Six players can team up online in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, Shredder’s Revenge. That is pretty wild, isn’t it? But even more wild is the fact that I’ve had to play single-player for the last few days, and yet I’ve still had a wonderful time. What a lovely game this is.
Shredder’s Revenge takes its cues from the classic arcade games that always used to scare me a bit when I was young, because the four-player cabinets tended to have clusters of older kids hanging around. It’s a pixel-art side-scrolling beat-’em-up, basically, and it has coin-op in its blood, from the message that flashes up telling you to “GO!” if you dawdle, to the bosses that drop in bearing the unmistakable health bars of people who want to get at least a couple of 50p pieces out of your crew.
It’s a wonderful thing, colourful, pacey, and filled with perfect Turtles music. But more than that it’s reminded me of why I love this era of video games so much. The 16-bit era – does the coin op count as 16-bit? I am not Digital Foundry – was the era of lavish incidental animations. It made games seem unspeakably rich.