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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade Wrath of the Mutants review 1
Image: Cradle Games

There seems to be an abundance of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games at the moment, what with Shredder’s Revenge and the Cowabunga Collection released in the last couple of years, and no less than three other titles on the way. And that’s not including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants, the 2017 arcade game that has just been ported to consoles and PC.

Inspired by Turtles in Time, it’ll perhaps be unsurprising to fans that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants is a classic styled side-scrolling beat ’em up. Arriving on consoles and PC after the phenomenal Shredder’s Revenge, however, there’s a good chance you’ll find it disappointingly basic. Five stages are on offer straight off the bat here, with a sixth stage becoming unlocked once you’ve completed all the others. Three of these stages are brand new to this port, too. And with two bosses per stage, that means there are also six new bosses to overcome.

But with a story that’s not really worth mentioning, you’ve pretty much experienced all that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants has to offer by the time you’ve finished just one stage. One button is used to attack here; tap it and you’ll perform a combo, or get close to an enemy to be able to grab and throw them. Aside from that, you can jump, perform a duo of jump attacks, and make use of special screen-clearing special attacks when a meter is full. Needless to say, the action gets old pretty fast. Being able to block, dodge or perform co-op attacks would have no doubt given some new life to the gameplay.

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Image: Cradle Games

It doesn’t help that all of the turtles — Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello and Leonardo — all pretty much play the same. While they have some unique animations given their individual weapons, they don’t have any particular strengths or weaknesses. Even their special attacks, despite all looking wildly different, all simply deal damage to all enemies on screen. Your choice of turtle, then, is merely cosmetic, which detracts from replayability.

Related: The best Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games you can play right now

The most exciting thing about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants is the small number of power ups you can encounter in each stage. Collect a shell, for example, and your turtle will retract their arms, legs and head and spin around the screen, becoming invulnerable while damaging enemies for a short period. There are collectibles that see guest characters pop in to clear the screen, too. Various useful items can also be picked up, such as smoke grenades, but disappointingly you can’t keep hold of them to use them strategically — you have to use them straight away.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade Wrath of the Mutants review 3
Image: Cradle Games

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants is a bit of a disappointment, then, but it’s not entirely bad. It does provide somewhat mindless fun in short bursts. And it’s no doubt more entertaining when you play with a friend or two by your side — that’s what it was designed for, after all. It’s just that as a side-scrolling beat ’em up in 2024, it feels old, and there are much better games on the market. It doesn’t even have looks going for it, what with its visuals and character models being bland.

If you’re a massive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan, you still might want to pick Wrath of the Mutants up, but just make sure you temper your expectations. It can be fun when played in co-op, but on the whole it’s massively inferior to Shredder’s Revenge, and not even as fun as some of the classic games that it’s inspired by. It’s a basic game with sup-par visuals and a ho-hum story — but at least playing it on console or PC beats feeding coins into a machine.

This review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants is based on the PS5 version, with a code provided by the game’s publisher. It’s available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants review - GameSpew's score

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants
5 10 0 1
Inspired by Turtles in Time, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants certainly plays like a blast from the past. After Shredder's Revenge, you'll likely find its gameplay too basic, however, and it fails to impress in other ways, too.
Inspired by Turtles in Time, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants certainly plays like a blast from the past. After Shredder's Revenge, you'll likely find its gameplay too basic, however, and it fails to impress in other ways, too.
5/10
Total Score

We like...

  • It beats feeding coins into an arcade machine
  • Co-op is fun

We don't like...

  • Gameplay is very basic
  • Visually it's a bit drab
  • All turtles play the same
Editor in Chief // An avid gamer since discovering the wonders of the Acorn Electron in the '80s, Rich has nearly played more games than he's had hot dinners. Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Rich is happy to play games of all genres, but he particularly enjoys racing games and anything that's full of non-stop action, especially if it includes a good dose of humour, horror or crudeness!