Growing up in the early 1990s, I was a huge fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from Saturday morning cartoons and the Nintendo games. That’s why I was so excited when TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge arrived on Steam, the Switch, Xbox One and PS4 last year. I ordered it on Steam and got drawn into the new adventures of turtles Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael. Other familiar friends include Splinter the Rat, reporter April O’Neil and the unlockable Casey Jones.
However, sometimes you don’t feel like putting a gaming console together or pulling out a laptop. On a quick break between meetings, whipping out your phone is more ideal to beat a level or two. The good news is you can download Shredder’s Revenge now for free if you’re a Netflix subscriber. I tried it out over a weekend to see how it measures up to other Turtles games.
Building on the Turtles in Time Template
For me, the last great TMNT game was Turtles in Time on the Super Nintendo. It maximized the fun and creativity with the side scrolling stages from the Nintendo games, with the added flair of time travel. You could throw enemies into the screen, dash across to attack, and eventually fight a Super Shredder.
Shredder’s Revenge was a labor of love by Nickelodeon, Playdigious, Tribute Games and Dotemu. The game revisits the classic elements of the Nintendo and Super Nintendo, mixing them up to incorporate other aspects of gaming. For example, you can connect with other players online, a feature called “Party Up,” to assemble a team.
This time, you also get a map of the episodes and you can select your path. That’s especially handy with the side character challenges embedded in the different episodes. I love how April’s roommate Irma appears from behind a door, asking you to find the pages of her diary. Take the extra time to complete the challenges and earn extra points and rewards.
Mobile Version vs. Other Releases
I didn’t encounter problems when I downloaded the mobile version of Shredder’s Revenge from Google Play. On my Pixel 2, the game started and loaded quickly. The colors, graphics and music held up almost as well as the earlier releases on Steam and the gaming consoles. My Pixel 2 also saved my progress automatically, so that I could press “Continue” the next day where I left off in the map.
The mobile version includes the D-pad, jump, and various attack buttons on the screen, which is both useful and problematic. I skipped the beginning tutorial on how to perform moves. It was intuitive to figure those moves out while settling into the rhythm of the game: sliding, double jumping, dashing, and special combinations. The on-screen buttons were large enough to see and press.
The D-pad proved to be the source of most issues. It takes up an eighth of my screen in the lower left hand corner. When enemies appeared in that section, I often found it difficult to see them clearly and to maneuver around them. On one frustrating occasion, I couldn’t get the D-pad to respond when I pressed up and then right. Getting boxed in by enemies cost me quite a few energy sticks from my health bar.
My Final Verdict
Despite the D-pad issue in the mobile version, I made it to episode seven easily playing as Leonardo, my favorite turtle. After beating this game, I’m looking forward to replaying it as April, who uses a microphone as her weapon to attack the baddies. If you want a physical controller, Netflix Games lists an option to connect a wireless controller through Bluetooth. I haven’t tried that yet, but that could be useful if you too encounter any onscreen D-pad issues.
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge captures the spirit of the old games rather well. It gets my vote as one not to be missed. The developers even involved voice actors from the original TV series, and their voices come through in good quality on the mobile version. It’ll be interesting to see if we get another TMNT game in the future and how the turtle storyline continues, based on how popular the 2022 console releases were.
So if you have a Netflix subscription and you love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, be sure to download Shredder’s Revenge for free while it’s available. Check out the Netflix trailer below!