Time Warp Review!! Dive back into the sewers with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES game review)!!

Time Warp Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rose to popularity with the debut of the animated series in 1987. The awesome foursome still retains that status with a new movie sequel, animated series and new video game. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan is the latest title in the Turtles’ game series. The game is challenging, however, it is not the most challenging. Let’s drop back to the “most frustrating NES game of 1989”. This is a Time Warp Review of the brothers’ first video game outing.


The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game was released on the NES on May 12, 1989 in Japan and June 1989 in North America. The story follows Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael on their mission to retrieve the Life Transformer Gun from Shredder in order to use it to turn Master Splinter back into a normal human. Fans of the original animated series will recognize this plot device as it was used in the Season 1 finale episode “Shredder and Splintered.” Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a side scrolling action platformer in which the player can control any of the four turtles. Leonardo is the first turtle you begin with but you can switch to any of his brothers at any time. The turtles use their primary weapons to attack enemies. Sub-weapons, such as shuriken, boomerangs and the Kiai, a scroll that expands into a crescent shaped beam for massive damage, can be obtained from defeated foes. Each of the game’s six stage starts out with an overhead view of the area. Enemies, such as Foot Soldiers and steam rollers, can attack the turtles but they can strike back with their weapon or missiles launched from the Party Wagon. Once the player enters a building or the sewers, the view switches to side scrolling where the Turtles encounter Foot Soldiers, Mousers and beings of living flame called Fire Freaks. Other familiar enemies from the comic and animated series also appear including Bebop, Rocksteady, the Giant Mouser and Shredder, who serves as the final boss. Each Turtle has their own life bar. When their health runs out, that Turtle is captured and can be rescued in Stage 3 and onward. Health is restored with pizza.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was criticized by fans and critics for its difficulty, being called one of the most frustrating NES games ever made, joining a list of such game alongside Contra and Ninja Gaiden. The second and final stages of game are regarded as the most troublesome. In Stage 2, the Turtles jump into the Hudson Bay to defuse eight bombs set to destroy the dam. The task must be completed in two minutes. The stage featured electrified seaweed and electric traps that further made this completing the task next to impossible and usually you ran through the health bars of all four turtles before actually succeeding. The boss battle against the Technodrome in Stage 5 is the second most difficult battle in the game next to Shredder. Despite this, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was received well by Nintendo Magazine and won the 1989 Game of the Year award. It was a major success with over 4 million copies sold and was one of the best-selling third party NES titles.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles NES Gameplay!!