Game Review Data
Game Title
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Mirage Studios/Konami
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Do you remember playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the old NES/SNES? Well, if you do then you'll be pleased to know that with the release of a new TMNT television series on Fox Box (Fox Kids) comes a new set of TMNT video games for the GBA. Together with their fearless rat leader, Splinter, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael must once again battle the evil Shredder and his equally evil minions.

Screen Shots


TMNT employs a very simple menu system that gets you quickly into the game or back where you left off, thanks to its cartridge save. Each turtle has his own story line (episode), which means that you'll never play the same level with the turtle you choose. Each episode has 4 acts, and one of the 4 acts (either 2 or 3) will be a special level.

Each level is unique in its own way, with a wide variety of villains to battle and built specifically for the turtle you choose. The special levels, one per episode, include Michelangelo sliding through the sewers on his shellboard, Leonardo zooming through the underground in the turtle tank, Donatello soaring in the sky with the shell glider and Raphael in a bike race against Casey Jones. Unfortunately, some of the levels are over too fast and it would have been nice if they could have included more. There are 17 levels in all, with the 17th level playable by all characters in what is the final battle against your nemesis, Shredder. In order to get to that final level, however, you must beat the game in normal or hard mode and also find all 20 crystals (5 per turtle) to unlock it.

The story lines in the game are similar to the TV show. There's a good deal of joking around initially but in the end, it's always down to business. Even though the dialogue is interesting at times and the visuals nice to look at, the cut scenes can get rather long. Thankfully, however, you can press the start button to skip the cut scenes and get right to the butt kicking action. If you want to read through all the dialog for each episode, then be prepared to spend at least 30 to 40 minutes doing it.



TMNT was very simple to play back in the NES/SNES days and that hasn't changed for the GBA. You have 3 levels of attack, depending on how long you hold the button - longer the hold, the bigger the attack and the more damage it will do. If you are ever surrounded by enemies, there is always your "360 degree" quick attack. You have to be sparing when using this special attack because every time you use it, it takes a sliver off your health meter.

Climbing, jumps, double jumps and launching are all easily executed by using either the jump button, the d-pad or a combination of both. Moves and special moves are unique to each turtle's fighting style and are based around their weapon of choice. I must say that TMNT has a "beautiful" control system that's responsive and easy to get a hang of.


TMNT's game graphics have come a long way since the days of the NES/SNES. The graphics in this GBA version are well designed and are colored and shaded with a high level of detail. All of the characters look great too and their animation even better.

The level designs are also very well laid out, and similar to what you'd expect from TMNT games on the old NES/SNES. What I especially liked though, was the two special levels in the sewer for Michelangelo and Leonardo. The developers did a good job with the 3D effects here, which gave the whole scene a fast and very realistic sense of travelling speed. My only issue with the graphics, and I must say that it is very minor, is that the small face icon beside the health and attack meters could have had a little more detail and emotions, rather than just the three that are used (regular, pain & happy).

Sound & Music

The music in TMNT is great and perfectly suitable for an action game like this. Furthermore, the music in each level is different, so it doesn't get repetitive. The sound effects are also top notch and nicely timed with the on-screen action. Call me silly, but my favorite sound effect is the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" line from the theme song that comes on at the end of each act. I just love it!

Final Comments

Playing TMNT on the GBA has brought back fond memories of playing TMNT on the old NES/SNES. It's a good game indeed, and not just for nostalgic reasons. Mirage Studios and Konami have put together a pretty decent game that has variety, customized levels for each turtle, good controls and very crisp game play. It would have been better if they could have added a few more levels to make it longer or even a co-operative multiplayer feature. But as it stands, the game certainly rocks and is a definite must buy even if you aren't a TMNT fan.

@ EAGB Advance 2002. All rights reserved.