Action Arcade Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge – Review

Is there anything more nostalgic for any generation than the ever immortal Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Set in the “universe” of the 90s cartoon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge sees the titular character pull off a plot that once again involves stealing the Statue of Liberty and rebuilding Krang’s robot while causing as much chaos as possible around New York City. 

Raphael, Michaelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and friends set out to foil the plot which takes players from the streets of New York City to the mysterious Dimension X and back!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge - Foot Clan Ice Lolly


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is mostly inspired by the classic Konami beat ’em ups and as such keeps the narrative beats short and sweet. You get an intro, an ending, and outros to the stages which explain what’s going on, but most of the minimal story is played out within the levels. An example of this is stage two where the Foot Soldiers are stealing car parts. At the end of the level, you find out this is to build a jeep for Bebop and Rocksteady. 

The story is about standard for the genre and doesn’t provide any new lore or any thought-provoking twists. It does feel like you’re taking part in an episode from the 90s cartoon, only skipping a certain news reporter’s hacky overacting!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge - Crashed

Ninja Masters With Moves Like Lightning

As mentioned, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is a beat ’em up. It’s in the image of the original game by Konami found in arcades and the console follow-ups: Turtles in Time and Hyperstone Heist. The game features 16 stages for you to, slash, kick, jump, surf, and fly through, each of them culminating in a boss battle.

You can choose from any of the 4 turtles, April or Splinter at first. Casey is unlocked after finishing story mode.

Story mode sees you traversing a top-down map of New York and beyond, very reminiscent of the infamous NES Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game. Fortunately, it lacks any levels involving bombs and electrified seaweed! This mode allows you to level up the characters through play, unlocking more moves and increasing their health pools too.

All of this is well and good but “how does the combat feel?” I hear you cry this as you clutch onto your pizza for dear life. Fortunately, it is one of the smoothest and most responsive of the genre and a darn good time to boot!

Aside from the usual attack and combo skills synonymous with the genre you also have a few more options. There’s a very handy dodge mechanic, a variety of air attacks, a super attack built up via a special meter, and even a “Radical” mode which uses multiple super bars but allows for extra damage and a barrage of super attacks for as long as it lasts.

You can find power-ups too. Some make your chosen character spin around hitting every foe in the area and another allows for instant “Radical” mode. Of course, there is copious floor pizza to consume as well!

The attacks wonderfully flow into one another and as enemies can be juggled you’ll easily slip into an almost zen-like state as you dodge, combo, and keep the enemies in the air. It’s just as well considering the number of enemies that can take you on at one time!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge - Surfing

On the Half Shell, They’re Turtles Four

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge allows for an impressive 6-player co-op experience either locally or online and has 3 difficulty modes to tackle. Aside from the Story mode you also have an arcade mode which cuts out the cutscenes and just has you running the gauntlet of 16 levels back to back.

The levels consist of your usual scrolling beat ’em up action and are broken up occasionally by on-the-rails sections where you’re surfboarding or skyboarding through the New York skyline, dodging missiles and taking down the Foot Clan Ninjas. Level diversity is brilliant here and nothing outstays its welcome. Familiar locations litter the campaign and keep the title focused on the source material with almost surgical precision.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge - Map

Levels include collectibles. There are also characters to find who offer side quests or extra points to level up your character. The game also offers a set of challenges at the start to tackle such as taking out X amount of foes with a certain attack or completing the stage without taking damage.

The bosses in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge are fantastic. Every fight is fun and unique and if you can think of a classic TMNT bad guy, chances are you’ll be slamming your nunchucks into their face along the course of the game.

Out From The Dark Came An Awesome Sound

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge has such a brilliant art direction, matching the classic aesthetic of the 90s cartoon through the sprite work and cheek that Tribute Games have become famous for.

Animations are fantastic and little nuances like Foot Soldiers slipping on water or interacting with the background give the game a lot of life. Returning to the game is the ability to fall down manholes in comical style, amusing text box included.

As mentioned, all the stages are famous locations from the series and the developer has made them feel more interactive and interesting than was possible in the original titles. Vibrant colors and effects make it feel like an episode of the original cartoon has been made into a playable form.

One of the most pressing questions with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge was regarding the soundtrack. Yes, the theme is back in all its glory, but it has been re-recorded so it may sound slightly different than you remember. The stage music is a brilliant mix of arcade-style engaging music and the odd vocal track to mix it up. It’s a fantastic and engaging soundtrack and it wouldn’t shock me to find anyone who’s played the game adding it to their playlist.

The original voice actors make an appearance here with plenty of audio clips to accompany you throughout the game. While there isn’t anything particularly lengthy, the cast will be cracking one-liners throughout and Shredder even has time to proclaim that he once again wishes to dine on turtle soup.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is a game for and by series fans, but also doubles up as one of the most fun beat ’em ups around. It even edges out mighty titles like Streets of Rage 4 and Scott Pilgrim with its intuitive controls and 6-player multiplayer.

To put it into perspective, I am a fan of the Turtles but haven’t followed them since I was a child. From start to finish, I was grinning from ear to ear as nostalgia washed over me and my love of beat ’em ups was catered to with its addictive gameplay.

While it’s more of an essential purchase for fans of the Ninja Turtles and provides long-time fans with references and nostalgia by the boatload, there is enough fun to be had here to not only justify its price tag but make it feel like that feel-good game of the summer. It’s one where you can sit down either by yourself or with friends and really have a great time every time you play.


Platforms: Nintendo Switch

If you love beat’em ups, how about checking our reviews of Double Dragon Neon and Streets of Rage 4.

Many thanks goes to DotEmu for a Nintendo Switch review code for this title.

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