Genre: Side-scrolling Beat ’em Up
Original Release: March 1991 (Arcade), July 24, 1992 (Japan, SNES), August 15, 1992 (USA, SNES), November 19, 1992 (EU, SNES)
Platforms: Arcade cabinets, SNES
Played on: SNES
The first time I ever touched a video game, I was four years old.
I remember it clearly: we’ve moved into a new house after my little sister is born, and my brother is set up in the unfinished garage (still unfinished today, so it looks identical, if a little more cluttered) with a Super Nintendo, a TV, and a footlocker to sit on. And on the screen was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time.
That’s literally all I remember, sadly. Everything else is a bit fuzzy, but I know for a fact that I’ve played it many times over the years and I’ve loved every moment of it.
So, as you’d expect, I have a lot of fond memories with Turtles in Time. But how does it hold up?
Well, it holds up incredibly well, actually! Soundtrack is still great, the controls are solid, and the graphics still look good today. In fact, it’s one of the games I can really say I’m okay with playing repeatedly in one sitting.
So the basic plot of the game is that Shredder and Krang have stolen the Statue of Liberty for undisclosed purposes (even the Wikipedia entry on the game doesn’t go into it) and Shredder hijacks the airwaves to laugh at the Turtles. That’s it. The Turtles decide to go after Shredder to get the Statue back. In the process, they’re banished to a time warp that takes them from all the way back in prehistoric times to 2100 AD in space.
This game’s plot is so stupid but it’s perfect.
Now I don’t know much of anything about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In fact, I really only know a little bit from the movies and some snippets of the Nickelodeon show that aired until 2017. I guess I should sit down and watch the movies again if only to hear Shredder screaming about how Tokka and Rahzar are stupid babies.
And of course you couldn’t have a Turtles game without staples like Bebop and Rocksteady, Leatherhead, or the rest, now could you? And of course each of them has their own boss fight.
So even knowing nothing about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I can still appreciate a good game. And that’s exactly what Turtles in Time is. It’s good. In fact, I’d go so far as to call it excellent, and it’s only aged like a fine wine. I’ve even taken up speedrunning it and I’m slowly climbing the board!
If you have a chance, give Turtles in Time a shot. If not, at least listen to the soundtrack and have fun bobbing your head as it goes. For real, this is one of the best games on the Super Nintendo, and that’s not just coming from me. A lot of people I’ve talked to absolutely love this game, and it’s easy to see why! For real, I just spent an entire blog post talking about how much I love it. Go check it out if you can!