Game Reviews

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

As Michael Bay sets out to soil the memory of another late '80s comic book/cartoon/toy franchise (albeit as producer), here's the official Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles iOS game tie-in.

I know what you're thinking. "Uh-oh," right?

If you're gleefully expecting a total gaming melt-down, though, you're in for a disappointment. For this bright, solidly made brawler is comfortably above average.

Hybrid engine

Taking control of any one of four ninjutsu-trained human-turtle hybrids, this streamlined beat-'em-up has you swiping and tapping the screen to clear each compact arena-like level of goons.

The developer has opted to avoid virtual controls, which is refreshing. Instead you target individual foes by tapping on them, while subsequent swipes up, down, left, and right will initiate specific moves.

Initially you'll simply find yourself scrubbing the screen like crazy, but soon you'll realise that a more measured approach is appropriate.

Blocking enemies need to be taken out with a specific ninjutsu technique, while if you manage to get them airborne with an upward swipe you can follow up with a devastating air attack.

Enemies will sporadically launch their own attacks, preceded by an electricity sign over their heads. At this point, a tap of the screen is all that's required to initiate a counter, though other attacks and movements can serve to get you out of trouble too.

Tough to pick a favourite

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles falls short of an outright recommendation for a couple of reasons, mainly involving the repetitiveness of its play.

Yes those controls are streamlined, and the combat is weighty, but it doesn't make for much of a long or even medium-term proposition.

It's a shame that picking your turtle is merely a cosmetic decision. Their initial stats are identical, and while the way they look and move is unique, in practice it amounts to the same swiping and pressing approach.

That's doubtless a trade-off necessitated by having such a simple swipe-based combat system. There's no scope for varying your approach, which means that boredom sets in before too long.

Turtle power

You might also take exception to the game's IAP system. This is a premium-priced game, but you can spend extra cash on gems to buy new weapons and upgrades.

Although you do get some premium currency for doing well in the levels.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is far from a Michael Bay-style hideous mess, then, but it does inherit a little of the infamous director's mindlessness.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

A surprisingly respectable brawler that sports the solid shell of a bona fide ninja turtle, but not the muscular legs