he cleans a plate to put the Krabby Patty on and bring it to the Familiar Man and suggests that SpongeBob and Patrick should use the bus to get to Neptune's Paradise, but SpongeBob does not have money for bus tokens. Patrick tells him that the Flying Dutchman hid a buried treasure at the local beach, Goo Lagoon. Once there, SpongeBob finds that Larry the Lobster has a shovel and pail but will not let him use them because he likes them so much. SpongeBob goes to his grandmother's house to get a homemade pie that will distract Larry long enough for SpongeBob to grab the shovel and pail. SpongeBob's grandmother tells SpongeBob that she is making a pie but has no Sea Urchin Chips to put in it. SpongeBob then travels to Barg N' Mart where Mr. Krabs is moonlighting as a salesman and has sold his own clothes. After cleaning the cashier's car, SpongeBob gets the chips and also borrows cooking oil from Mr. Krabs, and then completes the pie. He brings the pie to Larry, who eats it. Afterward, Larry goes for a jog on the beach, allowing SpongeBob to take the shovel and pail so he can search Goo Lagoon. SpongeBob discovers that the Dutchman's Treasure is actually a chest full of bus tokens. Returning to the bus stop where Patrick has been waiting, SpongeBob meets the irritable bus driver who says he will not leave Bikini Bottom because there is a chance of rain. To calm him, SpongeBob gets a parasol from a tourist from the English Channel; however, she needs the parasol to protect her skin, so SpongeBob trades the cooking oil he got from Mr. Krabs to a sunbathing guy for his sunscreen and trades the sunscreen for the parasol. The two set off for Neptune's Paradise.
Chapter 2: Hitting Rock Bottom Edit
SpongeBob and Patrick end up in Rock Bottom due to heavy rain. At the bus station, SpongeBob helps the informant obtain a kelp bar (which requires flushing himself down a toilet to get a coin needed to obtain the snack from a vending machine) and tells him that there is a weather station down the street called WSEA TV. SpongeBob also meets the Familiar Man again but he doesn't recognize SpongeBob. After taking the Kelpsi can he was kicking, SpongeBob sets off to the weather station. SpongeBob is told by the weather station's secretary that unless he has tools and is a repairman, he cannot walk around the station since the tours are closed. SpongeBob meets a repairman named Jojo behind the building who is trying to repair a machine that isn't even broken and is willing to trade some of his tools for a Kelpsi soda. SpongeBob goes to a nearby restaurant and finds Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy in the parking lot. Mermaid Man is in pain on the ground after having had a cola drinking contest with Patrick, and SpongeBob and Barnacle Boy are not strong enough to lift him into the invisible boat mobile. SpongeBob walks inside and informs the owner, who is a very strong fish, of the situation outside. While the fish helps Mermaid Man, SpongeBob grabs a mug and uses it to get Jojo's drink, which is actually lemon soda in the Kelpsi can he found. SpongeBob gets the tools and, now looking official, gets inside the station. He talks to a weatherman named Gary Gulper, who is stressed because he is sure his machinery is broken after displaying an area nearby that had perfect weather. He also boasts of building a machine that will control the weather and tells SpongeBob of rumors that the current rain is being created by Marlin the wizard. SpongeBob looks at the machinery and discovers the area of perfect weather is a local sea cave. SpongeBob finds this cave to be the home of Marlin the wizard, who is causing the rain because he is upset at what Gary Gulper is doing. He feels threatened by the weather-controlling machine since controlling the weather is his job. Marlin asks SpongeBob to destroy the machine and gives him a wand needed to open the door to the machine. Before doing so, SpongeBob return the weather station and helps Plankton create a commercial to get people to come to the Chum Bucket. SpongeBob and Patrick then proceed to destroy the weather machine. Now satisfied, Marlin stops the rain and the pair continue their travel to Neptune's Paradise.
