SpongeBob Moves In! is a city-building game originally created and developed by Los Angeles Game developer Kung Fu Factory and published and distributed by Nickelodeon, the video game is based on the American animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants. It was first released for iOS on June 6, 2013.
In the game, players build Bikini Bottom to their own tastes and are tasked with keeping the residents happy by making all their wishes fulfilled. As players advance in the game, they can unlock exclusive-to-the-app untold stories about how their characters, including SpongeBob, Patrick, Mr. Krabs, Plankton, Squidward, and Sandy first arrived in the town. These untold stores were written by the show's writing staff, and are told through animated shorts.
In SpongeBob Moves In!, players can customize the look of Bikini Bottom with different characters, buildings, and accessories. In the ongoing quest to keep the residents happy by granting their wishes, players must fill the town's happiness meter by collecting happiness. The Bikini Bottom inhabitants wish for food and gifts from various Bikini Bottom establishments, such as Krabby Patties from the Krusty Krab. Once their wish is granted, the player can collect gold coins, happiness, or a recipe to add to their collection. When the happiness meter is filled, players advance to the next level in the game, earning coins, game experience, and unlocking more quests, buildings, and accessories to buy in the store.
Throughout the game, players earn gold coins and jellyfish jelly as rewards for performing various activities like fulfilling wishes, adding buildings, making recipes, collecting rent, and expanding their city. Players can purchase additional land area, ingredients, buildings, and decorations using the game coins and jellyfish jelly they earned.
The game was released worldwide through the App Store on June 6, 2013, that runs on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Steve Youngwood, the General Manager for Digital at the Nickelodeon Group said "Millions of fans around the world experience the fun and magic of SpongeBob on television every day, and now they can live out their very own Bikini Bottom adventures with SpongeBob Moves In! whenever and wherever they want." The game cost $3.99 (prior to $1.99 on release) to purchase, but then has in-app purchases ranging in price from $0.99 up to $99.99.
Since the release of the game on June 6, 2013, SpongeBob Moves In! was one of the top apps on the App Store. For the week ending July 1, 2013, the game ranked at #6 at the App Store Official Charts of Top Paid iPhone Apps, and on #4 at the Top Paid iPad Apps. The following week, the game was ranked at #5 at the Top Paid iPad Apps.
Template:Quotebox SpongeBob Moves In! received mixed to positive reviews from critics, mainly due to the in-app purchases that are expensive. Peter Willington of Pocket Gamer said "I do still love the music, and it's clearly the best aspect of the game - but if that's what you're after then you're probably better off watching this rather than shelling out your hard-earned money." SpongeBob Moves In! is also among the ten mobile games for kids with £69.99 in-app purchase options, as chosen by The Guardian staff Stuart Dredge. Amy Cheung of iTouchApps.com said "For the love of god if you do download this for your kids make sure your in app purchases are turned off or else you can expect a pretty hefty credit card bill at the end of the month." She added "To me SpongeBob Moves In! offers nothing new and the fact that it is not even a free download makes this a game I in no way can recommend." David Oxford of Slide To Play said "Crazy how the more meta aspects of the game are more interesting and truer to the show than the actual game itself, isn’t it?"
On the other hand, Pip Elwood of Entertainment-Focus gave the game 6 out of 10 stars and wrote "SpongeBob Moves In! is an addictive game. We whiled away hours playing it and found it a joy to be immersed in Bikini Bottom." He added "We think the in-app purchases should be reconsidered but overall we enjoyed it."
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