TMNT Rescue Palooza

Copyright take down in 3...2...1...

I just found out about an impressive fan made game called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Rescue Palooza. It is guaranteed to be taken down at some point, but fortunately it is finished and on the internet. The game is for the Windows PC platform, but I’ve been enjoying it on Linux through wine. One stand out feature I haven’t been able to try yet is local co-op with up to 4 players. I haven’t beaten it yet, but I am having a blast playing it single player.

Turtle Power

Slash

Krang

Technodrome Appears

Technodrome

The game is made in the style of the two NES Ninja Turtle games Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project.

Controls: The game is closest to the Manhattan Project with each turtle having their own special attack (but this time using the move won’t drain your health!) Holding down and attacking still flings enemies behind you (one of the most effective moves against the horde of foot soldiers.) Rescue Palooza does add in running and charging attacks. One thing I do wish was added was the grabbing and throwing enemy moves that appeared in later games like TMNT Turtles in Time. Not that I think the grabs were particularly great (although the boss encounter where Shredder can only be defeated by throwing foot soldiers INTO the screen was memorable) but to increase the possible attack options. The issue I usually have with side scrolling “beat ‘em ups” is that after awhile things get stale from doing the same things level after level.

Gameplay: One thing Rescue Palooza has strongly going for it is level and enemy variety. Yes, you will see foot soldiers - LOTS of foot soldiers. But if it was an enemy in TMNT II, III, or even the very first TMNT game on the NES it probably appears in this game. You want bonus levels? It has them. You want vehicles you can jump into and out of? Check. You want to fight living slices of pizza and bananas? Check and check!

60 Playable Characters: The huge playable character roster gives this game immense replayability. You start with the 4 turtles but as you complete levels you rescue/defeat other characters to play. Since you can pick which order to complete levels you can unlock specific characters early on. My biggest surprise has been April O’Neil. The game gives her a microphone on a cord that she swings like a whip. Suddenly the game takes on a Castlevania feel with longer range attacks but taking more damage when struck.

Bottom Line: Play it. The 1980’s & 1990’s side scrolling “beat ‘em up” is a long dead video game genre. These types of games simply aren’t made anymore. This fan made project is a wonderful throw back to some classic games. Then factor in just how much effort, charm, and polish was put into this game and it’s extremely clear that this was a passion project.