Picking up from Nickelodeon’s new take on the four masked heroes, the game follows the same art style as the new series but focuses on mirroring the gameplay of the Turtles’ most famous adventure – the arcade cabinet. Before you get too excited, cast your mind back to those coin pushing days at the seaside. Was the arcade cabinet game really that good? Remember that games have moved on a tremendous amount and even clones of our fondest games don’t hold up to the standard set today.

T-U-R-T-L-E Power!

T-U-R-T-L-E Power!

TMNT rests firmly on the basic mechanics from the cabinet version with a few influences from one or two other side scrollers thrown in for good measure. When I say basic, I mean really basic. You could beat the game’s 16 levels just by hammering X. There’s no depth to the combat and while this may be perfect for young fans, which are the ones that this game is firmly aimed at, it can get a tad repetitive. It does mean that TMNT is extremely accessible and with four-player local co-op it makes for a great family game, especially as every player is given a score at the end of each level – time for some friendly family competition! It is a shame that there’s no online option.

The game is rendered well although it does have some slight issues especially during cutscenes. Character edges look clumsy making them look rather ugly, this is made worse by some of the poorest lip syncing I’ve seen in game – regardless of the fact it’s a kids game, even little ones will be aware of the vacant flapping mouths as each witty (and not so witty) line is delivered. The audio also seems to be a little messed up, the game blasted out of my TV speakers from the moment I fired it up and during the many one liners and story driven conversations, the voices of the Green Team often distorted.

If are playing TMNT on your own, then you are never alone because the Turtle team are with you during each mission and while they do get in the way they help to absorb some of the punishment that enemies dish out. You can also control any Turtle of your choosing at any time by pressing the d-pad. While combat for each Turtle remains similar they do all fight with their signature weapons. What does seem missing is the ability to pull of team moves. With all the guys on screen at once it would have made sense to offer a team special move, which might have helped to mix up the repetitive combat.

It's all very basic, certainly aimed at the very young

It’s all very basic, certainly aimed at the very young

Even though you will become over familiar with the X button, there are some minor variances to the combat. B allows you to pull of a special move that can be upgraded in the Turtles’ dojo, Y allows you to throw enemies when they are stunned – throwing them at the TV screen makes for an amusing animation and there are several throwable weapons that you can pick up.

Another missed opportunity is the level design; even though the Turtles are “ninjas” they seemed to be routed to a very horizontal path. With hidden collectibles and secret areas to find, it would have been far more enjoyable to have included some vertical exploration or environmental hazards to negotiate.

Outside of the story there’s several game modes to play, although like the main game these are also pretty short. Time Attack pitches you against the clock to complete each of the story levels. Survival throws wave after wave of goons at you and a Mini Game unlocks after you’ve found all the hidden Mutagen collectibles – it’s unfortunate that it’s only a poor 8 bit side scroller.

Heroes in a half-arsed shell

Heroes in a half-arsed shell

Despite its shortcomings it’s worth remembering that this is a Nickelodeon game and squarely aimed at those that watch the show. While too easy for older gamers, TMNT is pitched perfectly for younger gamers who will easily play through the game without getting too frustrated – I’d even go so far as to say it’s too easy and it would have made more sense to have offered a choice in difficulty. All the characters are well represented and they even lapse into their characters as we remember them with Leonardo shouting “Turtle Power!” before remarking about how silly he sounds. It’s amusing but a little half-arsed at offering some fan service for us older folk, and to be honest that’s the best way to sum up Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – a little half-arsed.

Review - Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The good
  • Easy enough for little ones
  • Great for fans of the show
  • Four-player family co-op
The bad
  • Audio issues
  • Repetitive
  • Short
60%Overall Score
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About The Author

Rich has reviewed over 50 games for the site covering everything from the top titles to the not so top titles *cough Ride to Hell. Rich is passionate about gaming and loves to tell everyone what he thinks about the platform and the games he's played.