Turbo Turtle Adventure
The other day, I noticed this cute little title called Turbo Turtle Adventure for only $14.99. I felt that I needed a new GBA game, and this puzzle game from Iridon Interactive looked like it would give me a few hours of gameplay, so I picked it up. The result? This quirky little puzzle game is worth twice the cost.
Turbo Turtle is a puzzle game in the same vein as Super Monkey Ball for the GameCube. You control a turtle that is inside of it’s shell, and you need to navigate him through challenging levels in the hopes that you can get to the end of it. You see, as the game begins, our wonderful hero Turbo Turtle is seen hurtling towards a strange island in the middle of a lake or ocean. It’s quite a strange island, as it breaks all laws of nature. Oddly, the island has a volcano, some snow, some lava, and a large cave. Of course, the only way to escape this island of bizarre weather is to go through puzzles! Once you get to the end, you will move onto the next level. Complete enough levels and you move onto the next area. Eventually, after fifty levels, you will escape from the island.
Though I have no idea why I am playing it, the gameplay itself was decent enough for me to stick with it. The level design is quite good; I was actually surprised at some points. Most of the gameplay consists of rolling around a level, collecting numerous keys and power-ups in hopes that you can get to the goal at the end within the time limit. Of course, it isn’t nearly that easy on you, as you have bumpers that toss your shell in all directions, platforms that force you in a different direction and even platforms that electrocute you. Once, you get to the end, you move to the next level, which very often is much different from the level before.
Power-ups are a very important part of the game. Some levels have ice on them, which makes it very tricky to control Turbo Turtle. However, a majority of the time there is a special power-up hidden that adds spikes to your shell making it easy to traverse the treacherous terrain. Other power-ups include bricks to get past gaps, temporary jump abilities and a shell that makes you temporarily invulnerable to electric shock.
One of the games biggest faults I feel is that the levels can be quite confusing, and most of them you will end up playing a couple of times, each time trying something different, seeing the results, repeating it, and maybe beating the level or having to try yet again. I am up for a challenge, but on one particular level I repeated it 12 times before I got it. Fortunately, you have infinite lives.
A few more minor faults persist. One would be the control. I often found that using the D-Pad with my big fingers made the game a bit of a pain to control, the game screams for an analog stick, which unfortunately the GBA does not have. Oh well. The other would be the multiplayer modes, or lack there of. I think it would have been cool for like a time attack mode for 2 players to compete in, but sadly the title has no multiplayer. Oh well, it is a budget title.
The graphics in Turbo Turtle are very nice. I never do expect much from puzzle titles, and it is very apparent that this game could use a face-lift. You have a top down view of Turbo Turtle, and you navigate him through some very colorful levels. The levels are different colors, depending on the area; Ice levels are blue; land levels are yellow/brown, etc. Nothing too complicated; it’s very easy on the eyes. Amazingly, the game is actually fairly bright. Even without my trusty worm light, the game was completely visible while playing under standard lights.
Turbo Turtle is a budget title, so I am going to be pretty lenient with the music. Most of it consists of very mellow and tropical music that relaxes you while you play. Nothing really stands out musically. Some more bass and intensity probably could have helped make the game a little more exciting, but it fares well and doesn’t grow repetitive.
Once you beat Turbo Turtle, you will probably not want to play it again. Nothing really changes, and the only reason to go back would to access some of the few hidden levels in the game. A multiplayer mode would help with the replayability, but as I stated above the title does not support this.
Fortunately, much of the single player gameplay is a good experience. The game has everything you could want, interesting level design, cute graphics and a wonderful hero that is sure to bring a smile to your face. So what if it doesn’t have a real story and the music is kind of cheesy, it’s still a heck of a game to play no matter what the age.