Game Profile

Note: This game is no longer available on the Wii Shop.

Cowabunga! Players take control of the turtles in a half shell and rescue reporter April O'Neil from the clutches of the evil Shredder. Battle against the Foot Ninja Clan as Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Donatello and Raphael with their trademark weapons and ninja abilities.

Search through five stages and dozens of areas throughout the New York City sewers, rooftops and ultimately Shredder's Technodrome to save April. Players must scarf down some pizza to keep up their energy, as they'll need it to defeat Shredder. Turtle Power!

Game Review


USA USA Version

Posted by Darren Calvert


Turtle mania was sweeping the world when this came out in 1989. That's probably why this game was so popular despite it being an unfair bag of dog's droppings!So popular was the franchise that Nintendo even bundled the NES with this game in Europe...

Game Screenshots

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Game Trailers

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User Comments (112)



BJ1 said:

That's cool! Even though it wasn't my favorite of the earlier TMNT game it was still very challenging. I hope they bring the other games like Ninja Turtles 3: The Manhattan Project.



Hillis said:

Wait, is this the first TMNT game on the NES, the one that gave me nightmares and caused The Angry Nintendo Nerd to rant so hatefully about? What manner of just pure evil would unleash this on a whole unsuspecting legion of little Wiiers who never knew the pain that was the Dam Level. They should have just did what they did with Castlevania, that is skip ahead a few games to when the series wasn't such a pain in the ass.



Jon said:

I hope they come out with some of the later sequals to the TMNT series for the SNES, I really liked those.



Fred said:

God! That game was just impossible. After, many many hours of practice me and my brother made it to the Technodrome but that's where it stopped for us, the incredible amount of enemies in there just crippled our remaining turtles.



Zweck36 said:

I liked this game, a lot, and did not find it challenging at all. Shredder was a bitch



Flemmonthang said:

I hate this game.....but I must buy it. I always turned into turtle soup thanks to those steamrollers! BAH!



Patrick said:

This game was hard?
It was made back in the day when games were fun AND difficult.



Sasahara said:

This game wasn't that hard, I was possible to complete it only ever using one Turtle.

People are too soft these days.



Jamym said:

oh my god, Hillis not the DAM level its taken me nearly 15 years to get over that. I must get this when its out



PM said:

LOL - I remember the spectrum version of this game. Again damn near impossible - I couldn't even get past the first semi boss in the sewers - until I found a cheat to make me invincible, then I played it through and enjoyed it quite a lot (was only 10 at the time!!)



Dazza said:

No the version coming to XBLA is the arcade version which is scrolling beat-em-up. This NES version is a platformer. Very different games.



Mark said:

Finally!! I haven't played this game since I was 5. It may be the only reason why I couldn't beat that first water level! I always drowned! This was the ONLY game I couldn't beat. It's time for retribution!!! Vindication!!! (insert another big word here)!!!!



Bass_X0 said:

I'm surprised to see a licensed game on the virtual console. But then Konami still has the license so its not a big surprise a guess. I hope this paves the path towards its sequels.



Masuyo said:

oh god no... anyone but that! All the others were awesome arcade versions. I remember completely geeking out with my friend on TMNT2. We counted all 8 colors because we couldn't believe that there were only 8 I still loved that underwater level with the electricity spikes or w/e I don't even remember /sigh :F it was just so insanely hard and incredibly unforgiving. This isn't a game you can master, just shut your eyes and hope you make it to the end.

__Brian Drayton


Brian Drayton said:

Don't be an idiot, Bass XO. Of course, this is going to pave the way for the TMNT 2: Arcade Game (NES version), Manhattan Project, Turtles in Time, Tournament Fighters, and Hyperstone Heist.

It's a case of if you see one, you're going to see them all. Get it, got it? Good.



neuzd said:

I think most readers missed the youtube link Dazza posted.
Check that video because beyond the irony (but it's also really funny) there's a realistic view about the design-flaws of this game.

I mean: a "challenging" or "hard" game are welcomed, but this does not look like a "game", it's a "collection of rules".
In 2 words: no fun.

Anyone is free to love this game, of course, but I ask myself: "Do these people ever played a Mario, Kirby, Metroid or Zelda episode?".



Zero said:

T'would appear that my quest to beat this game shall begin anew.



Eric said:

Good game with lots of challenges. I want Battletoads on VC!!!



