Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection

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What parents need to know

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is a compilation of 13 fighting, platform and beat’em up fighting games released between 1989 and 1993 by Japanese game developer and publisher Konami.

TMNT Cowabunga Boxart Collection Shared ScreenRelease date: August 30, 2022

Developed by: Digital Eclipse
Published by: Konami
Available on:
PC (Steam)
Xbox One (Xbox Series Compatible)
Playstation 4 (Playstation 5 Compatible)
and Nintendo Switch

Game Type: Compilation of old games.

Average duration of a game: about 10 minutes

Estimate of the total duration of the game:

Cartoon, comics, comics, combat

Business model: Need to buy the game

Number of players:
Depending on the game, this can go as far as:
1 to 4 players locally
1 to 4 players online

Available in digital and physical formats.

The game was provided by the publisher for its review.
It does not influence our opinion.
Tested version: PC on Steam
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I used to play these games when I was 4 years old, there’s nothing terrible here.
Violence, fear, nudity?
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Everyone fights with punches, foot, knives, firearms, magical attacks (fire, wind, ice, electric). These are anthropomorphic animals, humans and robots that clash with each other. No drops of blood, or injuries. They are cartoon characters.

Minimum reading level required
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Very little text. Playable without knowing how to read. However, you have to know how to read to understand the side quests and some challenges.

Level of language used
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The protagonists provoke and taunt before or during the fighting.

Positive message
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It is possible to teach cooperation through this game, as long as you are well supervised and surrounded, but that’s it. The characters are smiling, having fun. No one takes themselves seriously.

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There are many games and therefore very different levels of difficulty. Some games are unfair because they are poorly designed, others are unfair because they were intended to be played in arcades, to spend coins in arcades. This compilation includes many aids to help with progression.

Minimum level of execution on the controller required
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The game is enjoyable to play with the controller, even for beginners.

Only the 3 Fighting Games Tournament Fighters can be considered difficult to master.

Additional costs ?
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Principle of the game

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is a compilation of the following 13 games:

Original Release Date / Title / Original Platform / Number of Players / Playable Online?

1989 / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / NES / 1 player / No
1989 / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / Arcade / 1 to 4 players / Yes
1990 / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game / NES / 1 to 2 players / No
1990 /Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan / Game Boy/ 1 player/ No
1991/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Arcade /1 to 4 players/ Yes
1991/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back from the Sewers/ Game Boy/ 1 player/ No
1991/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project /NES/ 1 to 2 players /No
1992/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time/ SNES/ 1 to 2 players/ No
1992/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist/ Sega Genesis/ 1 to 2 players/ Yes
1993/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Radical Rescue/ Game Boy /1 player/ No
1993/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters/ SNES/ 1 to 2 players/ Yes
1993 / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters/ Sega Genesis /1 to 2 players/ No
1993/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters/ NES/ 1 to 2 players/ No

Each of these games is playable in its entirety as at the time, and is available in American or Japanese version. The European versions are not available and no one will regret them because they had the same content as the American versions but was 17% slower.

Each of the games also contains the ability to go back in time. So you cancel the last actions that happened in the game, in order to repair an error, and avoid taking damage, for example. This option is available in 1-player mode, but also in local multiplayer mode. Thus, and fortunately, only the first player can go back in time. He can thus annoy his friends by abusing the function… but he will be the only one to do so.

It is possible to save and load a game at any time in each of the games. You can choose different display filters in order to try to reproduce the display of TVs and monitors from the time of the games.

Each game finally has several individual options such as the ability to activate the selection of hidden characters immediately, invincible mode, the deactivation of certain defects of era displays etc ….

In addition to this, one can activate for each game a spectator mode that allows to observe how to play the game perfectly. Icing on the cake, we can then regain control of the super player to continue his game. Unfortunately, you can’t unlock trophies or achievements this way. 😉

Local game mode

In addition to the ability to play each of the 13 games with plenty of options, there is the ability to check out a myriad of bonuses and material created for the Ninja Turtles at the time and their associated games.

It is therefore a Museum mode including:

  • Vintage boxes and user manuals.
  • Strategy guides to help in each of the games.
  • The music of each of the games listened to separately
  • Sketches, drawings of the artists of the games
  • Summaries of the four versions of the cartoons released over the years with screenshots of the seasons of each of them
  • Comic book covers
  • Advertisements

In short, a huge amount of work has been done in order to search for and restore all this material.

Online gaming modes

Only 4 games are playable online (see game principle section). There is no crossplay (no possibility to play with other consoles). You can choose only one game at a time to wait for opponents (unlike Capcom Fighting Collection )

There are very few players online, they are divided into 4 games on 4 different platforms (3 consoles and PC). So we wait a very long time to find players. And when you find them, you have no idea if their connection is good or bad. Games slow down a lot when playing with 3 or more players, and it’s not the 2-player panacea either.

It’s really a disaster, and if we see the previous games released by Digital Eclipse, we can see that it will never be fixed.

With each Release of Digital Eclipse game, the developers promise us a compilation with a robust online mode… and with each release, fans are disappointed. This is not at all the expertise of Digital Eclipse and I wonder why they promote it every time, and bother trying to integrate it.


The compilation is really very solid, if you plan to play only locally alone or with friends. Don’t rely on online mode.

Apart from that:

  • If you are a fan of ninja turtles, the compilation is a must. The restoration work of the period equipment is exceptional and there are many games to have fun.
  • If you’re a casual gamer, the games can be a bit harsh and twisted. In addition the graphics have taken care of quite badly.
  • If you are a parent, games are not a problem for children. It’s just that there are now many other games suitable for children. Unless they are complete fans of the Ninja Turtles, this compilation will not speak to them.
  • For the curious, nostalgic, and historians, maybe wait for the compilation to drop in price. 50 CAD + taxes is a bit expensive, despite the number of games and options available.

More information on the official website.


If you like compilations of old games, click here.

About Marc Shakour

Former video game programmer, columnist, teacher, competitor ... Marc has always been very familiar with the world and industry of video games. He decided to help neophytes about it, to discover new universes, worlds and fantastic creatures.

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