that Majesco packaged its latest game, a casual gamer would expect to
see it in a bargain bin. The title of the game is too simplistic to be
appealing, and the package box sits on the shelves with nothing to show
but its happy turtle above an island. To my amazement, inside this
poorly designed box, lies an incredibly addictive puzzle game called
Turbo Turtle Adventure.
To say that
Turbo Turtle Adventure has a story would be a lie. How could you
possibly explain a turtle falling from the sky, and landing on an island
full of puzzles? It cant be explained. But thats okay, since the
gameplay is captivating enough that storyline would have came secondary
back to the days of old; remember Marble Madness? And remember Kirbys
Tilt n Tumble, as well as Super Monkey Ball? The theme of these games
was to control the rolling character from the beginning to the end of a
labyrinth-like level. Iridon Interactive has developed Turbo Turtle
Adventure to be the latest game to follow this theme. The player
controls the main character, Turbo Turtle, through mazes to collect keys
to get to the goal, a warp gate.
his slow footed brethren, Turbo Turtle does in fact roll at a fast
speed. In fact, theres even a Turbo button to help him roll even
faster, living up to his name. If thats not enough, to help Turbo
Turtle along his merry way, there are items that he can pick up that
give him special abilities to avoid obstacles. Some of these items
include the Builder item, and the Jump item. The Builder item creates a
block of land over a gap between two pieces of land. Or the player can
use the Jump item that propels Turbo into the air to help jump the gap.
Other items such as the Spike Shell gives Turbo a better grip on
ice-like floors to avoid slipping and sliding. With a unique combination
between all the items, Turbo should have no trouble reaching the goal.
Sounds easy, doesnt it? Well its not.
The problem with Turbo Turtle Adventure is its difficulty. There
arent many interactive objects and obstacles that make the game
difficult, rather its determining the path from start to finish. I
completed most of the levels in under a minute, approximately forty
seconds to be exact. But that isnt to say I didnt die frequently to
Iridon knows thats going to happen as well. Thats why they chose to
integrate the infinite lives. The truth is, dying is necessary to figure
out the right route to the goal. Discovering that you should have used a
Build item instead of a Jump item will require dying. Discovering that
you should have picked up the red key before the green key will require
dying. This makes Turbo Turtle Adventure a trial-and-error game. Now
depending on the kind of gamer you are, you may see this as a negative
because it frustrates you terribly, or you could see this as a positive
as it extends the games longevity. Either way, theres a point where
dying fifty times in a row becomes ridiculous.
The levels are separated into sets of, on-average, seven stages. Each
set carries a specific theme, such as inside a volcano, or even
underwater. These themes dont affect the levels directly, but are more
like a glazing over them. This gives the levels a common aesthetic look,
but at times it can be a hindrance. In the Lagoon stages, all the levels
are supposed underwater, and therefore coated with a blue environment.
This made the actual level very difficult to see, and added to the death
count. Thats a no-no in my books.
Turbo Turtle Adventures levels are designed to be viewed from a
birds-eye view, the graphics are not intended to be stellar. The sound
quality is nothing to write home about as well. In fact, it probably
could have been designed for the Game Boy Color.
In each of the theme sets, two of the levels have secret warp gates
that lead to hidden levels. These hidden levels are more of the same
design, and nothing spectacular, so if youre not crazy about the games
regular levels, the hidden ones probably wont impress you either.
a side note, portable labyrinth-designed games such as Turbo Turtle
Adventure just beg for the motion sensor add-on. This feature was first
introduced in Kirbys Tilt n Tumble, and worked fantastically. The
motion sensor is built into the cartridge, and the games character
moves in the same direction as the players tilt of the system. This
adds that extra level of interactivity that Turbo Turtle Adventure
should have. But then again, due to the games already high difficulty,
maybe that would be a bad idea.
In the end, if you have a short attention span, need instant gaming
satisfaction, and have the desire to rip your hair out just by the sound
of its trial-and-error gameplay, I would suggest looking elsewhere.
Otherwise, if you find yourself fancying the idea of continuously dying
for the sake of a challenging exploration, I say give Turbo Turtle
Adventure a try, but with excellent GBA games out on the market now such
as Metroid Prime and Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, you can expect to see
Turbo Turtle Adventure in the bargain bin soon.