Coming To IAAPA 2017: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Raw Thrills

arcadehero October 20, 2017 24

I had been hearing “rumors” for a while now that Raw Thrills had something different up their sleeve – something related to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But without any more information than that, all I could do was wait. With the IAAPA 2017 trade show only a few weeks away, I was surprised to find out that the game would be making an appearance there and that it brings back a genre many of us have longed to see grace the arcade scene again: the brawler / beat ’em up. Long time readers of the site might recall my lamentations over the lack of brawlers in the modern age…looks like that article might need a refresh soon.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2017/2018

Many of you are familiar with Raw Thrills’ other game that has been on test this year, Injustice Arcade. I’ve heard from some in the “fighting Game Community” (FGC) that they are disappointed in that. However, if you are into 1v1 fighting games, you have to realize that IJ was not made for the FGC audience. It was made for card collectors, casual gamers and comic book fans. By the reports I’ve been hearing so far, it’s doing extremely well earnings wise with that crowd.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the other hand looks to have what beat ’em up fans are looking for. For starters, it has joystick/button controls. Behold the game from this IAAPA 2017 flyer that is making the rounds:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2017 by Raw ThrillsNotice that the game cabinet is very similar in shape to the new Injustice Arcade cabinet – speaker placement is the same as well. It appears to be a three button game, I assume that the large buttons are for a special attack (just like what Injustice does).

I reached out to Raw Thrills about this and was able to get some additional information on this new title. For starters, this is a “new game, built from the ground up” by the company. All of the game assets are based upon the most recent TV series that is found on Nickelodeon. RT added that the company has been working to “create novel forms of entertainment”, particularly something multiplayer that brings four people close to each other, “working together to play through the game and defeat bosses”. As to what makes it different from the ol’ Konami TMNT (apart from having an HD screen and placement of the turtle characters):

This new version of TMNT is a completely new re-imagining of the brawler concept. There are more moves, more environmental interaction, cool Turtle Power special attacks, voiceover from the entire cast (including Seth Green and others)… it’s really amazing.

Top that off with the game bringing in “amazing test results” and we’ve got a nice surprise on our hands. This isn’t the only multi-joystick game to land on the arcade scene in recent years – Namco’s Pac-Man Battle Royale comes to mind but that’s really the only game to refer to in the past five years that isn’t one of those redemption fishing games. I have also been surprised that after PMBR did so well that we haven’t seen more attempts to copy the same kind of idea (4-player classic style games). I wouldn’t worry too much about the redemption option mentioned on the flyer. That’s a good way to hedge the bet but I’ve heard of many operators who have ran their Space Invaders Frenzy or Galaga Assault games (both RT designs) as arcade-only games and seen them do well. That and the arcade modes play with far more depth than the redemption modes do.

Granted, I’ll see how it plays at IAAPA here in a few weeks but either way it warms my heart to see the beat ’em up get some love in this day and age. I’m also curious to hear what you think about this – many of you might even have one of Konami’s TMNT games from back in the day. Are you happy to see the genre come back or would you prefer the industry stick with what it has been doing?


  1. Chaf October 20, 2017 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    No gameplay video?

    • arcadehero October 20, 2017 at 10:20 pm - Reply

      Not yet – I’ll grab some at IAAPA in a few weeks

  2. Dustin Wilcox October 20, 2017 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    I was so mad about Injustice Arcade being a lazy mobile port, but now I’m not mad at all. With Nex Machina and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Raw Thrills seems to genuinely care about making more than just racing and light gun games. I’m definitely excited right now.

  3. Voltz October 20, 2017 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    I wish when developers adopt a license, they could go the extra mile and make it so they license the right series and era it took place from. 90’s Turtles is simply not something that should ever be left to obscurity under any circumstance.

    We’ll just have to see how this one turns out. If it’s too kiddie, I may just watch a gameplay video and be done with it.

    • Voltz October 20, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

      Btw the cabinet art really does leave something to be desired. Sorry if I’m feeling a bit critical about it.

  4. Paige Oliver October 20, 2017 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    Why does it look like a bad Mame cabinet, where the control panel is some strangely shaped alien component that doesn’t look like it belongs on the cabinet. Why does it look like it has the cheapest Chinese buttons and sticks available? Raw Thrills was an American company last I heard, they can’t spend an extra $20 per unit to get some real Happ controls on the darn thing.

    • arcadehero October 20, 2017 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      I would be amazed if it wasn’t using HAPP controls for everything, they still work with them on everything I’ve picked up from them recently. I’ll also grab in-person photos when it is at the IAAPA trade show and then it should be easier to make a judgement

  5. Jdevy October 21, 2017 at 8:59 am - Reply

    A 4 player game with $1/play is definitely making this a potential Jurassic Park. Given the flyer and the snapshot I saw of this, the graphics look pretty average for a modern Raw Thrills game. Pizzas are health powerups, and I believe one of the powerup icons looks like a 2D sprite (probably to dave money).

  6. Cube October 22, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    ughhh they had me until i saw it was the horrible looking new ninja turtles.

    they look like garbage

  7. Phil Arrington III November 1, 2017 at 2:36 am - Reply

    A lot of people don’t realize that this game is a big deal and it will make or break the multi-player landscape.

    Basically, there’s hasn’t been a true official side stroller release since Justice League Heroes United. JL:HU was so bad and such a failed game that it set the genre back a few years in comparison to the Konami and Capcom properties of the late 80’s/early 90’s.

    I really hope this game is not another cash cow because a company want to take advantage of a popular IP just to make a buck (was Justice League even on TV in 09? NO!).

    This already backfired once with Global VR. Scott Pilgrim vs the World game would have a been a investment and a profitable one. Even Turtles in Time: ReShelled would have been a good investment. Hopefully Raw Thrills learn the lessons from the G:VR as well taken notes on what people want. Maybe…just maybe this genre of game play can take off again.

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