Normo said:

I remember this on the commodore 64, to be honest i thought it was a pretty decent game, never finished it though. I will be getting this



PumpkinPieman said:

This game is great! I don't really agree with the review though. Sure, looking back on the overall series, side-scrollers were much better choice for this type of game. But this game still remains difficult and fun. It does have it's fare share of glitches, but during the NES days these gliches weren't uncommon ..



Sicnic said:

I remember owning this game and it was a pain in the ass. I gave up on it at some point.



NeoRizer said:

I was 8 years old when this game was released and I discovered so many glitches in the game play. I killed it hard back then and I even bet new people I meet money that I can beat it in less than 30 minutes not dying once. Even though the game was insanely unbalanced and difficult there are ways around certain things. The Angry Video Game nerd complained about some the dumbest things in that video. That one jump where you just walk over the hole to get the missles, you don't even need to go all the way around, just jump up there and press against the side of the floor. Once you get the scrolls this game is done and done. It's good, don't listen to the reviews, if you're smart enough you can get through this game every time you start it up. I would have given this game three stars and Zelda II at least four. P.S. I think there's a glitch with Raph where if you switch to him from Donatello, he has Don's strength power. It might just be me though, I noticed that sometimes Raph can kill enemies in one strike and sometimes it takes two.



This is an hard game i have still not completed years later. I can do the Dam level i could at the time but the part i cant do is the part after that, where is splinter where do you actually go. I had to wait ages to get this as Nintendo thought it was a jolly good idea to not sell this seperately for ages. I had a nes in 1987 when i was 4 i got super mario with it i have a mattel version for goodness sake Nintendo you should have given me the game for free. I moaned and got a free membership of the nintendo fan club instead but that was a bit rubbish really.



Mark said:

After this game is beat i'll only want to wait for Ninja Turtles: TURTLES IN TIME! Who remembers that? Was the best game ninja turtles had!



EmmaVB said:

Angry Nintendo Nerd loves it really. The pizzas he said were hard to get were so easy for me and I'm a girl. Also - pretty obvious you could just walk over that gap.



michinmuri said:

I remember loving the game. Heck yeah is was hard and buggy, but back then we didn't have much, and it felt great being the turtles and kicking Shredders @$$. Basically, if you're into nostalgia like me, it's worth the 500 points. For most people, it might be 500 points you shouldn't spend. In my opinion, this is at least a 3 star game.



Jon said:

Looks decent, but 600 points? I mean, doesnt that imply that its somewhat superior to all of the other NES games? What a joke. I hope the Angry Video Game Nerd might have something to say about this.



Eric said:

It's funny that their original review says the difficulty is easy/med.. lol.



jayj said:

i kept dying in the swimming stage! i honestly don't think i passed the part with the turtle van..



Bass_X0 said:

Maybe they think they can charge more because of the hype generated from the movie? Or maybe the turtles license is more expensive in america than it is for europe. *shrugs*



Eric42 said:

Ugh. 600 points for TMNT? I won't be buying it for sure. I may check out Starfox 64 and finally see what the hubbub is all about.



Ridien said:

To Pazzled:

The reason why Raph seems stronger sometimes isn't the result of a glitch. Not many people seem to know this, but each turtle has a different attribute. Leo's defense is higher than everyone elses, but his strenth is low. Raph gets stronger after the dam level and even stronger than Donatello on the last level. Mike becomes as strong as Donatello when his health is reduced to half, and Donatello's strength is countered by a really low defense.

Once you get to the last level, Raphael becomes one of the best characters to use.



tj said:

OK.... This is for the guys who seem to be confused about why sometimes the turtles will do more damage to enemies.

Whenever your turtle is under 50% health their strength seems to go up. try it you jackasses



Kevin said:

I loved this game. It was very challenging, and the characters WERE unbalanced, but the game was great fun. Glad I downloaded it.



I wont download it as I have the NES cart. I love Turtles at the time, I loved them when the rest of the kids jumped ship and I still love them now. The new cartoon and cgi film are great but I have a soft spot for the 1990 film(have it on uncut dvd yay) and 1987 cartoon. Yes brown weapons no I didnt get it either but I still have them and they really were very well made.



BJ1 said:

I agree with you Mark. Turtles in Time was the best. However, I have a feeling Konami will release TMNT 2 and 3 before they get to 4. And Eric I too would like to play Battletoads, as I have never played it before but hear good things about it. The only problem is that Rare is owned by Microsoft now, and they even don't intend to put Battletoads on Xbox Live Arcade beacuse the people at Rare believe that Battletoads has an "inhuman difficulty".



hadrian said:

I loved this game on the Amiga and NES but now I dont, its aged badly! Manhatten Project, Hypstone Heist, Turtles In Time and Tournement Fighters were a lot better. TMNT Movie GBA is pretty good beat em up unlike the other recent games.



