Game Boy Reviews T-Z

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back From The Sewers
Grade: B
Publisher: Konami (1991)
Posted: 2020/1/21

screenshotBack From The Sewers adopts the same side-scrolling, beat-em-up formula as the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles except with better variety, more polish, and a little pizzazz. The cool cinematic intro gets you totally pumped. There's no stage select this time but you still choose the order in which to play the four turtles.

The game looks less cookie-cutter than the original, with richly-detailed storefronts and bonus skateboarding stages. Some of the music is cheesy but that "Cowabunga!" voice synthesis is a nice touch. The turtles are larger, faster, and look terrific - until they attack. Their weapons don't have much reach, making it look like they're swatting flies instead of unleashing attacks. And it looks really odd how they maintain perfectly straight postures during their jump-kicks. My friends complained the controls were backwards but you can change that via the options menu.

The gameplay itself is monotonous but fun. The turtles have some new moves in their arsenal, like the ability to climb hand-over-hand across pipes. Some of Shredder's henchmen have apparently taken side jobs as delivery guys, so beating them up rewards you with a free pizza! And just like in real life, pizza replenishes your health. Back From the Sewers follows a familiar formula but packs enough surprises to keep Turtles fans entertained. © Copyright 2020 The Video Game Critic.

Copy link to this review
Our high score: 27,420
1 player 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Radical Rescue
Grade: C
Publisher: Konami (1993)
Posted: 2020/1/21

screenshotThe first two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle games were similar in style so I guess Konami felt obligated to change things up a bit with Radical Rescue. It begins with an intro that has way too much boring text to sit through. The game's graphic style has been completely overhauled, with characters that are very small but look terrific! The controls feel crisp as Michaelangelo smacks a mummy in the face with his nunchucks or jump-kicks a bat out of the air. You can even toss stars from ladders and perform a "helicopter" move when falling to slow your descent.

One benefit of smaller characters is how you can see more of the stage around you. Unfortunately, the stages tend to be very mazelike and will have you moving in circles. The mineshaft level is so sprawling you actually need to consult a freaking map via select button. Worse yet, levels are loaded with dead-ends, spiked pits, and unreachable areas.

Unlike the previous games the other turtles aren't available until you rescue them. Even the pizza situation is confusing. Normally you immediately consume them for strength, but here they just go in an inventory slot and are automatically used when your health gets low. The game is challenging but at least there's a password mechanism. I can understand Konami wanting to add depth to the series but Radical Rescue lacks that pick-up-and-play quality fans have come to expect. © Copyright 2020 The Video Game Critic.

Copy link to this review
Our high score: KF 4400
Save mechanism: password
1 player 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan
Grade: B-
Publisher: Ultra (1990)
Posted: 2020/1/21

screenshotAs the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle game for the Game Boy this isn't half bad. The title screen plays a rollicking rendition of the TMNT theme - a song still played by the band during Maryland Terrapin basketball games. I guess it makes sense considering the mascot is a turtle! The turtles here are detailed but I don't like the blank expressions on their faces. They look more like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Zombie Turtles. Stages locations include gritty sewer locations and city streets with hazy skylines.

You begin by selecting one of five stages, which elevates the replay value considerably. Next you select from four ninja turtle heroes: Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello. It doesn't really matter who you choose because you'll eventually play them all. That's right - when you lose one turtle you just select another who picks up where the last one left off. The turtles move slowly but their weapon attacks and jump-kicks make short work of Shredder's henchmen, bird-droids, and flying drones. Wow, these games were way ahead of their time!

Each turtle brandishes a different weapon and the collision detection is generous to say the least. It's also possible to perform a grab-and-throw which I did once by accident. The stages do tend to be very repetitive, as if designed for kids on long car rides. Still, Fall of the Foot Clan packs the basic ingredients you want in a Ninja Turtle game, with enough non-stop action and upbeat music to keep the adrenaline pumping. © Copyright 2020 The Video Game Critic.

Copy link to this review
Our high score: 7400
1 player 

Grade: A
Publisher: Nintendo (1989)
Posted: 2020/6/12

screenshotThis tiny game is one of the best straight-up tennis titles ever made. There are no special shots, power-ups, or gimmicks. Just two cartoonish players on a court that scrolls slightly to keep the action in view. Mario assumes the role of referee on the right side of the court. Some of his calls are questionable, but you have to remember this was before tennis had the Hawk-Eye (TM) instant replay system in place.

