HomeReviewsTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants

Developer: Raw Thrills, Cradle Games
Publisher: GameMill Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S (Reviewed)
Release Date: Available Now
Price: $29.99 USD – Available Here


When it comes to brawlers, no licensed franchise has likely seen more titles released for it than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle games. Sure, there are entire game franchises that have existed only has brawlers but those are a separate thing entirely, TMNT is a popular property and the fact that it features four iconic turtles with signature weapons lends itself so well to the genre that it makes sense that so many have been made over the past three decades. In fact, two major beat ’em ups for the Turtles have arrived within the last couple of years, which begs the question as to why now would GameMill choose to tap into the 2017 arcade game simply titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Well, they have and brought a bit of new content into the game in their own version titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants. So now that it has arrived on consoles and PC, is this beat ‘em up another trip down memory lane with the Heroes in a Half-Shell?


With Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants‘ origins as an arcade game, there really isn’t much of a storyline to go along with the game unfortunately as the developer didn’t even include the “attract” screen to introduce players to what is happening. That being said, it does take its stylization from the 2012 Nickelodeon television series including taking various villains and interactions, which mostly only consist of a few taunts the bosses, including new ones, throw the Turtles’ way during a fight, from the decade old cartoon. Since players can play through any of the five stages at any time, with the sixth stage unlocking only once players beat all five of the other stages, there isn’t much in the way of set-up. 

Heck, other than defeating Shredder at the end and facing down various TMNT villains that even die-hard fans may not remember, there’s barely any interaction besides some unvoiced comic pages once the final boss is defeated. Unfortunately, besides unlocking the “Hard” difficulty option there is no bonus content to unlock in the game in any form, which is disappointing as even including some concept art, storyboards, or even an extra character in some way would encourage replays.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants, being originally an arcade cabinet that only had a joystick, jump, attack, and special button, features the most simple beat ’em up formula around to the point that it doesn’t really involve much complexity. It does allow up to four characters to take on enemies at a time, with each character being able to play as one of the four turtles in local co-op at least. Each of the turtles has their own unique basic combo, a jump, jump attack, and dive kick as well as a special “turtle power” that works as a sort of screen-clearing ultimate attack that deals plenty of damage to bosses but even summons unspawned enemies in a fight into the stage so they take damage as well. These Turtle Powers, while all effectively the same in damage, are all different with Leondardo creating a whirling tornado with his katanas, Michelangelo throwing exploding pizza slices, Donatello blasting everything on screen with lightning, and Raphael just kind of punching the ground so hard it explodes.

It is worth noting that there is no dodge or block button of any kind, meaning players will need to jump to avoid potential damage, especially from bosses with their AoE attacks, and there are plenty of enemies that are ready to deal out damage. It is worth noting that while the game does offer two difficulties to start with, with Hard being unlocked upon completing Normal, the only apparent difference is how many lives players start a stage with. On Normal it is 2, Easy is 3, and Hard drops it down to 1 though since Continues seem to be infinite, it doesn’t really matter much. 

As players fight through a stage they can pick up or hit various items in the field to deal damage to enemies as well as obtain power-ups. These power-ups range simply from being full boxes of pizza to restore health and Turtle Power meter boosts to more active tools such as shurikens that one-shot standard enemies and deal plenty of boss damage, an “ice cream kitty” that rages through the screen before running off, some type of potion that freezes enemies in place, and even a spinning shell attack. The most powerful of these happen to summon an ally in the form of either Leatherhead or Metalhead who will come in to wipe out the screen of enemies. 

Across the five stages that players need to play through to unlock the sixth final stage two of these are original. With the Amusement Park and Dimension X adding in a few new stages even if the enemies that players fight here remain the same, outside of some new bosses of course. That being said, all bosses in the game, with the exception of the obvious final boss being Shredder, play almost the exact same way. This includes jumping their AoE attacks, picking up shuriken to throw at them, and dealing with random individual mobs that come in to try and get in a few cheap shots. This leads to some rather monotonous play even during some of the newer encounters since players will quickly find out that Wrath of the Mutants does little to actually change up the game throughout its literally hour long length.

Unfortunately, unless players want to really try out the unlockable Hard mode, no incentive beyond obtaining achievements has been included in the game for replayability. No unlockable characters, hidden content, or anything along those lines to try and expand upon this arcade port. Even the leaderboards are local only and oddly enough, don’t even let players put their own names in so even if they are competing with their friends on the couch, it doesn’t let them leave a mark of their own. Along those same lines, the complete lack of online co-op is once again a massive misstep for a beat ‘em up such as this. Considering each level is only around ten minutes long and the way continues are setup, it should have been easy to allow for drop-in online co-op but sadly that is not the case here.

Audio & Visuals

As mentioned before, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants takes its visual inspiration from the 2012 Nickelodeon series so players should already know a little bit about what to expect in this regard if they happened to watch the show. That being said, there is some nice variation between the designs of each of the game’s stages and the “Turtle Power” moves look nice whenever they are used even if it automatically summons all enemies available during that bout into the screen at once, even if they haven’t spawned yet, to dish out the damage. It is worth noting that most people will likely be fans of whichever version of TMNT they grew up with but for the most part the designs of most enemies have remained the same and that is at least partially true here except for the case of Bebop. While Rocksteady is still a hulking powerhouse wielding a flamethrower, Bebop looks like an anorexic patient in desperate need of intervention.

The voice work for the game is handled well with all of the voice actors reprising their roles from the original 2012 cartoon to handle their characters in the 2017 release and once again to record new voice lines for the additional stages that have been included in this version of the game. In fact, hearing Gilbert Gottfried appear, even for his short boss fight, was a wonderful treat for the late actor. The background music throughout the stages is fairly standard and the new Amusement Park stage really does stand out as exceptional even among the old stages’ presentation.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants does take the original arcade game from 2017 and expands upon it with two brand new stages and a modified final stage that helps bring the game to a full blown hour long experience but its lack of complexity, oddly lacking online multiplayer, and general simplicity make it hard to recommend. Yes, it may take and bring back the voices and style of the long concluded 2012 take on the Turtles but this brawler is one that plays it far too safe and, for the price, will be found lacking by even the most die-hard fans.

Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants expands on the 2017 arcade game but it’s simple and safe style and lack of replayability leave this brawler best left in the past.
Travis Bruno
Travis Bruno
After playing games since a young age and getting into anime a bit later on its been time to write about a little bit of everything.
<i>Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants </i>expands on the 2017 arcade game but it’s simple and safe style and lack of replayability leave this brawler best left in the past.Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants Review