Argroww said:

I remember playing this game on the Commodore 64, sure it was hard, but I loved it none-the-less.....Although I do remember that the further you got into the game, the wierder things got, almost as thoguh the designers didn't actually know much about the turtles franchise so just started making things up to lengthen it.



This was the first game I ever owned so had to download it, but feel cheapened that Xbox live got the arcade game for a similar price... gits



Bass_X0 said:

Maybe you will feel even more cheapened when the NES port of the arcade game gets released.

__Garland Russell


Garland Russell said:

Ugh, this game stinks. I can't believe I used to like this. Just because it has "Turtles" in it doesn't mean that it can be good. The beat 'em ups were so much better. Out of place enemies, Mousers, Foot Soldiers, etc. (who they look & act ABSOLUTELY NOTHING at all), harder difficulty, dumb A.I., bad graphics, I can go on & on. I did manage to beat it a few times when I was a child. I will definitely be ignoring this, & wait for the other ones to arrive.



steelington said:

I dont want to argue about this one, just ask how the hell are you supposed to get passed the endless amount of flying guys with lasers in the technodrome? whoever said they beat it with one turtle only was clearly lying

__Mii be you


Mii be you said:

A game like this looks bad once it's reviewed by the Angry Nintendo nerd.(A.K.A Angry Video Game Nerd)



McCabe said:

my dad and I used to play this game a was a bonding experience, I suppose...and I had fond memories of it...although the farthest we ever got was the first water level (no save feature...sigh.) and so I eagerly downloaded it...and cried a little. not really, but you's's a game better left in my memories, I suppose.



Djack said:

I remember playing this game and it being extremely hard! Everytime I got to this one sewer level there was an extremely hard jump that I never made over, so I would say I'm scared to download this.



peda said:

i suggest strongly to wait for "turtles in time" for the SNES! not because it's that easy, but it is the much better game! Above all it has one of the best two-player modes like "contra 3"! If you want a real challenge, download this NES-version!!



hawth said:

This game stinks. I remember jumbling it up with game genie back in the day. Now that was fun! Leave this one in your memory or watch Angry Nintendo Nerd's video of it.



BrandonG said:

I actually loved this game! It was challenging and fun all at the same time. I remember the first time I got to the Technodrome. This game is a classic and deserves respect.!



Chris said:

Ok I know this probably sounds really stupid, but I cannot get the dang game to start? Which button equals start on the wiimote?



Dresse said:

i used to love this game back in the NES days, bu now it kinda sucks.



Matt said:

Save your money for the other TMNT games if they ever get released. This TMNT game was horrible and never should have been released on the Wii VC.



hibhober said:

I hated that underwater level it was impossible eveything you touch you die! The time limit didn't help much either...



Richard said:

First game I downloaded from the Wii VC and also the first one I deleted.



Lone said:

Heh, I used to play this game a LOT when I was younger... I never managed to beat the stage where you got the Turtlemobile though... I think you were supposed to save Splinter in it... When I think back I think you were supposed to use a rope or something to cross between two roofs but I was too young to understand that back then.
People complain about the dam level, but as far as I remember I thought it was a very easy level... as soon as I had memorized the locations of all the bombs that is.
In any case it's not worth 600 points, and there is no chance that I'll get it for the VC.



Rossi said:

Like the comment Richard.. lol very funny. But how come the xbox version we get online 4 player mode and for this you dont.. im sure nintendo could do sumit like this..



Beau_Skunk said:

I say to heck with what the "The Angry Nintendo Nerd" says. Regardless of this games' high challenge, I loved this game as a child, and still do so as an adult. The game did have some frustrating moments, and could definatelly of used a stage-skip password feature, or something, but overall I enjoyed it.
If you like challenging old-school games, and want a TMNT game that isn't a "beat 'em up as you go" Final Fight-like arcade game like every other TMNT game made, give this a shot. You may be surprised. (You might wanna check out a walkthrough, or something if you get stuck for to long though.)



Sharecrow said:

This game is definitely a tough one in my opinion. I too didn't have too much trouble with the dam level at all, though. I generally got stuck after that, but I can't remember exactly where...I know only made it inside the Technodrome once, though. I don't know if I'll download this one or not. There are other super-tough games that I never beat that are higher on my priorities list....Ninja Gaiden for one....



