SpongeBob SquarePants Leads PlayStation Plus Lineup For April 2022

Another trio of games is primed for next month's PlayStation Plus lineup of freebies, these ones focused on medieval fantasy, card strategy, and a talking sponge that lives inside a piece of tropical fruit. While it does mean one less game than we saw last time around, the lineup is at least still holding to the somewhat consistent "a couple or Teen or Mature games plus at least one for Everyone" pattern that PlayStation Plus seems to have favored lately.

Just like before, you'll need to be a PlayStation Plus subscriber in order to download any (or all) of the available games for free. But don't worry about the new tiers Sony will be adding to the service — they aren't rolling out until June 2022, and even if they were available now, these games would be offered on all of the plans.

All three titles will be available for PS+ subscribers starting Tuesday, April 5, 2022. If you want to grab any of the four games that were released for March, you have until tomorrow (March 31, 2022) to download them.

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated (PS4)

We all know how the song goes, but what about the game? Well, one of the games, anyway.

"Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated" is a remake of the 2003 console game that was originally released on the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Gamecube. The title was relatively well-regarded, given its purpose as a licensed tie-in to a children's TV show — though being a popular choice for speedrunning probably hasn't hurt its legacy, either.

While "Rehydrated" does improve on the cult favorite on a technical level — it uses Unreal Engine 4, supports 4K, and makes use of both archived audio and new recordings from the English language cast — the core game from almost 20 years ago is still present, which has resulted in a somewhat mixed reception. Some have praised the game for its nostalgic qualities, while others lamented the lack of more modern game design sensibilities.

That said, the title will be free starting in April if you have a PS+ subscription, so you can try it out for yourself and see what you think without spending any money.

Hood: Outlaws & Legends (PS4 + PS5)

"Hood: Outlaws & Legends" is, as you'd expect, a bit different from "Battle for Bikini Bottom." Obviously, it's a more recent release, having launched in 2021, but it's also a very multiplayer-focused affair.

Two groups of up to four players, comprised of various character classes with distinct abilities, have to try and out-plan (and out-fight) each other in order to pull off a medieval heist — kind of like if the crew from "Ocean's 11" and the team from the first "Mission: Impossible" decided to go after the same thing at the same time. But in addition to a rival team of other players, you'll also have to deal with NPCs like guards and a very formidable sheriff.

If competition with other players isn't your thing, there's also a cooperative mode where everyone works together to try and secure as much treasure as they can before the game ends.

A PlayStation Plus membership is required to play online, but since you need one to get "Hood" for free in the first place, it shouldn't be much of an issue.

Slay the Spire (PS4)

Rounding out the month's selection of free games is the popular strategy card game "Slay the Spire," which debuted in early access in 2017 before seeing a wider release in 2019.

The game combines some rogue-like elements — such as there being no option to continue a failed run, preset character loadouts, and a slow but steady progression of permanent upgrades and unlocks — with deck-building components where you can remove and replace cards in your character's starting deck for a variety of effects. Victory is never permanent, but then neither is defeat.

Due to the variability in character classes, decks, and random rewards for defeating enemies, you likely won't have the exact same run twice. The design is great for the sake of variety but might make planning ahead difficult. That said, if you want to see how far up the spire you can go, or if you even want to try in the first place, you won't have to shell out any cash for the opportunity.