The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are such great characters that appealed to so many people in their younger days, Now, Nickelodeon is trying to appeal to a whole new generation of kids with their reboot of the series. They have taken the outreach a step further with a new iOS game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rooftop Run. It seems every character is getting their own iOS endless runner, and now you can play as Leonardo, Rafael, Donatello, or Michelangelo in a brand new variation. At first glance, TMNT: Rooftop Run is reminiscent of Mirror’s Edge for iOS with speed, rooftop environments, action flow, wall runs, and enemy combat. Nickelodeon has simplified it though allowing all action to be performed with a single tap, where as Mirror’s Edge delivered a variety of gestures to keep you on your toes.
All you need to do is tap to jump, tap on enemies to target and attack, or tap, and hold to run across walls. As you’re running along rooftops, there are collectible green orbs to maintain your speed, which is a vital component of the game. If the green speed bar at the top of the screen depletes, then it’s game over, though you can also lose by falling through gaps. You can also bump up the green bar to full to unlock Turtle Time, which gives you multi-touch taps to perform slow motion combat sequences. The Turtle Time is also key as it lets you defeat the current zone to advance to the next one. There are three zones distinguished by the enemy types with the Foot Clan, Kraang, and Dimension X to battle through. Even with the three zones, you have to restart at the very beginning if you die, and this is another instance of how checkpoints can help an endless game.
When it’s all said, and done you’re left with another endless game with simply a different theme, and Rooftop Run definitely blends in with the others. There are plenty of upgrades to pick-up with either earned or in-app purchased coins. You also need to use coins to unlock the other ninja turtles beyond Leonardo, and coins are quite expensive in relation to how much you earn. In fact, their entire game has a freemium set-up, although it costs $1.99, so it will likely drop to free soon, so keep that in mind. It’s shocking that anyone could release a TMNT game without Splinter or Shredder, but that’s the case with Rooftop Run. There are some high quality graphics to deliver the rooftop action, but they’re not nearly enough.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rooftop Run is the latest in a long conga line of endless runner crowding the App Store, and does nothing to stand out, except rely on the theme. The game is overly simplistic to appeal to a certain audience, but the repetitive tapping isn’t even that finely tuned leaving numerous instances where the game doesn’t recognize your action during enemy attacks.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rooftop Run ($1.99, Universal) is neither good nor bad, and just another endless runner that doesn’t even take the ninja turtles theme to heart. A game needs to be better than mediocre to deserve your time, making TMNT: Rooftop Run worth skipping with better choices out there.