Gonz said:

Even though I have some happy memories of this game, I will NEVER play it again. Water-mine level... nuff said.



Lwaad said:

Their warning is for people like me. When you're a kid you play whatever you have, so we played this constantly. I think we even beat it, although the underwater level was impossible. Anyway, I'll pass on this one, in spite of the nostalgia



Pua said:

This game was the first video-game I ever had! I have great memories of it, but I remember it to be too difficult to me when I was 6. :S



StarSoldier1 said:

The game has a lot of problems but it can still be decent once you learn how to beat certain areas.



WaddleWave said:

Sidestep, Tackle, Intercept, Nudge or Kick it aside and do everything you can to avoid this.(PRO TIP: unite all capital letters, and find out what it spells and add it to"It does ___.".)



Capt_K said:

I loved this game, the first game i bought with my own pocket money. I didn't think the Dam level was as hard as some poeple make out but inside the technodrome was almost impossible, esp when i was 8!!!
Would have to give it 4/5 simply for the value for money. Going to download it now...



WaddleWave said:

Good thing we didn't waste our money...although I feel bad for the editors to have download it...biting the bullet first so we dont have too.YES!



Drake said:

I got the original cartridge for free a few years ago, so I certainly didn't have to download it



Adamant said:

Apparantly, the TMNT franchise hadn't reached Japan at the time of this game's creation, which might be the reason why there's such a lack of familiar enemies - the development team was completely unfamiliar with the series. Probably also the reason why the game is titled Gekikame Ninja-den in Japan despite the franchise itself, and the later videogames, keeping the TMNT name there as well.



Worenx said:

Game was as hard as twenty year old candy corn, which is pretty bad considering it was targeted for little kids who liked the Turtles (me). Simply put, it has a lot of memories of almost my entire family getting addicted despite its overwhelming difficulty and we finally defeated Shredder, the big pansy. e e 2 / 5 because it's far from the best game around, it's way too hard even for me today, and the final boss is friggin easy. Good for download if you love old school games, and that's about it.



tbs22 said:

This game deserves at least a 3 out of 5. There are a lot of frustrating parts in the game, but if you know how to get past them it's not as bad. Plus they give you free pizza on every level and the game has great music. It's a must download for any player regardless of their playing ability.



Gonz said:

I loved it when I was younger. The underwater mine level was crazy hard, and the overworld portion that followed that level would often kill me off when I was lucky enough to plant the mines in time. My friends and I still share horror stories about some of the levels in this game.

I think I may have been a better gamer when I was younger than I am now, because I can see no way I'd be able to get as far in this game as I did then.



yoshisegg said:

I wanna get it, but im just gona wait and hope that the bring out 'Turtles in Time' for the SNES.



BJ1 said:

Ninja Turtles 2 has been taken out of the VC coming soon line-up! Man, now we're stuck with this piece of trash!



Ricardo91 said:

I remember the AVGN's review on this game. Funny stuff.

Edit: Speaking on the subject of licensed platformers, we need Duck Tales and Taz Mania on VC!



Mike1 said:

I'd give it four out of five stars. The game is very difficult and the game itself isn't perfect, but I like the game. It's funny about how many people complain that this game is so tough. This was how many games were back in the NES era. Mega Man, Castlevania, Ninja Gaiden, even Super Mario Bros. were harder than most games made today. I'm wondering if all of the people complaining of the difficulty are 15 year olds.



Cally said:

I got my Nintendo with this game and Super Mario Bros. when I was six. This was actually the first game I ever beat, and little did I know how unfairly I was being punished back then. This was the kind of game on the NES that turned lots of us into child-soldiers! "Kiddy" games are synonymous with easy, now. They weren't back then (though I don't think games are "too easy" these days like some people do--try Ninja Gaiden on "master ninja" difficulty and then rave about how easy games are now).

It's really hard for me to be unbiased, here. It doesn't feel like a half-hearted attempt at a game at all, compared to many shovel-ware titles back then (this is a Konami game, after all). They threw in lots of interesting ideas and rather interesting scenarios of gameplay. In the end, though--thanks to so many frustrations in control, respawning enemies, and weird obstacles to progression--it is decidedly damned to mostly being remembered videogame Exhibit A of cheap, cheap, CHEAP! 2/5



sephiroth79 said:

I actually really liked this game when I was younger, although it does not compare to the later releases.

