Developer: Nickelodeon
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

I’m not overly impressed by how Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rooftop Run attempts to use my nostalgic love for those heroes in a half shell. Such attractive skinning only goes so far to cover up an otherwise pretty mediocre Endless Runner.

tmnt5As the title suggests, players control one of the four Turtles as they run across the rooftops, jumping over gaps and taking out enemies. Combat is in the form of a type of dash attack move, with a double tap causing the Turtle to home in on the enemy goon. It’s simply done with the only other controls being a tap to jump, the height of which dictated by how long one’s finger is held to the screen. This actually creates a fairly easy experience, although at times I found it annoyingly common to fall down a gap in a roof that I didn’t see until it was too late. Still, it’s quite possible to run a fair distance before any real problems. Also, the difficulty level never really increases.

Things are mixed up slightly with the prospect of a special Turtle Time move, allowing the chosen Turtle to take out a series of foes in a slow-motion combat sequence. This requires tapping on the relevant circles at the right time, and is also very easy to complete.

tmnt4Being easy isn’t the problem here, though. It’s the insipid amount of in-app purchases. When first choosing a Turtle, players are tied into that character until they unlock others with coins. These coins can be accrued through playing the game but it takes quite a while to collect a decent number. Each Turtle costs 3600 coins to buy, plus 28500 to unlock special character Dogpound. Further more, a series of boosts and upgrades can be purchased for each character at a similarly high price. The coins just don’t come through fast enough, meaning Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rooftop Run quickly turns into quite the grind fest and, worst of all, one with a never changing landscape. Something that feels particularly unfair given the $1.99 asking price to compliment the many in-app purchases to speed things along. Such upgrades might be fun but it takes far too long to see just how fun they are.

Given how easy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rooftop Run is to play, it should be a great game for younger players to enjoy. They’ll become frustrated all too soon, however, at their inability to switch between their favorite Turtle or see a changing landscape. Older fans will begrudge having to pay so much for what feels like only part of a game, at first. It’s all just rather underwhelming and a waste of a cool license.

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