Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time Super Nintendo Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time Super Nintendo Review

By: John C. Mayberry

Yet another one of the many video game adaptations based on cartoons of the 16-bit era, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time on the Super Nintendo is one of the best examples you’ll ever come across. Originally an arcade game, there are obvious differences in several aspects, but despite this there is nothing that takes away from playing the game but experiencing it just as you were watching an episode of the series. Combined with the popular side-scrolling brawler gameplay style, Turtles in Time is one for the Super Nintendo that, well… let’s face it, you NEED this one.

The opening sequence features April O’Neil giving a report from Ellis Island in front of the Statue of Liberty, which is subsequently stolen by Super Krang followed by Shredder taking control of the airwaves to taunt the Turtles. Giving chase the Turtles are lured into a time warp that they need to battle their way through to return home and take down Shredder. A diverse cast of characters, accessible gameplay for all ages, and the addition to a few improvements on the arcade original, which include the added features of vs. battles amongst players one and two, a time trial mode, the option to choose your difficulty level, even alternate skins for the Turtles.

Although released almost 30 years ago (feel old yet?), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time has more than stood the test of time, and to this day is still very much loved by the gaming audience and die-hard Ninja Turtles fans combined. This game is addicting, challenging yet accessibly fun for young and older players alike, and by far one of the best game adaptations of an animated series I’ve ever played. So I implore you, if you’ve never played this game, or any video game for that matter, do these things to achieve instant happiness: 1) buy a Super Nintendo, and 2) get a copy of Turtles in Time, 3) have fun. Trust me, you’ll thank me for this later.


  • Improvement on the original arcade game – There are several changes, most notably additions, to the Super Nintendo port of the arcade game. Among these are changing the “Sewer Surfin’” and “Neon Night-Riders” levels to bonus levels, and a more diverse cast of characters with five new bosses (Slash, Rat King, Battletank Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady), and the addition of two new enemies: the Roadkill Rodneys and the Mousers. The Technodrome level was also another addition to the console port.
  • Cartoonish Effects – The player is treated to comedic cartoon effects at several points of the game. A few examples including a Turtle slowly sliding down the side of the screen when they’re thrown into it, the Foot Soldiers’ eyes bulging out when attacking them, and being flattened by huge objects.
  • Artistic style – The look of the game, from environments to player and enemy characters, everything looks exactly like you’d expect an episode of the series to. As an added bonus you can choose alternate skins for the Turtles, from the cartoon style to comic book style (basically the Turtles in different shades of green).


  • Can easily be overwhelmed if you’re not careful: Best advice for side-scrolling brawler style games? Do not allow yourself to wind up in the middle of a group of enemies. It is best to maneuver around them to avoid this, but it isn’t always easy since you will find yourself facing off against different enemy types all at once for most of the game. For example, in the Technodrome level, close to the beginning players will find themselves facing off against not only Foot Soldiers, but a group of about 4 to 6 Mousers as well. The Foot Soldiers are usually the easiest in-level enemy to take down, but the Mousers are faster and smaller, which also makes them difficult to attack. All it may take is one Mouser latching onto your Turtle’s arm, which temporarily incapacitates them, giving more time to the Foot Soldiers and other Mousers to move in on you.
  • Sore hands – Great game, very addicting, and simple and accessible controls: one attack button, one jump button. The very description of Turtles in Time and many other brawler style games. One drawback they all share, however, would be the necessary repeated button mashing necessary to attack. Over extended periods of time, this can cause the muscles and joints in a player’s hand to become sore and achy. So remember kids: video games are fun, but taking breaks is healthy.

OVERALL RATING: 9.5 out of 10

Among the number of cartoons, tv shows, movies, or even comic books that were poorly adapted into video game form, the Super Nintendo port of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time is certainly one that breaks the stereotype that most game adaptations of the media mentioned above are bad. A virtually consistent art style with that matches the show’s, the appearance of well-known and beloved characters, and the added improvements on the home console port above the arcade original, I promise you will play this game once, and have the sudden desire to find this game for yourself, despite how much it hurts your wallet. I know, I dished out $50 for mine. Totally worth it!