TMNT Arcade and Turtles in time are probably the best ninja turtles games ever.



carson said:

This is a great game is you are a true Ninja Turtles Fan. If you dont like the Turtles, you're not going to like the game. Luckily for me i love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and i liked this game



psyduck said:

It is an achievment to beat this game (without cheating) a few have experienced. I did it once, then never touched it again ever since and never will. 2 stars from me as well. Also, 600 points for this is a bull.



Bass_X0 said:

well unlike other games, its a game with characters from a licensed series. so it gets charged 100 points extra because of that.



tragic-figure said:

It would be so cool if the genesis version of tournament fighters or hyper stone heist would show up in the vc, TMNT games always looked better on the genesis to me _.



anime_guy said:

we need to see more tmnt games because it has been so long since this game popped up on vc. Manhattan project or turtles in time would helped eased those anxieties



WarGreymon77 said:

I'm lucky enough to own TMNT 2: The Arcade Game on the NES, which is way better than this garbage. However, we need to see 2 and 3 (The Manhattan Project) show up on the virtual console. It looks like they're not going to do it, but I really hope they do! It's been so long since I played the third installment.



Kurachi said:

i think there are 2 major reasons why people dont like it:
1. its a simple made game with harder challenges
2. angry nintendo nerd, i dont blame him for this, but its up to the people who let their thoughts change because of him
the nerd has many complaints about games, but those are all old games, from the time there wasnt that much technology, like graphics and such

it was a fun game for me: challenging, old games were good for what they could do back then, different environments (hate the water part ) and ... turtles



Kurachi said:

not gonna edit, its not part of my last post...
i liked this game a lot, but i rather now buy TMNT 2(nes) and turtles in time, which i like better, not only the levels are better, but also multiplayer
lets hope they add more turtle games, like those 2 i mentioned
i just listened "Tunnel Scene (X))" music from ssbb, and looked like a turtle game music, not sure which one, and thx to that music i remember this one in VC, but i prefer the 2 other ones

about this one... i'm not sure if i buy, but i had looooong and happy times with it, it was a great game (and not just this one) to distract myself from reallife problems
i'd like to thank nintendo for it, but i think it came to an end (with this game)... but i might change my mind later, maybe



Corbs said:

This game made me want to snap my controller in half. It had potential, but the high level of difficulty and poor hit detection made it more of a lesson in futility than fun.



TRON said:

Back in the day, for a long time I only had R-Type, Punch-Out, Super Mario World, and this game for the NES. I actually liked this game when it came out, and played it quite a bit. Playing it now I realize how buggy it was, and poorly done. If I had played Ninja Gaiden at the time, I probably wouldn't have bothered even then.



shadowdancer said:

I'm seriously tempted to try this again. It was the only game I didn't finish as a kid, I could get to the teradome, but I died everytime.



Shinnok said:

Where's Manhattan Project? They haven't even released the sequel yet, so I know I've got a long wait ahead of me.



stinssd said:

And now for a limerick:


I beat this game through as a kid
but I have no idea how I did.
I kept Donatello
the heavy-hitting fellow
But now this game pops off my lid!



MrLopez said:

Turtle Power!
We need the sequels!! I don't mind paying 100 points more! XD



WolfLink22 said:

I remember having this game back in the NES days.Now only if they'd release the rest of them.



Tsuchinoko said:

actually i liked this game as a kid. i never beat it, but i just thought that at 6 years old i wasn't MEANT to beat it, like it was better than me. I wonder how I'd do now...



spyguy31796 said:

I actually liked this game. At one time I fond a way to get past the trucks that prevent you from skipping levels. That was the pinacle of the game.



Kurachi said:

i loved TMNT 2 and TMNT 4 (turtles in time) much more, and i hope those get to VC one day
this one was too hard for me as kid, cuz of small maps and hard puzzles
i did like it when i figured out how to use the car, but still was too hard
i do give it a 6, not higher just cuz i never got used to it, and i'm afraid that wont happen



DaveOwl said:

Absolutely loved this and while it had a challenge it was never too hard you just had to know what you were doing. One of the ones who got this in Europe as part of the NES bundle.

Loved the game and still do



WarGreymon77 said:

When are Turtles 2, 3 (both NES), and 4 (SNES) coming out?! They were way better than this game, and I want them now!



Kevin said:

Fun and underrated game. Yeah its frustrating at times but its a good game.

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