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Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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James Leach
Chris Bourne

Who are these Turtles? I've never heard of them. Where do they live? What do they eat? Do they wear headbands over their eyes? I dunno. (Okay then, James, how come you've got a Turtles pillowcase, Turtles pyjamas and slippers and Turtles seat-covers for the car? Answer that and stay fashionable! Ed)

Well, all right. I have heard of them, but I still don't know all their names. Anyway, here they are on the Speccy, large as life (well, as large as a small cauliflower anyway). The game is a version of the coin-op and you've got to rescue Splinter and April from the clutches of Shredder. All people I've never heard of, by the way.

It's a horizontal scroller with the odd platform chucked in to make things that bit more fun. You have to rush from left to right, killing everybody you meet and, er, that's about it. Occasionally you'll be introduced to some really tough guys (or dudes, as I'm supposed to say 'cos it's the Turtles). Cos they're so rough, you'll need to use all your hacking, slashing and maiming skills to defeat them.

Obviously you can choose which Turtle to play and each has his own weapon and style of fighting. I haven't got a clue which one uses which weapon, but they're about equal in fighting ability. Oh, and you can also select whether you want two player mode. If you play with a pal the violence quota is doubled, and you've got twice the chance of getting to April. Whoever she is.


Once you've set up the game on your faithful Spec, you're plunged straight into downtown New York, where everything is strangely monochrome. You barely get time to sit yourself down and have a nice cup of tea before some nasty men run on. From that moment on its Fight City, USA as you kick smack, gouge and punch your way through the levels.

Each Turtle uses his own weapon, but they can all kick, roll around and jump up and down. After playing for ages, I reckon that the flying kick is the most effective move. Time it right and you can waste entire screens of baddies.

if you're into counting how many people you've killed, there's a meter at the bottom left of the screen. My best score was about 200 before the Turtle was wiped out. (Oh, yeah? Ed) it's possible to have over six enemies all gang up on you at once, so your poor hands will be red raw from all the frantic joystick-waggling. Usually the baddies only need one or two hits before they die, but the end-of-level dudes are something else! Rocksteady and Bebop are tough chaps and they can take immense punishment before dying, so concentrate all your firepower on their evil little heads.


Turtles: The Coin-Op, let me just say, is incredibly playable. Unlike a lot of beat-'em-ups, it starts of quite easy with only two blokes attacking you (who you can lay out with just one punch). Of course things get harder, but you should just about be able to keep on top. I'm usually crap at beat-'em-ups, so this is excellent.

It's only monochrome, but the graphics are pretty big and clear, and the animation is great. Everything is fast and smooth and you can forget about bad response time and joystick lag 'cos this is one speedy game. Hurrah!

What else? Oh yes, there's a huge variety of baddies. As well as Shredder's henchmen (with their knives, dynamite and man-hole covers), there are robot thingies and rats. There's also plenty of weird looking guys (like Krang, Bebop and Shredder) and even people in the background, who just stand there watching the action).

There are 15 levels of this mayhem so you won't get through it too quickly, even though it does start off pretty easy. Luckily you get a lot of lives and, if you're feeling a bit run down (you've got an energy meter as well, by the way), there's usually some pizza lying around for you to nosh.

Turtles: The Coin-Op isn't an earth-shatteringly new concept in Speccy games but it certainly is playable, exciting and set at just the right difficulty level. So rush out and buy it. If you don't like it, paint me yellow, call me Patch, dress me up in a flowery smock and dump me in a small village near Milton Keynes. (No! Ed)

I predict that this great Turtles game will be quite popular, even though nobody's ever heard of them!


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1. They're actually based on real people who were green, violent and had two toes.

2. And were also Italian painters.

3. In America the Turtles are known as The Golden Girls.

4. They've made so much money that they've got a lake in Canada each.

5. They wear coloured blindfolds (with the blind bits cut out) to stop them being recognised by fans.

6. But it doesn't work and they continually get mobbed in CUrry's.

7. Leonardo is bass-player for Chesney Hawkes' band, The New Seekers.

8. When Phillip Schofield was younger, he looked exactly like a Turtle. Luckily he grew up into the pretty boy we see today.

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That window ledge is brilliant for climbing onto then dropping like a stone onto people's heads!

If in doubt, jump right out! Leaping out of trouble is dead useful, especially when there's lots of attackers.

Ha! Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy! These guys are a doddle to beat!