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TMNT – ZX Spectrum

ZX Spectrum TMNT Loading screen

Hello my Weekday Warriors, I hope your day is going well so far guys and girls.  So as you can see by today’s loading screen, it’s a bit of a cool franchise to review….right?….RIGHT?….

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the ZX Spectrum

So the plot goes, Shredder ( the big nasty man with the big claws on his hands ), has kidnapped April O’Neil, as the fab four, it’s your job to rescue her…

And this is where it all goes horribly wrong….Clunky controls will have you ripping your hair straight from your head, screaming in pain, not so much due to the hair ripping, but that won’t help matters. This is purely a painful game to play, the developers have taken the inspiration from the NES version of the game, which was done so much better than this wasted effort. The characters are drawn OK I guess, but attack animations are poor, your chosen turtle just has a protruding weapon when you press the fire button, really bad and no real love given to the game at all. You start the game on a top down view of the city, moving your chosen turtle around using your joystick. Using the sewers to move into a 2D Side on mode of game play. Movement is horrible, the attacks you do are rubbish and don’t always respond to your fire button clicks. You can also jump, which is really clunky and feels non responsive too. It’s a shame because I wanted to like this game after playing the NES version that was released, Nintendo just did it better. The first boss you encounter is, I assume, meant to be Rocksteady the Rhino mutant man….but it’s hard to tell when it’s a purple looking thing chasing you around the screen, almost gluing himself onto your character, losing all 4 turtles to this guy is a common thing, he really won’t stay away from you, draining your health until you curl into your shell and become “Captured”, then chose a new hero to go and get beaten with too. Badly designed level structure and enemies that don’t even make sense such as the huge eye ball monster that frequents the levels, seems he would be more at home with a Ghost Busters game!. The top down map provides only means to travel between different parts of the map, but all in all, this was not done with any due care or attention. Bad…bad…BAD!

Graphics:- Erm, the actual design of the Turtles when they are STANDING STILL is not so bad, the colour schemes are acceptable for the humble Spectrum. The level design could have been so much better, smaller sprites would have worked better for the large screens the developers have tried to incorporate into the game. Bad guys are colourful and well drawn, just not sure they are anything to do with the turtles at all.

Sound:- Abysmal is the word, no music, and the in-game noise is just plain crap. It’s such a shame as this was the 128k version of the game, Shredders speech noise just sounds like a horny Bee trying to find a mate….poor effort.

Overall:- If you are a fan of the Turtle franchise, I suggest you DON’T play this game as it will probably drive you to abandon all other turtle games, but don’t do that, the Arcade was awesome, the NES game was great fun…this was just a bad egg in an otherwise healthy basket. Try it if you must, but don’t say I did’nt warn you. Seriously bad effort at an otherwise booming franchise!

one star rating

In game screen screen from TMNT

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