SpongeBob SquarePants: Employee of the Month
Employee of the Month
Artwork of the game released only for North America
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
SpongeBob and Patrick have to get on a bus 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 salesmen 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
SpongeBob and Patrick end up in Rock Bottom due to heavy rain. At the bus station, SpongeBob is told that there is a weather station down the street called WSEA TV. 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 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. SpongeBob and Patrick return to the weather station and 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
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 needs 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 to enter his dreams, where he is partially transformed into Squidward himself. SpongeBob convinces Squidward to give him the clarinet, which SpongeBob uses to retrieve his water helmet from the sea snake. Meanwhile, Patrick obtains the record for most sandwiches eaten at a diner. The gang then sets off again for Neptune's Paradise.
Chapter 4: Bottoms Up!
Sandy's rocket crashes through a sign and gets stuck in the affluent town of Bottoms Up. 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. 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 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 plan 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.
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."
- King, Tom (July 5, 2003). "SpongeBob SquarePants review". Adventure Gamers. Archived from the original on October 9, 2003.
- Lee, Jeremy (2002). "SpongeBob SquarePants: Employee of the Month - Overview". Allgame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on December 12, 2014. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Employee of the Month at MobyGames
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Employee of the Month walkthroughs from IGN