TMNT: Mutants In Manhattan Review – A Cowa-Bungled Mess

TMNT: Mutants In Manhattan Review

Platinum Games has been on a bit of a nostalgic ride lately. With last year’s release of Transformers Devastation, the team proved they could take a beloved franchise from the 80s and inject it with enough style and gameplay to give fans an entertaining package. Surely they could do it again with the rich world of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Sadly the answer is no.

It’s not that TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan is a bad game, it’s just not a satisfying adventure for the turtles. The story is about as generic as it needs to be: Shredder and Krang have plans to take over the world and have sent out a number of mutants to distract the team from their evil plans. Over the course of the nine levels Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael will encounter the likes of Bebop, Rocksteady, Slash, Wingnut and more. The boss encounters are the highlights of each level; each character feels true to their roots and has a level design and move-set that compliments that. The problems with TMNT come from two major areas: gameplay and level design.


“Combat is chaotic and often times completely incomprehensible.”

Let’s tackle gameplay first, as this is the foundation of what makes a good TMNT game. Combat is chaotic and often times completely incomprehensible. There are four turtles on screen at any given moment, all hacking and slashing at the same group of enemies. For the most part, there is little planning or strategy involved beyond mashing the same few buttons over and over again. Yes, there are unique skills that can be unlocked and leveled up but they are all the same for each turtle, something that essentially nullifies the decisions behind choosing any one of the four. The core strength of the turtles comes from their differences in style, and that should be better reflected in combat.


Secondly, the level design is far too repetitive for a game boasting only nine levels. Our heroes are often traveling through the same city streets, rooftops, or sewers to reach the final boss fight. The sewers are the worst offenders, with long stretches of repetitive corridors and dead ends that serve little purpose other than to pad out run time. The two Krang-focused levels proved to be the most entertaining of the bunch, providing some much needed variety to the gameplay and level design.


“The AI doesn’t do a poor job of controlling the other teammates, it just feels more natural to have real players as part of your team.”

It’s a shame that it’s all so repetitive, since there are moments of real inspiration throughout. A second visit to boss battles could feature a new twist, like Rocksteady providing back up to Bebop, which offers incentive to go back and experience these battles again, if the levels themselves weren’t in the way. Mutants In Manhattan also benefits from having online co-op. The AI doesn’t do a poor job of controlling the other teammates, it just feels more natural to have real players as part of your team. The cel-shaded visual style also works in bringing back those nostalgic feelings for the cartoon series, but then again makes me wish the supporting cast was a little more rounded out as the focus is squarely placed on the turtles and the handful of enemies featured.


Over the years there have been a lot of different video game adventures for the turtles. While this latest iteration tries to recapture some of the magic from the early 90’s, it ultimately lands somewhere in the middle of the pack. It doesn’t commit any wrongdoings, but it’s also boring enough to become forgettable. While I doubt this game will spark much replay value, it will make you want to go back and play Turtles in Time that much more.

*** A PS4 review was code provided by the publisher ***

The Good

  • 90’s nostalgia factor
  • Great Visual Style
  • Strong Boss Designs

The Bad

  • Repetitive level design
  • Button mashing gameplay
  • Lack of supporting cast