Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (video game)

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The NES box art.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an action adventure platformer game developed by Konami and published by Ultra on the Nintendo Entertainment System on 1989-05-12 and later ported to eight home computer platforms. The game was released around the same time as the arcade game, and, between the two of them, they are the first games set in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles universe. The game actually has a lot of elements of a Metroidvania.

My step-brother introduced me to this game. I didn't get to play it much, but I watched him and my older brother take turns playing it. Being a fan of the cartoon, I remember being excited to see the game, but even at a young age, I was confused at all the weird unrelated crap I saw in the game. Looking back at now as an adult, the game has a lot of charm, but serious flaws. I watched my brother and step-brother make it to stage 4, but I never got that far. Later, after hacking the game to be invincible, I played it through to completion and discovered just how insane it gets near the end.


I own this game on the NES, but I have not beaten it.


  • Overall: 3/10
  • Best Version: NES


  • The game features a lot of characters from the cartoon, including heroes and villains alike.
  • The graphics are well-drawn and the music is great.
  • The game kind of plays like a comic. There are different locations for each act, each separated with a cut scenes, and the whole game plays out like a story.
  • I like the mechanic of being able to switch between turtles to have more energy and heal them as needed.
  • I like the shift between top-down street view and side-view indoors view.
  • The manual is well-written.


  • The enemies constantly respawn the moment you leave the screen, and cease to exist the moment they leave the screen. While this isn't too unusual for an NES game, it's still pretty annoying and silly.
  • While I like the idea of having minibosses, I just wish they were something other than stronger versions of regular enemies.
  • The majority of the enemies in the game have nothing to do with the cartoon and even those few that do don't look like they're supposed to. The first time I saw a Mouser, I thought it was a giant ant.
  • Your secondary weapon is replaced automatically if you touch another one, even accidentally. This is frustrating when shruikens replace your boomerangs, but game-ending when they replace 99 kiai!


  • Throughout the game, there are several annoyingly difficult jumps that have to be timed perfectly and seem to have been added just to piss the player off.
  • In the last couple levels the game becomes insanely difficult. Far too hard for the average child.
  • To stand a chance late in the game against the fast-moving extremely powerful enemies, you're expected to farm Kiai scrolls for each turtle. This is a long and boring process.







Language Native Transliteration Translation
English (Europe) Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles
English (North America) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
French Les Tortues Ninja Ninja Turtles
Japanese 激龟忍者传 Gekikame Ninja Den Turtle Ninja
Spanish Tortugas Ninja Ninja Turtles