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The Next TMNT Game Should Totally Be An RPG

Over the years, shellheads have been eagerly awaiting the next good Ninja Turtles game. Depending on who you ask, opinions will range on how long it’s been since we saw a truly excellent TMNT game. Most of us were hopeful that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan would be the title we had all been waiting for, but sadly that wasn’t the case. As the years go by, we continue to wait – perhaps impatiently – for a developer to produce a truly excellent game that is worthy of the franchise lore. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, Activision doesn’t seem to be handling the task very well.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness Role Playing Guidebook. Image Source: Palladium Books.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness Role Playing Guidebook. Image Source: Palladium Books.
That all being said, I think it’s time to admit something: Although it may be possible for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to work in a modern beat ’em up title, the best TMNT games in that genre came out of the 8-bit and 16-bit era. It might be time to consider a different approach with this franchise, and make the move to an entirely different genre. Rather than do another hack and slash button mashing title that feels unoriginal and uninspired, why not try a game genre that will allow us to explore the actual lore behind the Ninja Turtles universe?

I think it’s time that developers consider making an RPG TMNT game.

There are probably some fans who don’t enjoy the RPG genre, but perhaps even they would like to see a change of pace for the turtles. Although there are a lot of different genres in which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles could easily fit, the role-playing game might be the best option. For one thing, we’ve already enjoyed a fairly popular traditional RPG in the universe with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness. Sadly, that product came out several decades ago, but we recently saw signs that there may be a returning interest in this kind of traditional gaming.

Box Art for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past Board Game. Image Source: IDW.
Box Art for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past Board Game. Image Source: IDW.
Earlier this year, IDW crowdfunded a new TMNT board game based on the comic book series. The project was an overwhelming success, blowing away expectations in every possible fashion. Dice Masters has also been making a few Ninja Turtles products as well, but we have yet to determine how popular those games will be. The point I’m trying to make here is that there is clearly a demand for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle games that allow the fans to experience the lore surrounding the franchise and become a part of that universe. When it comes to video games, the most story driven titles out there are RPGs.

Imagine, if you will, a JRPG inspired TMNT game with 20-30 hours of pure story and adventure. The turtles would have a set of attacks that they could learn over the course of the game, and the typical potion would be replaced with pizza slices. Our heroes in a half shell would have the opportunity to face off against all kinds of enemies, with foot soldiers and mousers potentially being among the basic enemies they would find early on. This type of video game would allow for developers to focus more heavily on the story and create something truly epic that shellheads would really enjoy.

We really haven’t seen a game like this, and I think it may be time to consider moving away from the tried and true beat ’em ups of the past. The genre is growing a little stale for the turtles, and it would be nice to see them move on to – greener – pastures.

What do you think? is the role playing game the perfect genre for a TMNT game? Or would you rather see them tackle a different genre entirely? Let us know what you think in the comments below or via facebook/twitter.

The Author

Justin W

Justin W

My name is Justin Wren and I love to write about the TMNT! I've been a big Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan since the late 80's. Back then, I would watch the original animated series and play with the Playmates toys all the time. I have been following the boys ever since I was a kid, and I'm very happy to see them back in the limelight after all these years. Needless to say, I'm proud to be a member of the team on this awesome TMNT Fan Site!

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  • TigerClaw305

    I’m not very good at RPGs, but I’m all for this, as long as you can create any type of character, be it Human, Mutant, Alien, and can be a member of the Foot Clan, Purple Dragon, or part of the TMNT team.

  • Wild Bill

    i’d like to see one made with rpg maker or gamemaker studios