Timed alongside the release of the Michael Bay-produced feature film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the mobile game is not the worse movie tie-in around. Yes, that may not be a ringing endorsement, but by setting a low bar those who do end up purchasing this game might find some entertainment in it.
The concept is fairly simple: players take control of one of the four mutated turtles (Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, or Donatello) and battle their way through New York’s sewer system. They attack any number of iconic TMNT baddies, as well as some totally new ones, by swiping across the screen to perform various ninja-like moves. Think Fruit Ninja, but with a little more focus on skill and less on chaos — although chaos works just fine.
As players progress through the more than 40 levels (many of which last only one or two minutes) they will accrue power-up items, in-game currency, goofy weapons, and special gems that can be used to unlock new moves, a few of which incorporate the whole Turtles team. The progression is rudimentary at best — the type of thing players have seen in countless mobile or console games before — but it does increase player’s options and makes each turtle more powerful. However, although the progression system gives players new swipe moves and makes the turtles stronger, it doesn’t necessarily change the experience that much. I’s the carrot-on-a-stick that seemingly is supposed to pull players forward, more so than the game’s lackluster story.
For what it is (i.e. a movie tie-in mobile game), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles provides enough of a distraction to be worth a very casual recommendation, even if there are better games of this ilk on the market. Taking control of one of the four turtles, or even switching between them as you go, will hit that nostalgia factor for some, and the swipe-based combat is engaging enough to keep players going for more than a few minutes.
The game even tries to add new moves into the mix, like counter and special attacks, so as to wipe away some of that lather-rinse-repeat feel you get with the average mobile game. That isn’t to say, TMNT doesn’t have that or is better than average — the game certainly wears thin rather quickly — but there’s more to the swiping than some might expect.
Visually, TMNT is not going to be winning any major awards for fidelity, frame rate, or even design, but that’s almost par for the course with these mobile tie-in games. The fact that Nickelodeon was able to put together a halfway decent presentation is commendable; even so this is a pretty poor looking game. Some might even say that the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game looks better than this, and I wouldn’t disagree with them.
Ultimately, players’ feelings about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the game will be largely determined by their age and their affinity for the property. Younger games who enjoy the Nickelodeon show(s) (admittedly, this game’s target audience) will find the mobile title offers a solid selection of content packaged around passable gameplay. However, more veteran gamers who are looking for something more than a uniquely themed time-killer will likely come away disappointed. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is neither the worst video game tie-in in existence, nor is it an affront to the mobile space; it’s as safe as one can get, but still not very good.
Have you played the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mobile game? Does it sound like a game that might interest you?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is available now on mobile platforms.
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