The Heroes in a Half Shell have been delighting kids and fans for nearly three decades, and now Nickelodeon has a new computer animated TV cartoon series about their adventures. The newest video game is based on that cartoon, and it’s available for Wii, 360, and 3DS (Wii version reviewed here).
I’m happy to report that this TMNT game plays mostly like the classic arcade ones. You’ll travel through the streets, alleys, and sewers of New York, battling the Foot Clan, Krang robots, and mutant creatures along the way. You can play as any of the four turtles and switch between them at any time. The other turtles will be on the screen, too, but they won’t help very much. Up to three other players can jump in and jump out at any time and play as one of the other turtles, though, which is good.
Each turtle has various basic attacks, can jump, toss ninja stars and bombs for long distance hits, and throw enemies (even into the screen, just like the old arcade game). I do like the fact that in the Wii version, you can play with the remote or Classic Controller. Pick up glowing spheres and spend them back at the dojo to buy upgrades and new attacks for each turtle. Other pickups include pizza to replenish health, refills for your throwing weapons, and secret canisters. Gather enough secret canisters to unlock new game modes and mini-games like Time Attack and Survival Modes.
The only main problem with the game is that it’s a bit slow-paced and clunky. If it played faster and smoother, it would almost be as good as the arcade classics. However, kids who enjoy the Nickelodeon TMNT cartoon should like the game anyway. Older players may want to check out the other game that Activision released recently called TMNT: Out of the Shadows.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Comic Mischief and Fantasy Violence. While you do hit ninjas and robots with various martial arts weapons, enemies just fall down and disappear when defeated, and all you see are stars and comic font letter ‘smash’ and ‘thuds.’ If you’re OK with your kids watching the cartoon, they’ll be OK with the game, too. Reading skill is helpful for some of the menu navigation, but not necessary to play since everything has spoken voice and picture cues. Younger players may need help with the tougher bosses, though. Luckily four can play at the same time, which is great for big families.