The controls are limited to hit and lob. That's all you need because the gameplay is honed to perfection. It's amazing how this game mirrors all the subtle nuances of the sport. You have to time your swing when the ball is by your side. Let the ball hit you in the body and you lose the point. Holding the directional pad as you hit the ball lets you angle it and control its spin.

As in real tennis, positioning is key. Hitting the ball mid-bounce will result in the most accurate shot; otherwise the ball might drift out of bounds. Playing the net is always a gamble. It's possible to hit the ball into the net or have it flitter off the top.

There are no cutscenes, no replays, and no nonsense to interrupt the action. Four CPU skill levels are available. I do however wish you could adjust the number of games per set, as six can be pretty time consuming for a portable game. Still, this is pure, unadulterated tennis and a joy to play. If only modern tennis games would learn this lesson they might not suck so badly. © Copyright 2020 The Video Game Critic.

1 or 2 players 

Grade: A
Publisher: Nintendo (1989)
Posted: 2018/5/20

screenshotSo I know what you're thinking "Oh here we go - some lame reviewer giving Tetris the obligatory A". [Wait - hear me out!] "This guy is so transparent." [I can explain]. "I could see this coming a mile away." [Give me a break!] It's not easy reviewing a legendary video game decades after the fact. How objective can you be? For the benefit of those born this century, Tetris is the granddaddy of puzzle games. The concept is to rotate and stack falling blocks so they form complete lines across, causing rows to collapse as the pace quickens.

I very much remember Tetris mania of the late 80's [cue the flashback effects]. Back then Cynthia from work was always playing this in the break room, but she'd never let me have a go "because batteries". That's okay because I had a pretty slick version of the game at home on my Atari ST computer. Fast forward to 2018 and the question remains, is Tetris still fun?

I started playing this on level 5 (average) and frankly I was a little bored. So I cranked up the difficulty to level 9 (the highest) and suddenly I was riveted. We're talking about the kind of riveted where you forget to blink your eyes. Oh sure I was getting my ass handed to me but I couldn't stop! Not only does this game demand you be quick on the trigger, but it's imperative to stay one move ahead, keeping a constant eye on that little window that displays your next piece.

This version of Tetris isn't going to do you any favors, and that's just a fact of life you're going to have to accept. Want to make a last-ditch effort to slide that piece into place? Too late! Need to drag that square over to the other side? Tough [expletive]!

This game is a house of cards; one false move and the wheels come off. Once you hear that "bam BAM BAM" of rapidly-stacking blocks, it's all over but the crying. Is Tetris still fun? The answer is an unqualified YES, but you need to be a man and crank up that difficulty. "Well, that was a pointless waste of time." [I'm right here!] © Copyright 2018 The Video Game Critic.

Recommended variation: 9
Our high score: 14,909
1 player 

Wave Race
Grade: C
Publisher: Nintendo (1992)
Posted: 2020/7/23

screenshotMost people associate this series with the 3D jet ski action of Wave Race 64 (Nintendo 64, 1996). This 2D version might seem not worthy of the Wave Race moniker until you realize it came out four years prior! That's right - this is the original Wave Race. You view four jet skis from overhead, following a path delineated as a dark blue streak in frothy white water. Tracks weave around buoys, and if you miss one you'd better backtrack or your game will be over!

There are obstacles, ramps, and even sea life in your path. The jet skis tend to slide and whoosh around so much it occurred to me Nintendo could call this Snow Race and the player would be none the wiser. Water currents are denoted by black arrows which look dumb but add texture to the gameplay. The courses are set in exotic locations like Rio, Corsica, and Hawaii, but without any scenery you might as well be putting around the Baltimore harbor (not recommended).

It's fun to jostle for the lead with the other CPU competitors, kicking in your turbo boost during straightaways. Hitting the ramps can rocket you to the front but come off at a bad angle and you might go sailing off course. Finishing in last place subjects you to an irritating version of the "nany nany boo boo" song. I like how the game saves records along with names (hello Andy and Ike - I have your game!). Wave Race is a playable little racer but a little too generic. Nintendo should have played up the summer theme more, perhaps with some tropical scenery or steel drum music. © Copyright 2020 The Video Game Critic.

Save mechanism: battery
1 player 

Select new range: [Previous] [A-B] [C-J] [L-S] T-Z

[Game Boy index]  [Back to Top]

Screen shots courtesy of Video Game Museum,,, Moby Games