Home News Spelunky Creator Suggests Ideas for New TMNT Game

Spelunky Creator Suggests Ideas for New TMNT Game

by Justin W

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a truly great Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game. Sure, Activision produced a handful of titles based on Nickelodeon’s TMNT series in the past few years, but none of them really lived up to the hype or the popularity of the franchise. Even Out of the Shadows was a pretty big let down for some fans, most of whom have been waiting for another good TMNT game since the mid 90’s. Perhaps that’s why the ideas that Derek Yu came up with sound so good – they’re all based on the best elements of the best Ninja Turtles games ever made.

For the uninitiated, Derek Yu is the creator behind the game Spelunky, a dungeon crawler that has become wildly popular over the past few years. The design of his game was solid enough to earn Spelunky accolades from both IGN and Games Radar. If anyone out there knows a thing or two about game design, it’s definitely Mr. Yu. Just one look at the TMNT sprites he created should prove that, as he really put a lot of effort into making some awesome 8-bit TMNT artwork.


These TMNT sprites were so good that they prompted a writer for Destructoid to ask Yu what he would do if he was making a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game. This was his response:

“Top-down stealth game that switches between city and sewers, changes to free-scrolling beat ’em up when you enter a mission. Regular missions are randomly-generated, special missions are unlocked when you win enough territory back from the Foot Clan. Getting spotted too many times in the top-down part will force you back to the sewer for a time and let the Foot gain territory. And some kind of sewer skateboarding minigame like the special stages in Sonic 2.”


I don’t know about you, but that game sounds pretty awesome to me! Sharp eyed fans will notice a lot of similarities between this concept and some of the gameplay elements of the earliest TMNT games. For instance, the first TMNT NES game had a top down overworld in the city with free-scrolling beat ‘em up levels in the sewers. Later arcade games like Turtles in Time would introduce the Sewer Surfing bonus levels that are very similar to those that Yu describes.

Despite the similarities, the stealth elements and randomly generated missions would ensure a fairly unique and entertaining game overall. Personally, I’m genuinely hopeful that the rights holders are paying attention to Derek Yu’s concepts here, because this is exactly what we need in a new TMNT game.

What do you think? If they made this concept into a game, would you play it? What kind of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games do you like to play? Let us know in the comments below!

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1 comment

Rob Veatch October 6, 2015 - 11:35 am

Sounds fun, but the combat system in OOTS was so great that I’d really like to have a game built around that but incorporating some stealth and platforming.

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