ST Format


Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles

Author: Mark Higham
Publisher: Image Works
Machine: Atari ST

 
Published in ST Format #19

Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles

There's no way you can have dodged the Turtles. As if all the hype weren't enough to make you chuck, here's the ST game - and it offers nothing new. You must race through six New York levels and rescue Channel 16's new reporter, April O'Neil, from the evil Shredder. The game is split into two sections - an overhead view of the city streets and a side-on view in the sewers.

In the street section you must dodge the odd purple blob (they're presumably Shredder's henchmen) and disappear into a building or down the occasional manhole. Once you're inside a building or the New York sewers, the action switches to a side-on scrolling platform level. Here your task is to dodge or fight Shredder's mutant men, reach the end of the sewer and then escape to safety on the streets.

One of Shredder's cronies guards April O'Neil, who is tied up at the end of one of the sewage systems. By the time you've smashed him to the ground, someone else has come along and snatched her off again. When you follow them through the end-of-level door you're given access to the next level.

Effects

Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles

OK, so the game really isn't anything special, but what about the visuals? 'Fraid not, no. Shredder's henchmen are almost totally shapeless splodges of colour, often lost against the usually highly patterned background. They are terribly animated and look completely unbelievable.

You thought the Turtles were individuals? They're actually clones. The only thing to change between the four playing characters is the weapon. Each of the turtles can walk, jump or roll into a ball, but there are so few frames of animation involved that it all looks laughable.

And what about the scrolling? Erm, what scrolling? The display jerks left and right, making it very difficult to keep your eye on your active turtle. The sound effects have you reaching (or retching) for that volume control.

Verdict

It's always an ominous sign when a software publisher refuses to send you a copy of a game for review, as Mirrorsoft originally did in this case. You don't usually expect classic games to emerge from licence deals, but with a £25 price tag and a name as big as the Turtles you envisage something a bit special. Gremlins 2, for example, was just a simple scrolling shoot-'em-up but there were heaps of Gremlins leaping about on pogo sticks, hiding behind the furniture and doing zany things.

In Turtles, you don't have any of this attention-to-detail, so you're left feeling cheated out of your cash. It may scale the software charts on the strength of Turtlemania, but you're going to need a frontal lobotomy if you want to play this for more than a couple of hours.

Mark Higham

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