More like Icarumba than Cowabunga…

The iconic Turtle quartet returns for more side-scrolling madness, as the cast of 2012-2017 get some love. With an RRP of £24.99 and a completion time of around 1 hour 30 minutes is this ported 2017 re-release from Raw Thrills and GameMill Entertainment a worthy purchase?

Hot off the heels of Shredders Revenge and the Cowabunga Collection, my expectations were pretty high coming into this. And it’s here where I personally struggled to enjoy this release, as I was constantly comparing it to those previous titles that have been so well received. At its current price point, I’d find it hard to justify forking out that sum of money when Wrath Of The Mutants offers so little replay value and content.

Based on the turtle cast of 2012-2017, the game has just six stages that see the Turtles fight through some famed locations including New York City, the sewers, an amusement park, and the extraterrestrial, colorful dimension X. There’s no online play, and a soundtrack that is so quiet it sounds muted. Wrath Of The Mutants provides repetitive & frankly awkward voiceover work, and some dull boss fights that even a six-year-old would soundly defeat.

The game offers no backstory, it’s literally the main menu, press play and you jump straight onto the stage select screen to begin the journey to save April. (The only backstory is some uninteresting comic-like picture stills at the end of the game). However, for context, players can pick any of the world’s four most famous turtles ( Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo). April is being held hostage by Shredder and players tackle wave after wave of enemies spread across six stages. Most enemies have the same AI behavior patterns, making gameplay dull and offering a little challenge. Boss fights tend to consist of the AI swinging a few punches or firing some projectiles, then a big earthquake-like shattering jump, there’s no variety or any element of strategy needed once you’ve mastered the routine. It’s a two-button-bashing experience with dated graphics that look best suited to 2002.

Word of advice, when it comes to famed side-scrolling releases like Turtles, Streets of Rage, etc. If you’re going to do a 3d release at least make it look visually adequate or better yet, just stick to a 2d release that would arguably have been much better, whilst being faithful to its previous methods of success. Wrath Of The Mutants doesn’t offer the free-flowing fighting mechanics, online modes and soundtracks found in other releases such as the highly acclaimed TMNT Cowabunga release, and at an actual lower price point, for those of you looking to get a kick out of some TMNT arcade fun, do yourself a favor and stick to other titles.

The gameplay is bland and uninspiring, players can freely move across the basic level design, jumping and fighting waves of enemies throughout. There’s no block/dodge button (it’s literally like in the arcade) a joystick and two buttons would only be needed to play this. Your health bar depletes quickly as a result of this but with a stacked amount of lives and continues this is never really an issue.

The four-player co-op is a neat touch for a Saturday night having friends over and the environmental gameplay mechanics can be fun, grabbing items, projectiles, health boosts, and interacting with the posts, signs, and other items scattered in the environment. Sadly, with no further exploration and interactivity (due to invisible walls) that’s about all the fun found in the game. Fighting is restricted to bashing the same button with no variety, no block/dodge button, and just one special power-up move per turtle known as the turtle power attack that offers a reprieve when the waves of enemies swamp the screen and you need a quick fix to move on from them. Hits and the use of the power items (lets you call on a friend to offer support) help boost the score that gives a leaderboard ranking at the conclusion of the stage.

Production values are clearly on the low side with this release, as its visual offering is quite an eye-sore. 2017 isn’t too far back and games back then looked much, much better. Textures and character models are of low resolution, giving off a cut-rate vibe. The game does flow nicely with a 60 FPS offering as there’s no apparent juddering/lag during gameplay.

A Review Code for TMNT: Wrath Of The Mutants was provided by Renaissance PR.