Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Emo in a half shell

Let's start with a public service announcement: kids, despite the positive press it gets from the comics community, radioactive mutation isn't always good for you.

Bathe in the contents of that luminescent oil drum and the typical result is not athletic, overly-muscled beefcake but a freakish, toothless abomination destined for a swift and merciful death. Which brings us rather neatly onto games based on films.

At first glance this is a typical example. Produced in a hurry, amazingly ugly, and few aspirations to hold your attention any longer than the film itself. Flit about the streets and rooftops of Brooklyn, pausing occasionally to beat off swarms of identikit goons.


Yet this is by Ubisoft Montreal: somewhere inside is the irradiated, wheezing form of Prince of Persia.

The similarities aren't pronounced, admittedly. While the Prince is all about fluid leaping and bouncing and feeling like you're the master of ancient Persia, this is like herding an excitable toddler round Ikea: endless blind leaping along a fixed path between a series of crude and unattractive boxes. The camera position is fixed and often makes it impossible to see where you're going or who's hitting you, but this doesn't matter because pounding Jump or Hit solves a good 95% of the problems.

There's just enough of a good idea here to make you keep playing. It's a second-hand idea, sure, and reduced to an endless RSI-inducing button-mashing frenzy, but it's very fast as a result, and bounding along the rooftops is entertaining even in this horrid-looking guise.

Switching between the four turtles to use their different moves, crude but likeable team attacks, and making the main challenge about time bonuses rather than hair-trigger platforming or bosses are all plus points. I'll go as far as saying it's an acceptable movie game: short, simple, and just entertaining enough.

The verdict

Ugly and simplistic, but surprisingly likeable.