Chapter 3: Back to Square One Edit
SpongeBob and Patrick get kicked off the bus for their antics, and are back in Bikini Bottom. They find out that Sandy is building a rocket inside her treedome that can take them to Neptune's Paradise, leading SpongeBob to tackle numerous challenges so as to prepare for the flight. SpongeBob first brings Sandy her lunch and needs to acquire his water helmet to enter Sandy's treedome. When he finds a sea snake resting in the helmet, he decides to use Squidward's clarinet to lure it out. However, Squidward is in a deep sleep, so SpongeBob uses a pair of Dream Glasses that he obtains from a store (and meeting the Familiar Man again) to enter his dreams, where he is partially transformed into Squidward himself. SpongeBob finds Squidward performing onstage and convinces to give him the clarinet since this area of the dream is for dancing and that the other side is for clarinet performance, and he does so and begins dancing. SpongeBob exits the dream and uses the clarinet to get the sea snake out and retrieve his water helmet and also helps Sandy locate an oxygen tank need for her rocket, which is behind a sideways table. Meanwhile, Patrick obtains the record for most sandwiches eaten at a diner. The gang then sets off again for Neptune's Paradise, but unbeknownst to them, Patrick accidentally breaks the oxygen pipe before the tanks are completely filled.
Chapter 4: Bottoms Up! Edit
Sandy's rocket crashes through a sign and gets stuck in the affluent town of Bottoms Up due to the tanks not be completely filled up and Patrick runs away, desperately trying to find a bathroom. SpongeBob must find oxygen fuel for the rocket, leading him on a quest for a jacket, which is required to enter a local oxygen spring. Along the way, SpongeBob repairs the sign they crashed through earlier, which advertises a restaurant that offers jackets to its patrons. In a street called Waverly Place, he find a coconut and absorbs water from a fountain to trigger the pressure plate to open the gate to the street. There, he helps a neighbor retrieve a golden coconut from Cowfish Craig, who is a friend of Sandy's and is using it as paperweight. SpongeBob replaces the golden coconut with the normal one he found earlier, Cowfish Craig informs him that even though the restaurant provides jackets, they always take it back when visitors are done. After returning the golden coconut, he is rewarded with a quarter, which is uses on a phone booth to call the restaurant and asks them for their location. Upon arriving at the restaurant, a guard declines to let SpongeBob inside because he does not have an invitation to a party being held there. The owner of a nearby store gives SpongeBob an invitation after he correctly guesses the restaurant's slogan. SpongeBob obtains a jacket at the restaurant, but insults the waiter by ordering a Krabby Patty and is thrown out while still wearing the jacket. Meanwhile, Patrick is on the search for a bathroom after eating junk food in the previous chapters which leads him to climb over the coral reefs surrounding the oxygen springs. After the use of the bathroom, Patrick enjoys the springs until SpongeBob finds him and he realizes he is not wearing pants. After finding Patrick's pants (as well as meeting the Familiar Man once again and learns that he has over two thousand brothers, meaning that they're all different) and refilling the oxygen tanks, they leave for Neptune's Paradise before the park is closed.
The gang gets to Neptune's Paradise, but an employee tells them that the park is closed for a private party. SpongeBob and Patrick are sad initially, but Sandy tells the employee that it is their party, and they are allowed to enter. Inside the park, they meet all of the characters they met along the way, who seemed to have planned this for SpongeBob. They all then enjoy the rides and attractions.
- Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants
- Bill Fagerbakke as Patrick Star
- Carolyn Lawrence as Sandy Cheeks
- Rodger Bumpass as Squidward Tentacles
- Doug Lawrence as Plankton and Larry the Lobster
- Tim Conway as Barnacle Boy
- Marion Ross as Grandma SquarePants
- Clancy Brown as Mr. Krabs
- Joe Whyte as Mermaid Man
The game was released in North America on September 22, 2002, and in the UK in the same year. Focus Multimedia later re-published the game in the UK as part of their "PC Fun Club" range which also includes other SpongeBob SquarePants games.Template:Citation needed
Tom King of Adventure Gamers rated the game 3 out of 5, and praised its fun gameplay and colorful graphics, but also called it, "Very easy, and extremely short." King wrote, "The replay value is moderate to low; it took some 3.5 hours for me to complete, and although the game is certainly fun enough to play more than once, you're not going to see anything different. Were this game just a little longer, I would add a half-star to the score."
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