Raw Thrills is a company that’s made a name for itself in modern arcades. Securing the Halo license for Halo: Fireteam Raven is perhaps the most well known effort, but the success doesn’t stop there. Bust-a-Move, Cruis’n, Jurassic Park and even Minecraft Dungeons have all seen modern arcade titles thanks to the publisher. However, there’s one license that makes more sense than any other for an arcade revival: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Launched in 2017 as a new entry in the franchise, the title is now coming home under the guise of TMNT Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants.

The experience undeniably trips on your nostalgia. Not because of the age of the game, but because of the way in which it has been handled. The port is a near-perfect rendition of the arcade game, warts and all. In the fashion that many 40-somethings always wanted. From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game on the NES to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time on the SNES, the feeling of bringing home the arcade game was always something to savour. TMNT Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants may not be the best TMNT game of all time, but it’s certainly going to hit some players hard in the feels.

TMNT Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants screenshot

That said, while it may not be the best TMNT game, it’s also far from the worst. It’s a simple modernisation of the formula seen in the above two titles. A scrolling beat-’em-up for up to four players simultaneously. Basic attacks, jump attacks, spin attacks and specials all present and correct. Collectible items and interactive scenery all good. Boss fights and the occasional twist thrown in for good measure, of course. It’s a pretty by-the-numbers TMNT arcade affair.

Therein however, lies TMNT Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants‘ biggest problem. It’s not the only game of its ilk to have recently launched on current-generation consoles. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge was another well received mondernisation of the formula that actually goes a few steps further, adding in a more comprehensive story mode and player upgrade system. Then we’ve also got the Cowabunga Collection, which reunited 13 TMNT classic titles. And yep, you guessed it: that includes the 8-bit and 16-bit arcade ports mentioned above.

TMNT Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants screenshot

So while TMNT Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants is far from a terrible game, it has competition stacked against it. Given the depth of Shredder’s Revenge and the comprehensive package offered in Cowabunga Collection, it’s hard to see the newcomer finding a place. That said, if you’re a fan of TMNT looking for more multiplayer action, TMNT Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants is worthy of your time and money. It’s a well thought out homage to classic ’90s arcade gaming, but not a very long one.

It is a home console port of an arcade game. This means little in the way of unlockables and no character progression. There’s three difficulty modes included, with hard unlocking for successful completion of normal. There’s three new levels not seen in the arcade, but you’ll still likely see everything the game has to offer in a single evening. Which is a shame despite the game’s budget price point. Were there more to it TMNT Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants would be an easy recommendation. As it stands however, it’s taken third place in a three-horse race. Still, with it’s low entry cost you’ll probably complete it cheaper than four of you playing a coin-op would.

Categories: Games